Krzysztof Fordonski deposited E. M. Forster and the English Ways of Ex(Sup)pressing Emotions in the group Edward Morgan Forster on Humanities Commons 2 years, 1 month ago
E. M. Forster’s interest in emotions as well as in ways of expressing and suppressing them was an important theme of his essays. “Notes on the English Character” in which he presents the idea of “the undeveloped heart” are probably the best known of them. Forster finds “the undeveloped heart” characteristic of the British, especially men of the upper classes, educated in public schools.
The issue plays an equally important role in Forster’s fictional works. The ways and means of ex(sup)pressing emotions are often used in his novels, play, and short stories as a useful element of characterisation and tool in development of the plot. They become especially valuable devices in those texts in which representatives of different cultures come into contact or oppose each other (e.g. the English and the Italians in Where Angels Fear to Tread, or the English and the Indians in A Passage to India), often, though not always, resulting in the conflict of unreasonable emotion vs. emotionless reason.
The essay attempts to reconstruct Forster’s understanding of emotions (concentrating in their forms and expression in Great Britain opposed by those of Italy and India) as based on the essay and presents the ways the novelist uses ex(sup)pressing emotions in the structure of his works (discussed on selected excerpts).