Seth Jacobowitz, in his paper "Hellenism, Hebraism, and the Eugenics of Culture in E.M. Forster's Howards End," explores how the culturalist principles of Hellenism and Hebraism theorized by Matthew Arnold as the basis of Englishness in Culture and Anarchy (1869) were incorporated into the text of E.M. Forster's Howards End (1910) to show the close institutional and conceptual linkages Forster shared with Arnold. Further, Jacobowitz seeks to bring Howards End into dialog with Forster's only major work of science fiction, The Machine Stops (1928), to address their mutual themes of eugenics, the racialization of class difference, and concerns over the burgeoning advances in industrial technology that threatened to reshape both English identity and landscape. If Howards End is already deeply preoccupied with the encroachment of modernity upon the blood and soil rooted in the English countryside, The Machine Stops present an apocalyptic vision where these ties have been all but eradicated. Working back from this cautionary tale written between the wars, and supported by our knowledge of their genocidal outcome, the implications of the rural retreat and Arnoldian cultural schema in Howards End become all the more historically incisive.
"Hellenism, Hebraism, and the Eugenics of Culture in E.M. Forster's Howards End."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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