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Social Class and Homosexuality In Maurice


Mind Map on Social Class and Homosexuality In Maurice, created by donovaj14 on 09/29/2015.
Mind Map by donovaj14, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by donovaj14 over 6 years ago

Resource summary

Social Class and Homosexuality In Maurice
  1. Maurice is a book that is split between social class. The protagonists represent the broad spectrum that 20th Century England had to offer. Clive, at the apex of society, shuns himself for his homosexuality, Maurice, a suburban gent slowly accepts his fate and Scudder accepts his sexuality and his position at the bottom of society.
    1. Maurice first homosexual encounter results in him being hopelessly loyal to his social superior.
      1. Forster allies this submission with the platonic relationship that exists between Maurice and Clive. A passionate follow of the Greek field of thought, Clive focuses on the feelings of love, rather than the passion and intimacy that sexual contact brings between lovers.
        1. “Equality shall be included in the word Love; and it is recognised that from the one extreme of a ‘Platonic’ friendship (generally between persons of the same sex) up to the other extreme of passionate love (generally between persons of opposite sex) no hard and fast line can at any point be drawn effectively separating the different kinds of attachment.”
          1. Quote from Edward Carpenter discussing platonic and sexual love of men. Carpenter convinced Forster of the latter.
        2. Clive believed that “he educated Maurice or rather his spirit educated Maurice’s spirit, for they themselves became equal. (91)” The idea that spirits educated each other highlights that their love is more spiritual than bodily.
          1. This is furthered when Clive excapes from dinner to kiss Maurice: “It served my mother right when I spilled up to kiss you before dinner. She would have no mercy if she knew (84)”
            1. This remark shows that the kiss, far from being passion, was a forceful rebellion from his mother, and thus by extension, the gentry/intelligentsia.
          2. when Clive does show bodily affection to Maurice, he is the one in control which illustrates he is the social superior. When Clive kisses Maurice he says “Maurice I shall kiss you and he said and did so” (82) and Maurice submissively obeyed whereas when Maurice wanted to kiss Clive, Clive “shook his head and smiling they parted (87).” This shows that although both Clive and Maurice are seen a part of the upper class, the hierarchal class system have control on their sexual relationship as Clive is still Maurice’s social superior.
          3. Scudder, a gentle yet lower class worker is another homosexual partner of Maurice.
            1. However, their relationship is far from platonic and almost from the relationships inceptions there is physical intamacy. This is clearly a comment on social class by Forster. He believes in this lower class homosexuality where men are able to embrace their emotion and physical attraction to the same sex.
              1. Clive “sprang up with a whimper of disgust” and believed “intimacy with any social inferior was unthinkable to him.” (212) Maurice is overpowered, realising that physical intimacy is important where he proudly confesses “I have shared with Alec. All I have. Which includes my body (213)” and becomes more explicit including a time and place in order to show that he is not ashamed of it, confessing “Alec slept with me in the Russet Room that might when you and Anne were away. (213)”
                1. With Alec, Maurice will never be accepted into any social class and finally decides to excape from any form of society and live in the wilderness. The repeated metaphors of leading towards the light and excaping from the dark valley all cullimate into this physical and emotional relationship. It is Maurice showing that men can rise into a realm above just platonic friendship.
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