London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

The origins of the crisis of the social and national identity as presented in ‘Howard’s End’ by Edward Morgan Forster

Author(s) Gładkowska, E.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2014  
Editor P. Cunningham & N. Fretwell (eds.) Innovative Practice and Research Trends in Identity, Citizenship and Education  
Age group -  
The contemporary crisis of the notions such as citizenship and identity is the phenomenon resulting from the processes which have taken place for many decades. This paper discusses the origins of this situation by investigating E. M. Forster’s novel ‘Howards End’ which reflects the change in the social structure and the idea of citizenship in early modernist Britain. The study concludes that the main characters manifested the profound awareness of the consequences of the social transformation although the attitudes towards those changes alter significantly among particular individuals. The modern city at the beginning of twentieth century was recognized as both the symbol and the cause for the breakthrough in social relations and the idea of citizenship which gave rise to a ‘nomadic civilization’. The repercussions of the emergence of communities based on the alternative concepts are also anticipated. ‘Howards End’ proves to be a prophetic text about the Western world on the threshold of the crisis of identity.

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