Forster makes family values and relationships a continual thread through the play. In chapter 37 we see Margaret and Helens relationship become stronger and overcome problems they have previously faced, and problems they can see they will encounter in the near future. Although it is obvious the sisters both want their relationship to improve dramatically, they go about it in different ways. Helen wants the relationship to redevelop; this can be seen, as she wants to spend the night at Howards End with Margaret. Both of these are close to her, as they were in her past when everything was rosy.
Her conversation with Margaret when they first arrive at Howards end is cold. “Has Aunt Juley been ill? ” She doubts Margaret. She does this as she wants to find out if the trust is still mutual from both her and her sisters side. After asking the question, she starts “crying a little”. This shows her feelings and how she does not like to doubt her sister. She shows annoyance towards Margaret, as she claims she “would have gone through this meeting if it were necessary, but after Aunt Juley recovered it was not necessary”.
This shows that she did not want to see any of the family, going on to explain why. She thought she would not be accepted in England anymore due to her pregnancy. She has done something “the English never forgive”. In speaking about why she moved to Germany we made aware of her hurt, and not actually wanting to leave, it was because of English values. The relationship starts changing here as she invites Margaret back into her life. She explains about life in Munich and her roommate. “I shall always have a room for you when you can be spared, and the longer you can be with me the better.
This is a quick conversation that they both obviously feel uncomfortable with as Helen changes the topic of conversation very quickly. They start telling stories about their furniture being at Howards End. Things still aren’t comfortable between the sisters as Helen goes to leave. On approaching the gate outside, a young boy gave Margaret a calling card with instructions for her and Helen on it. Margaret noticed Helen hadn’t come outside with her, this shows her returning to her old self “irresponsible and charming”. From here on their relationship becomes more natural.
Their conversation flows, they suddenly seem so close they can finish each other sentences- like they used to. They also start to reminisce, this shows how they want to be reminded of how things were before the pregnancy and how it is possible things could remain the same. As things became more natural, they start making Howards End into their own. “Give the rooms and airing” Forster ends this chapter by Helen wanting to sleep at Howards End. The closeness is shown here by Margaret wanting to be alone with Helen as it may be her last chance if she returns to Germany.
She would of kissed her sister”. Forster wants us to see how much Margaret immediately wants to rekindle the friendship between her and Helen. This can be seen through the chapter when Helens mind starts wondering, and Margaret wants her attention. “Helen, do talk to me” She is quite offended when Helen asks her if she made up Aunt Juley’s illness. This is shown through her reply to Helen and the bluntness of it. When Helen invites Margaret to Germany to stay with her, Margaret immediately takes it personally and thinks it is to do with her and Henry.
Forster adds this to show that this situation is still on Margaret’s mind, and Margaret is worried that Helen will still hold it against her, as she did not like Henry in the first place. When Helen asks Margaret about her life and what has happened, Margaret refuses to reply. “Don’t feel inclined to talk”, Forster may have done this to mirror Helen and her not wanting to openly talk about her pregnancy. Helen picks up on the tension and goes to leave. The calling card Margaret receives is written in French. Henry does this so servants cannot read what is written.
She did not want Helen staying in a hotel room by herself. I think this is because she is worried she will take off in the middle of the night. I feel this is why she goes along with Helens idea of sleeping at Howards End. Margaret knows Henry and Charles wont be happy about it, but she feels she has to do what is right by her sister. It is her sister that is in trouble and needs to be comforted. Here the family values come across strongly again. Forster makes the two characters approach rekindling their friendship again differently as it adds conflict to the novel.
The reader knows how close they were before and Forster wants the reader to hope they will work things out. By adding the conflict and Helen wanting to return to Germany, it intrigues the reader more. This chapter paves the way for many ways the plot could go, one of which could of been Helen leaving without making friends with Margaret again. Forster chose not to take this route as throughout the earlier part of the novel we saw how strong family values and ties are for the sisters. Their relationship is successfully rebuilt in this chapter.