Notes on the English Character – E.M. Forster
Notes on the English Character is a essay written by the famous England novelist E.M. Forster. There are in total five general notes made by Foster on the English Character. Following the five notes is the conclusion in the last two paragraphs. In the first note, because of a historical reason that the middle classes have been in power for one hundred and fifty years, the author states that the character of the English is essentially middle class, and confirms this by the example of John Bull and Saint George. In the second notes, the author points out that the heart of the middle classes is the public school system, and the public school system has a great influence on the young people either when they in school or out of school. Thus those from the public schools form well-developed bodies, fairly developed mind, and undeveloped hearts. The third note is based on the difference between an undeveloped heart and a cold one. The Englishman is taught by the public school to bottle up his emotions. The author uses an anecdote happened in the author himself and his Indian friend to go into the difference in expressing emotions between Englishmen and Orientals. The fourth note is on the slowness of the English character. Here the author uses another example – how the Englishmen and the Frenchmen reacts when there is a small accident on the horse-driving coach – to illustrate the slowness of the English character. The slowness on character seems like the coldness. But from the aspect of literature, the author further proves that the heart of Englishmen is not cold but undeveloped. The trouble is that the English nature is not easy to understand. The Englishmen can create flying-fish-like literature, by which the author proves that the beauty and emotion of Englishmen exists in the deep level of the Englishmen, not on the surface. And the Englishman’s attitude toward criticism is another proof. The last...
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