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The Sacred Pond in A Room with a View

             Forster's A Room with a View, it is quite common for the setting of an event to have almost as much significance as the event itself, for the scenery serves to reflect the attitude of the characters as well as influence their immediate actions. Such is the case on the bridge when George throws Lucy's photographs into the Arno, or when the rivulets of violets surrounding Lucy inspire George to act before he thinks when he kisses her in Fiesole. The scene at the Sacred Pond is no different. Here Forster paints a picture of a paradise that mimics the Garden of Eden, a place of beauty and innocence. The importance of the scenery here is the transformation that the pond works on all three of the characters present, but most importantly in George. Forster uses the setting to both reflect George's choice to live and to prompt a change in his attitude. .
             As is consistent with Forster's style, the scene itself is powerful even before the characters come into play. Just the title of the place "Sacred Pond" gives the reader expectations of a spiritual experience. The descriptions of the pond give us this impression as well, "Water, sky, evergreen, a wind – these things not even the seasons can touch, and surely they are beyond the intrusion of man" (121). This description of a paradise uncontaminated by man begs the reader to recall Mr. Emerson's words just a few pages earlier of the Garden of Eden that would come to exist when equality between men and women has been achieved. When Freddy suggests a bath, three men, Mr. Beebe, George, and Freddy enter this Eden, and the parallels to the Garden grow stronger. Upon arrival, the men remove their clothes and frolic naked between the sun and water just like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The quotation on the wardrobe at the Emersons' house also foreshadowed the link to the Garden. In the novel, the quotation by Henry David Thoreau reads, "Mistrust all enterprises that require new clothes" (116).

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