This sample essay on A Room With A View Analysis reveals arguments and important aspects of this topic. Read this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and the conclusion below.
‘A Room with a View’ – Close textual Analysis p. 105-107 Throughout the whole of the novel the theme of light and dark is constantly reoccurring and is openly present within this extract: ‘thinking of the old man who had enabled her to see the lights dancing in the Arno’, this metaphor gives the reader an insight to how Lucy is desperate for the freedom of her own independence which the lights clearly symbolise.
The passage begins with ‘‘The Curtains parted. ’’ This gives the reader an impression of a theatrical entrance, to then introduce Cecil appears to the reader as somewhat of a disappointment; ‘‘Cecil’s first movement was one of irritation. ’’ It is symbolic as this idea of parting the curtains draws in on the continuous contrasting theme of Lucy’s fight with restriction and her will for freedom.
As the curtains part Lucy is being exposed to more of the freedom she is so desperate to gain. Cecil’s action ‘‘of irritation’’ is not in correlation with the previous images of independence and liberty. ‘Irritation’ implies to the reader that Cecil is not comfortable almost awkward in his current situation and acting ill-tempered, which shows immediately to the reader how opposite Lucy and Cecil are for one another and how ill-fitting a marriage between them would be. The idea of Cecil ‘‘parting the curtains’’ subsequently becomes ironic as his own actions associate him with darkness rather than with the light that we as the reader attach Lucy to.
Previously in the novel there are other references to windows in a similar context; ‘Come away from the window, dear’, Showing Miss Bartlett’s concern and restraint of Lucy becoming exposed to the freedom she desires. The next passage starts ‘Light entered. ’ showing instantaneously a new positive outlook.
Giving a beautiful, elegant description of a ‘terrace, with trees each side of it, and on it a little rustic seat and two flower beds…’ Forster lulls you into a false sense of optimism, ‘Lucy, who was in the little seat, seemed on the edge of a green magic carpet which hovered…’ This reminds the reader of Lucy’s purity and innocence using the fairy tale symbolism ‘‘of a green magic carpet’’. The whole metaphor of Lucy is cleverly constructed illustrating the idea of Lucy ‘hovering’ and ‘on the edge’ as to show her half way between her own personal discovery and the iddle class society that is so desperate to keep drawing her back in. In contrast the reader discovers that throughout the novel whenever Cecil appears dreams dissolve and reality is re-established; ‘…hovered in the air above the tremulous world. Cecil entered. ’ All imagination is lost. All the beauty and elegance of the paragraph is destroyed by this simple, blunt statement. Once more you see Cecil is portrayed in a negative sense, reserved, bold in some way starched, too conventional, the complete opposite of what Lucy wants making the idea of an engagement between them seem inconceivable.
Even a simple embrace is an arduous task for him, he feels compelled to follow convention and displays a complete lack of spontaneity and passion; ‘Up to now I have never kissed you…Then I ask you – may I now? ’ Although in a different context, Cecil is still capable with little effort to ruin a perfectly romantic moment. Forster shows Cecil’s belief of his own self-importance clearly with his introduction along with his high position within society in the novel, ‘Cecil must at once be described. Comparing Cecil to a ‘Gothic statue’ gives an impression of power but a cold exterior. His character is a complete contradiction to that of Lucy’s. ‘He was medieval’, yet she is trying so hard to progress forward in time. ‘Medieval’ suggests that he is welded to tradition and very conservative which would hold her back, keeping Lucy away from her ‘view’. As the description of Cecil continues he becomes more pompous, ‘And a head that was tilted a little higher than the usual level of vision’, creates an image that Cecil calculates his self worth to be much higher than most.
Cecil’s character is very dissimilar to that of George. He is depicted as free-thinking, ‘He stepped quickly forward and kissed her’, tolerant and willing to admit to his human failings; ‘I nearly fainted myself’, This illustrates to the reader that George Emerson is clearly a better choice for Lucy in comparison to Cecil who would only be keeping Lucy from the freedom she is so desperately in need of. The incessant medieval metaphoric descriptions of Cecil become an anomaly against the image of the renaissance.
Comparing the images of ‘the gothic statue which implies celibacy’ and ‘the Greek statue which implies fruition’ is a hidden way of contrasting Cecil and George Emerson. ‘The end of the middles ages’, Forster cleverly uses historical imagery to give a sense of how society moves forward. Within Lucy’s current society she has moved on from medieval tradition as depicted by Cecil’s stereotypical middle class character. Lucy’s social circle could not create a finer choice than Cecil as he fits the marital ideal, but Lucy is not society and to the reader the only acceptable choice for her is George Emerson.
Mrs Honeychurch enters the scene appearing excitable and seeming to over-act her interest, ‘Oh Cecil, Oh Cecil, do tell me’. This does not seem typical of Mrs Honeychurch’s general conduct; she has previously come across very differently regularly criticising her son Freddy; ‘Why shouldn’t my permission be asked?… What do you know about Lucy or girls or anything? ’ However with Cecil she completely lets her guard down because she is trying so desperately to make him feel ‘as one of the family’. This is ironic as she does not treat her own son in this manner.
She seems genuinely thrilled by the idea of her only daughter marrying a man of such high standard within society. Love and romance was not included in the idea of a good marriage, money and status were the key factors. Any possible romance that may have been associated with the idea of Cecil’s and Lucy’s engagement disappears when Cecil answers, ‘She has accepted me’. His answer is completely monosyllabic and he does not remotely seem overjoyed by her acceptance, maybe slightly content but that’s all the emotion you can find in his response.
Cecil regularly answers or asks questions in a similar tone, like the staged kiss between him and Lucy where he asks ‘then I ask you – may I now? ’ Where in both situations the encounters seems awkward which are reinforced by his actions, ‘shifting his eyes to the ceiling’, obviously uncomfortable with the situation. Cecil is an authority figure but this is not how you would expect him to be with his fiance. He acts very causally in comparison to what people stereotype the enouncement of an engagement to be, ‘‘I say Lucy!
Called Cecil, for conversation seemed to flag. ’’ This is very ironic that Lucy is hardly involved in this scene yet it’s her engagement that’s being enounced something that will charge the pattern of her life entirely yet she is completely uninvolved. He commands Lucy not asks her, ‘Would you take them into the garden and tell Mrs Honeychurch all about it? His tone comes across very patronising and not respectful at all. Cecil acts as though he is dismissing a child rather than asking his fiance a question. ‘I shall have our children educated just like Lucy.
Bring them up among honest country folk, send them to Italy for subtlety, and then – not till then – let them come to London. ’ His patronising tone is constant, he talks as if she is not in the room and as though she no right to an opinion of her own, even on such an important matter as her children. ‘As if taking orders’, Forster makes this clear showing his control complex to be unhealthy it is not free or liberating. Although Lucy’s life would be different in marriage to Cecil, in reality it would only be another type of enclosure.
The last line of the passage ‘They passed into the sunlight’ reengages the idea of light. Creating the image of light falling when Lucy is distanced from Cecil, shows how Cecil will only contribute to the darker parts of her life and will not contribute to Lucy’s self discovery and liberty. This further highlights the mismatch between the two people. It clearly accentuates the reasons as to why she should not marry a man with these characteristics. These faults in a man would be the cause of her own self destruction and personal downfall.