Dysfunctional Relationships in E. M. Forester´s A Room with a View

Decent Essays

Throughout history, both in English literature and in real life, human relationships have been shown to be fragile. Many relationships fall apart because people take them for granted. They don’t realize the effect of their actions, therefore destroying the relationship due to their ignorance. This belief is demonstrated E.M. Forester’s novel, A Room with a View. The novel presents the ideology that close human relationships become dysfunctional in the presence of controlling behaviour, attempts to modify one another’s personality, and a lack of mutual respect. Firstly, the novel implies that controlling behaviour in a relationship is destructive to the bond shared between the two people. This is seen through the relationship of two lovers, Cecil and Lucy. Cecil treats Lucy like a “Leonardo” (115). This simile implies that Cecil thinks of Lucy as a treasurable object, rather than his companion. This leads him to think of her as breakable, thus restricting her behaviour. Eventually, Lucy breaks up with Cecil because she feels “stifled” (198). Controlling behaviour is also seen to be destructive through the relationship of Charlotte and Lucy, two cousins. The novel starts off with Lucy pitying Charlotte, thus showing her immense care for her cousin. However, as Charlotte begins to restrict Lucy’s behaviour as seen when she cuts Lucy off several times, while speaking and ultimately never lets her speak to other guests at the pension. Charlotte’s dominance over Lucy furthers to

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