Class and Sexuality in E.M Forsters "Maurice" Book Review

A examination of how E.M. Forster's "Maurice" interrogates the restrictions which class status places on the expression of sexuality.
# 151723 | 1,408 words | 5 sources | APA | 2011 | GB
Published on Sep 06, 2012 in Literature (English) , English (Analysis)

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This paper examines E.M. Forster's "Maurice" and in particualar discusses how Maurice be seen to interrogate the hegemonic, patriarchal and restrictive discourses of sexuality as posed by Clive, and by other upper class men in the novel. Furthermore, the paper also analyzes how Forster's cross class comradeship resists the supposedly naturalised authority of these discourses and of the authority of social class difference.

From the Paper:

"Significantly, Forster interrogates Clive's upper class, idealised and strictly platonic homosexual ideology by calling into question Clive's integration of the Hellenic tradition. During the Greek translation class at Cambridge, Mr Cornwallis calls a boy to "Omit: a reference to the unspeakable vice of the Greeks" but Clive realises here that to "omit (the homosexual body) is to omit the mainstay of Athenian society" (Forster, 1992: 42). As Toda reminds us; "aside from the rejection of the body, the structures and values inherent to the Edwardian public school and university were not far removed from those of Ancient Greece", and so to both structure one's authority in a tradition, but then censor a large part of that tradition, seems threatening towards an intellectual privilege that is based upon a supposedly immersive integration of the Hellenic tradition. (Toda, 2001: 140). "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • ARATA, S. (1996). Fictions of love and loss in the Victorian fin de siecle. Great Britain: Cambridge University Press.
  • BROWN, T. ed. (1990). Edward Carpenter and late Victorian radicalism. Great Britain: Frank Cass and Co. Ltd.
  • FORSTER, E, M. (1992). Maurice. Great Britain: Hodder and Stoughton.
  • MARTIN, K, R. 'Edward Carpenter and the double structure of Maurice'. In: Journal of homosexuality. 8:3-4 (1983) 35-46.
  • TODA, A. (2001). 'The construction of male male relationships in the Edwardian age: E.M Forster's Maurice and H. A Vachell's The Hill, and public school ideology'. In: Atlantis. XXIII, 2, 133-145.

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