Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 12-7-2016

Faculty Advisor(s)

Myron Yeager


“By linking their love to the past he linked it to the present” (Forster 745).

E. M. Forster’s Maurice is a widely read and taught text that features homosexuality in Edwardian England. The focus of this thesis is an in-depth analysis of Maurice’s character, with a specific emphasis on the character’s coming out process. The coming out process is still a significant issue in today’s world. Hate crimes, ostracism, and many other negatives can be associated with the coming out process that is not entirely different from what Maurice Hall faced. This statement is easily supported by historical accounts and modern day research studies. “Written during 1913 and 1914, immediately after Howards End, and not published until 1971, Maurice was ahead of its time” in showing how difficult and frightening the coming out process can be, but also showed that “love between men can be happy” ("Maurice”). To support the claims made in the analysis of this character’s thoughts and behaviors are a number of contemporary psychological studies. The research studies used focus on the subject of coming out; these studies have found that the coming out process has various stages leading up to, around, and after coming out. In many ways, Maurice reflects these stages and experiences, which justifies the use of Maurice as an analysis of what is an almost universal experience for many queer and homosexual youths that struggle with their sexuality and the coming out process. “By linking their love to the past he linked it to the present,” in the same way that the characters found a base for their love, we as readers can find a discussion and critique of today’s notions of sexuality rooted in a longer narrative (Forster 745). Essentially, the importance of this analysis is that it links the past experiences of the fictional Maurice to present day experiences of real people and, by doing so, supports the reason for the text to continue being taught and read.

Works Cited

"Maurice." W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., n.d.

Forster, E. M. Maurice. Kindle ed. New York: Norton, 1971. eBook.


Presented at the Fall 2016 Student Research Day at Chapman University.

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