Maurice by E. M. Forster

1. The novel opens with Maurice’s teacher discussing the facts of life with him. Is this an appropriate opening scene? How is this discussion reflected later in the novel?

2. How would you characterize Maurice in the first half of the book?

3. Do you think the relationship between Clive and Maurice is a positive one?

4. Does Clive’s intellectualism keep him from being happy? What does Plato mean to him?

5. How does Maurice’s family impact on him? Does he care about his family? How does he view women?

6. Homosexual love is obviously repressed by the society depicted in the novel. But is heterosexual love also repressed? How would you characterize Clive’s relationship with Anne?

7. How is Maurice changed by his relationship with Clive?

8. Alec represents the working class, while Clive represents the upper class. Which is viewed more positively by the novel? Does Forster idealise Alec?

9. What point is Forster making about the upper classes?

10. Do you believe in Alec and Maurice’s relationship? Do you think they will be able to be happy together?

11. Why do you think Maurice’s teacher appears once more at the end of the novel?

12. What is the importance of darkness – real darkness of night, and the darkness of ignorance – to the narrative?

13. What role does Lasker Jones play? What does he symbolise, if anything?

14. Maurice appears baffled by heterosexuality. Do you think Forster was making a point about homosexuality being “natural”?

15. Do you understand Forster’s decision not to publish this book during his lifetime?

16. Is the divide between public and private life important to the novel? How so?

17. How is the theme of repression explored in the novel? Is Forster himself repressed? How does he feel about bodily pleasure?

18. Forster wanted to write a novel about gay men with a happy ending. Do you think he was successful?

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