Compare and contrast the Schlegel and Wilcox families. How are they alike? How are they different? What ideals do they each represent?
In what way is Howards End a symbol of all England? How does Forster answer the novel's main question (posed by critic Lionel Trilling) of "Who shall inherit England?"
Two minor characters who are contrasted powerfully at the end of the novel are Tibby Schlegel and Charles Wilcox. What roles do these characters portray in the novel, and how is their contrast illuminating?
What is Margaret like as a character? How does she differ from Helen? Is it fair to say that Margaret is the conscience of Howards End?
Though Helen declares herself a suffragist in the first part of the book, Forster's exploration of gender politics in Edwardian England does not really take off until the second half of the novel, after Margaret marries Henry. What does their marriage say about the relations between men and women in general? What kind of critique does Forster offer: moral, social, or simply literary?
Discuss the conflict between the "seen" and the "unseen" as it plays out throughout the novel in different characters' thoughts. What ways does the novel suggest might be used to connect the seen to the unseen? What is the role of money in that process? What is the role of death?
How does Margaret's philosophy of "Only connect" conflict with Henry's adage, "Concentrate"? Is it fair to say that this conflict is the main conflict of the novel? Which idea prevails over the course of the novel?
Readers' Notes allow users to add their own analysis and insights to our SparkNotes—and to discuss those ideas with one another. Have a novel take or think we left something out? Add a Readers' Note!