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My Wood by E.M. Forster

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Marlee Busalacchi

on 26 July 2016

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Transcript of My Wood by E.M. Forster

My Wood by E.M. Forster
Text Analysis
Bible references:
Romans 5:3-5
The parable of the rich man (Dives) and Lazarus
The camel passing through the eye of the needle
Ahab in the vineyard
Thesis, Theme, and Setting
Owning a mass of possessions shifts one's focus to less meaningful things, such as money and comfort
If you have wealth and don't contribute to society, you get so weighed down with property that your purpose of life diminishes
Forster's essay encourages us to think about materialism and the seductive nature of one's possessions
Froster's essay takes place in a wood in England
Rhetorical Strategies
"In the first place...second place...third place"
"And after all why should even the world be the limit of possession?"
"Creation, property, enjoyment form a sinister trinity in the human mind."
"the unfortunate millionaire"
The Bird, Men of Weight, Blackberries
Biographical Information
His full name was Edward Morgan Forster
He was born January 1, 1879 in London, England and died June 7, 1970 in Coventry Warwickshire due to a stroke
When he was two, his father died of tuberculosis leaving him to be raised by his mother and paternal aunts
He started writing at the age of six
Growing up he struggled at Tonbridge School in Kent, which fueled many of his later criticisms about the English school system
Forster went to King's College in Cambridge where he discovered his love for writing
He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1900 in History, Literature, and Philosophy
He was a bachelor for life; however, he had a lifelong relationship with a married policeman, Bob Buckingham
His Sexuality was not revealed until eighteen months after his death when his novel Maurice was released
"MY wood" by E.m. forster
Main Idea
Forster's essay metaphorically describes the steps to build an empire
Feeling heavy ruling an empire
The essay presents a humorously negative attitude toward the experience of owning property on the individual and on society
Property only wants the owner to accumulate more property until they "reach the sea."
4 effects of property on man:
1. "In the first place, it makes me feel heavy."
"Property produces men of weight, and it was a man of weight who failed to get into the Kingdom of Heaven."
As a man owns more and more, he becomes more self-centered and feels he has power over others.
2. "In the second place, it makes me feel it ought to be larger."
This effect of property shows greed. Once a person owns something, they will continue to want more.
"It is not a large wood-it contains scarcely any trees, and it is intersected, blast it, by a public footpath."
"...I dared not murder her."
Forster uses exaggeration throughout his essay
adapts a very dramatic tone
jokes about Americans reading his book
Forster escapes pomposity through use of irony that is directed towards himself and others
Forster balances simple and direct sentences with longer and drawn out sentences
Uses changes in syntax to create emphasis
Rhetorical Strategies Continued
3. "In the third place, property makes its owner feel that he ought to do something to it."
Property makes its owner feel restless
Owner wants to express themselves through modifications to their property
4. "And this brings us to our fourth and final point: the blackberries."
By building a wall on the sides off the footpath to cut off people from reaching the blackberries, the owner is also cutting himself off from the people.
The owner becomes empty by only caring about his blackberries because he loses the people.
Text Analysis Part 2
Works Cited
Full transcript