E.M. Forster's A Room with a View

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When E.M. Forster wrote A Room with a View in 1903, he wasn’t pleased with it, stating it was “clear and bright and well constructed, but so thin.” (Macaulay, 2007:78). This novel has become one of Forster’s most famous and well liked books. It is a satirical romantic comedy that criticizes the world of polite manners and social rules, through amusing dry wit and hilarious characterization. It is a social satire criticizing conservative Victorian British society at the beginning of the twentieth century; at a time when the Edwardian more lax standard of codes was just beginning to take hold (Leah, 2012). A Room with a View is about a young woman living in the repressed Edwardian times who travels to Italy with her spinster cousin. While in Italy they make the acquaintance of a number of characters who often find themselves in humorous situations. What we find humorous is influenced by our culture, our age, gender, personality and our life experiences. Bremmer and Roodenberg (1997), define humour as ‘any message – transmitted in action, speech, writing, images or music – intended to produce a smile or a laugh’. Veatch defines it as “a psychological state which tends to produce laughter.” (Veatch, 1999). Wit that is critical humour is a genre of literature called satire (Audrieth, 1998). In writing about authors who write satire, Bloom & Bloom explain that they “have liked to think of themselves as judges of morals and manners” (Bloom, 1979). In satire, vices and shortcomings are ridiculed with the purpose of shaming either individuals or society. A critical attitude is blended with humour so that in the end “humanity may be improved” (Harris, 1990). A Room with a View is a light hearted social satire of the Horati... ... middle of paper ... ...2010 D&M Publishers, Inc. L. Audrieth, Anthony "The Art of Using Humor in Public Speaking" 1998. Robert Harris, 1990 The Purpose and Method of Satire http://www.virtualsalt.com/satire.htm Tom Veatch, 1999 http://tomveatch.com/else/humor/paper/node30.html Satire Stanford University Tom Veatch, 1998 A Theory of Humor Stanford University, Stanford, California http://tomveatch.com/else/humor/paper/ Bloom, Edward A. and Lillian D. Bloom. 1979. Satire’s Persuasive Voice. London: Cornwell University Press. Gruner, Charles R. 1992 Satire as Persuasion. http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED395321 Herz, Judith 2007. The Cambridge Companion to T.M. Forsterr, ed. David Bradshaw Cambridge University Press Macaulay, Rose, 1970. The Writings of E.M. Forster. Barnes & Noble Inc. K. Gifford, 2013 Horatian Satire Humanities Web.org www.humanitiesweb.org/human.php?s=l&p=t&a=d&ID=309

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