Practicum heads have no middle? They can’t

           Practicum Instructor:
Dr. Lorelei Caraman                                         Popa
Delia Georgiana

Practicum:
Text Analysis (Criticism and Theory                                English-German, , year

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CRITICAL
THEORY FINAL ESSAY

 

                Leonard & Helen’s Dialogue in
Howards End from a Psychoanalytic, Feminist,  and Cultural Studies Perspective

            “Had you thought
it, then? That there are two kinds of people-our kind, who live straight from
the middle of their heads, and the other kind who can’t, because their heads
have no middle? They can’t say ‘I.’ They aren’t in fact, and so they’re
supermen. Pierpont Morgan has never said ‘I’ in his life.”

            Leonard roused
himself. If his benefactress wanted  intellectual
conversation, she must have it. She was more important than his ruined past. “I
never got on to Nietzsche,” he said. “But I always understood that those
supermen were rather what you may call egoists.” …

            “Oh
no, that’s wrong,” replied Helen. “No superman ever said ‘I want,’ because ‘I
want’ must lead to the question, ‘Who am I?’ and so to Pity and to Justice. He
only says ‘want.’ ‘Want Europe,’ if he’s Napoleon; ‘want wives,’ if he’s
Bluebeard; ‘want Botticelli,’ if he’s Pierpont Morgan. Never the ‘I’; and if
you could pierce through the superman, you’d find panic and emptiness in the
middle.”

            Leonard
was silent for a moment. Then he said: “May I take it, Miss Schlegel, that you
and I are both the sort that say ‘I’?”

“Of course.”

“And your sister, too?”

“Of course,” repeated
Helen, a little sharply. She was annoyed with Margaret, but did not want her
discussed. “All presentable people say ‘I.'” 

(E.M.Foster,248)

            First,considering
that the first line from this quote starts with Leonard’s name it is
appropriate to use one of this literary theory analizing his reaction,his
answer. I relate the part in which he says that a intellectual conversation it
is more important than his „ruined past” with a repression. One of Leonard’s
hobbies is reading, even if he does not have the most actual titles in the
library,he is trying to keep up. From a psychoanalytic point a view, Leonard is
„basically a picture of complete frustration; he’s intellectually frustrated,
sexually frustrated, and economically frustrated.”(web-Shmoop)

            Leonard
represents the perfect character for a psychoanalytic analysis because he is a
frustated character. He tries to maintain an „intellectual conversation” based
on his previous readings,he has the dignity to hold an intellectual discussion.

            Related
with psyche it is important to observe that he appears to find from this
disscussion  that he is in the „I”
category even if it is not like this because he dedicate his life to his wife.He
is also sexualy frustrated because he once had a late night walk into the wood
and  his wife searched for him at
Schlegel’s house and in the end he has a love affair with Helen.

           

Secondly,we can look at
this fragment and at the entire book from a feminist point of view. One
argument in this sense is the fact that the author, E.M.Foster,places the
action around the Schlegel sisters and their social lives in London.Even if the
novel it is not written by a woman which would be very important for the feminist
movement,it is a major step because it shows that women can have a word to say.
Considering the fact that women opinions were in some periods of time unimportant,Helen
has the courage to say „I” in the condition in which she identifies herself
with a group which has the courage to „ live straight from the middle of their
heads”(Emerson,247-248) which shows an intellectual independence.

As I read in a description
of Margaret, she is „ able
to bring her loved ones together and create a new, positive, productive kind of
life for her family.”(web-Shmoop) so she embodies the type a woman who can
maintain the balance in the family,an aspect which is part of feminism.

 

In the third line, we
can analyse the fragment from cultural studies point of view.This analyze can
be made because Helen makes a distinction between people,” who live straight
from the middle of their heads” and the ones who may not have middle.This
distinction leads to the connection that cultural studies are also about „political and social themes,
including issues relating to identity (such as gender, ethnicity, and
sexuality) on an individual and a group basis.”(web-Shmoop)

The distinction made by
Helen,can make us ask ourselves in which category we belong.Are we living from
the middle of our heads,having an independence of thoughts and actions or we
are not able to do this.This may be an ilussion because we can deceive
ourselves that we live in the way we want and after considering that this was
not really our wish.

Regarding  social themes,Leonard wants to be like Helen
and her sister,to have possibilities to „grow” intellectualy,to be able to
entertain an „intellectual conversation” and to take part from a group,that is
why he asks if he takes part from the „I” group which can also mean that he has
a problem with his identity.In his eyes he is inferior because he did not have
the same cultural and financial advantages at the Schlegel sisters.

 

The novel itself can be
analysed from multiples critic  points of
views,but this are some which appear at first sight reading the fragment above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

 

Edward,Morgan
Foster.Howards End.An Electronic
Clasics Series Publication.

http://www.ompersonal.com.ar/regalos/HowardsEnd-Book.pdf

Leonard Bast Character Analysis.Shmoop.

            https://www.shmoop.com/howards-end/leonard-bast.html

Margaret Schlegel Character Analysis.Shmoop

            https://www.shmoop.com/howards-end/margaret-schlegel.html

Cultural Studies Introduction.Shmoop

            https://www.shmoop.com/cultural-studies/

Psychoanalysis Introduction.Shmoop

            https://www.shmoop.com/psychoanalysis/

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

           

           Practicum Instructor:
Dr. Lorelei Caraman                                         Popa
Delia Georgiana

Practicum:
Text Analysis (Criticism and Theory                                English-German, , year

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

 

CRITICAL
THEORY FINAL ESSAY

 

                Leonard & Helen’s Dialogue in
Howards End from a Psychoanalytic, Feminist,  and Cultural Studies Perspective

            “Had you thought
it, then? That there are two kinds of people-our kind, who live straight from
the middle of their heads, and the other kind who can’t, because their heads
have no middle? They can’t say ‘I.’ They aren’t in fact, and so they’re
supermen. Pierpont Morgan has never said ‘I’ in his life.”

            Leonard roused
himself. If his benefactress wanted  intellectual
conversation, she must have it. She was more important than his ruined past. “I
never got on to Nietzsche,” he said. “But I always understood that those
supermen were rather what you may call egoists.” …

            “Oh
no, that’s wrong,” replied Helen. “No superman ever said ‘I want,’ because ‘I
want’ must lead to the question, ‘Who am I?’ and so to Pity and to Justice. He
only says ‘want.’ ‘Want Europe,’ if he’s Napoleon; ‘want wives,’ if he’s
Bluebeard; ‘want Botticelli,’ if he’s Pierpont Morgan. Never the ‘I’; and if
you could pierce through the superman, you’d find panic and emptiness in the
middle.”

            Leonard
was silent for a moment. Then he said: “May I take it, Miss Schlegel, that you
and I are both the sort that say ‘I’?”

“Of course.”

“And your sister, too?”

“Of course,” repeated
Helen, a little sharply. She was annoyed with Margaret, but did not want her
discussed. “All presentable people say ‘I.'” 

(E.M.Foster,248)

            First,considering
that the first line from this quote starts with Leonard’s name it is
appropriate to use one of this literary theory analizing his reaction,his
answer. I relate the part in which he says that a intellectual conversation it
is more important than his „ruined past” with a repression. One of Leonard’s
hobbies is reading, even if he does not have the most actual titles in the
library,he is trying to keep up. From a psychoanalytic point a view, Leonard is
„basically a picture of complete frustration; he’s intellectually frustrated,
sexually frustrated, and economically frustrated.”(web-Shmoop)

            Leonard
represents the perfect character for a psychoanalytic analysis because he is a
frustated character. He tries to maintain an „intellectual conversation” based
on his previous readings,he has the dignity to hold an intellectual discussion.

            Related
with psyche it is important to observe that he appears to find from this
disscussion  that he is in the „I”
category even if it is not like this because he dedicate his life to his wife.He
is also sexualy frustrated because he once had a late night walk into the wood
and  his wife searched for him at
Schlegel’s house and in the end he has a love affair with Helen.

           

Secondly,we can look at
this fragment and at the entire book from a feminist point of view. One
argument in this sense is the fact that the author, E.M.Foster,places the
action around the Schlegel sisters and their social lives in London.Even if the
novel it is not written by a woman which would be very important for the feminist
movement,it is a major step because it shows that women can have a word to say.
Considering the fact that women opinions were in some periods of time unimportant,Helen
has the courage to say „I” in the condition in which she identifies herself
with a group which has the courage to „ live straight from the middle of their
heads”(Emerson,247-248) which shows an intellectual independence.

As I read in a description
of Margaret, she is „ able
to bring her loved ones together and create a new, positive, productive kind of
life for her family.”(web-Shmoop) so she embodies the type a woman who can
maintain the balance in the family,an aspect which is part of feminism.

 

In the third line, we
can analyse the fragment from cultural studies point of view.This analyze can
be made because Helen makes a distinction between people,” who live straight
from the middle of their heads” and the ones who may not have middle.This
distinction leads to the connection that cultural studies are also about „political and social themes,
including issues relating to identity (such as gender, ethnicity, and
sexuality) on an individual and a group basis.”(web-Shmoop)

The distinction made by
Helen,can make us ask ourselves in which category we belong.Are we living from
the middle of our heads,having an independence of thoughts and actions or we
are not able to do this.This may be an ilussion because we can deceive
ourselves that we live in the way we want and after considering that this was
not really our wish.

Regarding  social themes,Leonard wants to be like Helen
and her sister,to have possibilities to „grow” intellectualy,to be able to
entertain an „intellectual conversation” and to take part from a group,that is
why he asks if he takes part from the „I” group which can also mean that he has
a problem with his identity.In his eyes he is inferior because he did not have
the same cultural and financial advantages at the Schlegel sisters.

 

The novel itself can be
analysed from multiples critic  points of
views,but this are some which appear at first sight reading the fragment above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

 

Edward,Morgan
Foster.Howards End.An Electronic
Clasics Series Publication.

http://www.ompersonal.com.ar/regalos/HowardsEnd-Book.pdf

Leonard Bast Character Analysis.Shmoop.

            https://www.shmoop.com/howards-end/leonard-bast.html

Margaret Schlegel Character Analysis.Shmoop

            https://www.shmoop.com/howards-end/margaret-schlegel.html

Cultural Studies Introduction.Shmoop

            https://www.shmoop.com/cultural-studies/

Psychoanalysis Introduction.Shmoop

            https://www.shmoop.com/psychoanalysis/

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

           

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