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A Room with a View

E.M. Forster

Chapters 18-20

Chapters 15-17

Chapters 18-20, page 2

page 1 of 3

Summary

Mr. Beebe receives a letter from the Miss Alans stating that they have decided to travel to Greece and perhaps Constantinople, and the thought of the two spinsters amuses him so much that he pays a call at Windy Corner to tell Lucy. On the road, he passes Cecil and Freddy, on their way to bring Cecil to the station. Freddy tells Mr. Beebe about the break-up.

The Honeychurch house is in a tumult, as the winds threaten Mrs. Honeychurch's flowers. Lucy plays Mozart in the drawing room, feeling despondent. Mr. Beebe decides to relieve everyone by taking Charlotte and Minnie out for tea at the Beehive Tavern. Mr. Beebe finds out from Lucy that the family has not approved of her decision. Lucy, meanwhile, is using her family as an excuse to justify her sadness, which has another cause she doesn't realize fully.

Mr. Beebe tells her about the Miss Alans' trip, and Lucy suddenly decides that she must go with the two old women in order to get away and know her own mind. Mr. Beebe and Charlotte discuss the situation over their trip to get tea, and Charlotte urges him that there must be complete secrecy around the news of the broken engagement. Mr. Beebe tells Charlotte of Lucy's wish to go to Greece, which he finds problematic, but which Charlotte, unexpectedly, fully endorses. She is mysteriously urgent about the importance of Lucy's trip, and Mr. Beebe agrees to help persuade the family to allow her to go. Secretly, he believes in celibacy, and hopes that Lucy may remain a virgin if she goes away.

Back at Windy Corner, Mr. Beebe puts in a good word for the idea of the journey, and Lucy is allowed to go. She is glad, but not as glad as she expected to feel.

In London (chapter 19), Mrs. Honeychurch and Lucy visit the Miss Alans, who are pleased to have Lucy join them. They think Lucy is still engaged. After the visit, Mrs. Honeychurch asks her daughter why she won't divulge the truth, but Lucy refuses to say that she is worried that George will find out and will continue his advances. Mrs. Honeychurch feels hurt that her daughter wants to leave home, but Lucy claims that she wants her independence, though she doesn't really know what she wants. Mrs. Honeychurch accuses her of sounding like Charlotte.

On the way home, they pass Cissie villa. No lights are on, and the gate is padlocked. Their driver informs them that the Emersons have left. Lucy feels that all the energy spent on going to Greece is unnecessary. At the Rectory, they stop for Charlotte, who wants to go to church. Mrs. Honeychurch agrees to go with her, but Lucy refuses, and is instead led into the Rectory's study.

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