EXPLORE THE CONTRAST BETWEEN WINDY CORNER AND MRS VYSE’S ‘WELL APPOINTED FLAT.’ HOW DOES OUR KNOWLEDGE OF THESE ENVIRONMENTS PREPARE US FOR THE CONFLICT IN THE NOVEL.
The first comparison to be drawn between the two environs is of their names. This is the first piece of information the reader is given, and is therefore of significance, as they have different connotations. “Windy Corner” has links to nature and the weather due to the word ‘windy.’ It implies change and movement-which is definitely applicable to that household. The ‘Corner’ suggests a sheltered resting-place, which is quite appropriate because the household does seem somewhat removed or protected from society. This is in stark contrast to Mrs Vyse’s flat. The fact that she has ownership of it, rather than Cecil, suggests that this is her dominion, and as a result is the dominant one in their relationship. The word ‘flat’ sounds cold, empty and static, as opposed to the vibrancy of Windy Corner. Forster’s comment that it is ‘well-appointed,’ is another of his satirical observations, and this leads us to believe that perhaps it does not have such high standards after all.
The physical interiors are just as different as their appointed names. Mrs Vyse’s flat is not described in too much detail, but just enough so that the reader has a clear picture of it in our minds. As mentioned above, the flat is proved not to have such high standards when Mrs Honeychurch reveals that there is a “thick layer of flue under the beds.” It is not a very pleasant place, as we see when “darkness enveloped the flat.” By contrast, there is so much light at Windy Corner that the curtains “had been pulled to meet” in order to protect the furniture. Light is associated with goodness, truth and honesty, and it is quite significant that this is missing from Mrs Vyse’s flat. Both...
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