Walls of Ideologies

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E.M. Forster's novel Howards End uses three families to explore the competing idealism and materialism of the upper classes and the belittling effects of poverty on the human soul. The conflict between the Schlegel family and the Wilcox family is a recurring theme that reflects the ideologies that are in E.M. Forster's novel. The Schlegels are idealistic and intellectual , while the Wilcoxes are more materialistic and motivated by the desire to maintain their wealth and property. The Wilcoxes are unapologetically bourgeois. Forster is implying that merely connecting, just getting along, is not enough in a world divided by ideological conflict. Althusser's theory that ideology Forster has created the perfect embodiment of the ideology of conflict between reason and passion. In Howards End Forster talks about two classes and two ideologies that are separated by the thick wall of social prejudices and misunderstandings.
The only thing connecting the two families is money. Both of the families are quite well off, but at the same time represent two different sectors of the English upper-middle class during the period in which the novel is set. The Schlegels are cultured and represent education. The Wilcoxes represent the work ethic, materialism and form.
This novel depicts the classic class struggle. Throughout the entire novel Margaret tries to bridge the upper and lower levels of the
middle class. Her inner strength and emotional perceptiveness enable her to appreciate the Wilcoxes, and at the same time, strive for a finer life, which she perceives can only be found from enjoying an emotionally whole life experience. Margaret is in a way dissimatting the idea that there should be a distinct difference between the classes, and particularly between the three families involved in this story. Althusser would say that this is how ideology is calling her or hailing Margaret into being.