Howards End


Chapters 41-44

Summary Chapters 41-44

The final scene at Howards End provides a happy ending for the novel, with Helen and Henry becoming friends at last, and Henry's hypocritical edifice being replaced with a more genuine human presence. This final chapter also directly addresses the question of "Who will inherit England?" by featuring Henry's decision about who will inherit Howards End itself. Margaret will inherit Howards End, and she intends to leave it to Helen's child. In other words, Howards End will fall from the materialistic upper class to the idealistic upper class, and thence to an offspring of the upper and lower classes. In a sense, the final living arrangement at Howards End indicates Forster's belief that, if people could "only connect," there would be a place for every class at Howards End, and in England. The classes are becoming irrevocably mixed; London is encroaching on the countryside, and World War I is looming in the near future (unbeknownst to Forster at the time he wrote the novel, though even in 1910 he was certainly fearful of a conflict between England and Germany). But for the time, all is well; the classes can live together happily, and the future of England seems less uncertain, and less dim.