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Sea Imagery in E.M. Forster’s Howards End


  • Charlotte Fransson

Summary, in English

It has for long been undecided among critics whether Forster should be counted as belonging to the modernist literary tradition or not. This essay will analyse Howards End’s sea imagery, the notion of the sea when it is used as a symbol or in any other type of imagery. The sea when used as a symbol has several possible interpretations, and these interpretations have connection to the thoughts and mind-set of modernism and the flux and instability of the nascent modernity of the early twentieth century. By the understanding of Howards End’s sea imagery, the essay will take a stance in the debate about Forster’s status within the modernist tradition. The essay will explore almost every instance of sea imagery in Howards End in order to discover its meaning and function. The essay will present two different interpretations of Howards End’s sea imagery, in order of their importance. The first one is “reactions to modernity”, and the second one is “money, wealth and the abyss”. These two interpretations are relatively broad and unspecific, and are used as headings or categories for the discussion, since the sea imagery in Howards End could be sorted into either one of these categories.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Bachelor's degree


  • Languages and Literatures


  • Birgitta Berglund (FD)