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Topic: A Room With A View Discussion Part 2

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Subject: A Room With A View Discussion Part 2
Date Posted: 3/6/2009 5:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
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Part 2 encompasses chapters 8-20

 

Again, I posted a few questions below. Post your own thoughts, answer questions, pose questions, etc.

 

In Chapter 8 Forster writes, ‘... Italy had offered her (Lucy) 

the most valuable of all possessions – her own soul.’ How did this happen? Think about

the differences between Summer Street and Florence, and

between George Emerson and Cecil Vyse. Think about the

things that happened to Lucy in Italy and England.

 

 

What did you think of the ending? Did your opinion of Charlotte Bartlett or any of the other characters change?

 



Last Edited on: 3/10/09 11:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/8/2009 4:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
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I'm only half way through this second section. Is Cecil a pompous horse's a** or what? The bad part is that he is starting to rub off on Lucy.

Date Posted: 3/13/2009 11:11 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
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Finished the book last night. I liked how Forster finished up the novel on a high note, giving Charlotte some redeeming qualities.

 

Date Posted: 3/16/2009 5:24 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
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I just finished it, and honestly somethings have me a little confused.  But I enjoyed the book as a whole, I thought the ending was very satisfying.  I absolutely loved the chapter where Freddy makes George & Mr. Beebe go swimming, it was too funny.  I liked the way none of the characters was wholly good or bad; like how Charlotte seems to have redeemed herself in the end, or the way Cecil despite his earlier behaviour, acted so nobly when Lucy broke the engagement.

But what really confused me was what was up with Mr. Beebe?  I'd had him pegged as secretly thinking like Mr. Emerson, but not being direct about it.  I thought he would have liked to see Lucy & George end up together- he never seemed to look down on George, and he never liked Cecil.  Then he came out with that weird bit about protecting Lucy's virginity and that totally threw me.  He said in the beginning something about how interesting she would be if she lived the way she played the piano, and I thought that choosing to accept her love for George would be carrying over her artistic passion into real life, but it seems I was wrong.  Any ideas on what Beebe's motivations were?  I'm not sure what to make of him?

Also, did Charlotte really want Lucy & George together?  She did an awful good job of hiding it.  I'm torn on that point too.

Date Posted: 3/17/2009 9:28 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
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Mr. Beebe's actions were mysterious. Perhaps he thought she should embrace the church?

I believe Charlotte just wanted Lucy to be happy and not end up a spinster like she did. I swear there was a reference, just a sentence or two, about Charlotte and her one and only chance at love being lost and her regret about it.

Did you have a favorite character?

I liked Mr. Emerson. He defied conventionality and ignored the pretentious "propriety" other characters seemed to cling to.

Rick B. (bup) - ,
Date Posted: 3/17/2009 11:15 AM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
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There definitely was a reference at Charlotte missing her one chance at love. I still don't know if she wanted Lucy with George though. Charlotte still seemed to be a person who hadn't learned from her experience - she'd make the same mistake again perhaps.

I liked Freddy, and Lucy's mom. They both seemed very real to me.

Date Posted: 3/19/2009 9:39 AM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2007
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I think Mr. Beebe was gay. And I think since he had chosen celibacy for himself, he wanted to see Lucy take that path, too. That was what came to me on this reading, anyway.

The way Forster explains it at the end, it sounds like Charlotte's actions were very subconscious. I'm sure she would have hotly denied wanting George and Lucy to end up together.

What always throws me off at the end of the book is the fact that Lucy's mother and brother are very displeased with her for marrying George, even though the marriage takes place six months later. Why do they hold a grudge for so long? And why are they upset about her marrying him in the first place? Is it all the lying she did? Do they think he's "beneath" her? I've never been able to figure that part out.

Date Posted: 3/19/2009 12:35 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
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Wow, it never occured to me that Mr. Beebe might be gay, what an interesting spin that puts on things.

I don't think Freddy was angry with Lucy & George, just giving them distance to make his mom feel better.  He writes to them in Italy, and his whole general attitude suggests that he wouldn't object to their marraige.  I think Mrs. Honeychurch was probably more hurt that Lucy hadn't confided in her, and been so secretive and strange following her break up with Cecil.  Again, her behaviour earlier suggests that she wouldn't have any personal objections to George.

Freddy was definitely my favorite character.  Has anyone seen the movie version with Daniel Day Lewis & Helena Bonham Carter?  I'm thinking of renting it now.

Date Posted: 3/19/2009 2:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2007
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Ohhhhhh, Vanessa.......that movie is one of my very, very favorite movies! It's pretty true to the book, too--in a movie sort of way. The character of Freddy is delightful in the movie as well as the book. And Mr. Beebe (played by Simon Callow) is terrific.

Maybe that's where I got the notion that Mr. Beebe is gay--Simon Callow doesn't play him overtly gay, but there's a hint of something there. And I think going into this re-read I had Forster's homosexuality in mind. There are a couple of comments in the book that I picked up on this time--I can't remember what, exactly.

I got more of a sense of George's despair this time around--I think it's because someone (was it you, Vanessa?) mentioned his being suicidal in the other thread. I guess I had never thought of his malaise as being that serious.

I think my favorite character is Mr. Beebe--he functions as sort of a Greek chorus, observing and commenting without being involved. And I like Charlotte Bartlett a lot. She's just so...stuffy!

 

Date Posted: 3/20/2009 11:30 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
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I watched the movie last night! I like Charlotte Bartlett more after having seen the movie, Maggie Smith does a wonderful job of portraying her. Actually, the whole cast is pretty impressive, especially Daniel Day Lewis as Cecil and the actor who played Freddy. The movie gave me a new appreciation for the developing relationship between Lucy and George (the moments they share seemed to have greater significance in the movie than in the book).

Date Posted: 3/21/2009 9:03 PM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2008
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What a great read! I am going to put the movie on my queue. In the beginning of the book I could not stand Charlotte and enjoyed Mr. Beebe. By the end it was the other way around. Towards the end I wondered if Mr. Beebe was gay as well. He did not seem comfortable in the swimming situation and he did act mysterious as Sheila pointed out. I really enjoyed the book. The end was most satisfying.

Date Posted: 3/26/2009 10:51 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
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Michael, I like how you describe your changing perceptions and feelings toward Charlotte and Mr. Beebe. Most people have good and bad traits and Forster was able to show us several of his characters in a multi-dimensional manner. And, yes, I agree that the end was satisfying :-)