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The Effects Produced by Owning Property in 'My Wood'

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 926 words Published: 21st Sep 2021

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Edward Morgan Forster is a famous English writer and is well known for his novels “Howard’s End” and “A Passage to India”. He was also the author of a book of criticism, some novels, two biographies, as well as many essays and short stories.

Forster was a Bloomsbury’s Group member. That group consisted of philosophers, writers and artists who lived in London and supported the modernist movement at the beginning of the 20th century. E. M. Forster was born in London, but he lived in the countryside of Herforshire. While he was a student of King’s College, in Cambridge, he felt a great interest to other cultures and that is why he traveled a lot afterwards. In 1912 he went to India where his observations and experiences gave him a lot of materials which he used lately writing his famous novel “A Passage to India” (1924). It is the book that he mentions about in the first paragraph of “My Wood.” Forester’s fiction works often describe the impact of social conventions on common human relationships.

The essay “My Wood,” was published in 1926 and it is still encourages readers to think about the essence of materialism and the seductive energy of human property.

The purpose of this essay is to show the effects produced by owning property. Using wit and humor, the author explains that obtaining land may not bring the uncomplicated happiness people might expect.

“My Wood”, is a witty essay describing Forster’s opinion about the possession of a small property he bought with the royalties from his novel. He talks about the effects the wood makes on him. Forster shows a humorously negative attitude to his experience of obtaining land using biblical allusions, the manipulation of sentences and word choice.

Biblical illusions are mostly used to help emphasize his point. In the essay “My Wood” there is a biblical allusion to a passage in Mark, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” Another allusion is the line Happier Alexander. I think he means Alexander the Great who conquered a lot of foreign lands to increase his empire.

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So, the use of Biblical allusions supports Forster’s opinion, and explains his attitude to possession a land. He points out what is likely obvious, but is not always understood: that if you own a lot of things you can’t move around a lot. He tells that the furniture needs dusting, dusters need servants, servants need insurance, and all these make you think several times before you decide to possess something. Yes, Forster clearly explains that even if something may seem simple, a person should think several times before he decides to be engaged in any endeavor. The attitude of the author is understandable; he is contemplating if the owning of the wood will result in dire consequences. Forster makes a conclusion, telling that a person should think many times before he obligate himself to something. His ideas are forcing him to see and accept the negative influence of the wood on him.

Owning property can’t be seen only as a good thing, and Forster mentions this using manipulation of sentences. He gives indirect meaning to some of his sentences, for example: “My wood makes me feel heavy.” Forster gives the sentence a variation in the meaning, and the reader should understand what he is insinuating.

On my opinion, the target audience is all grown-up population. This essay is not for children for sure, because they are not able to understand the whole deep meaning of it. Mature people, who have read Bible and a lot of other books already, know history and are rather well-educated, are able to understand and value ideas of the author.

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In order to reach his reader, Foster makes a lot of examples, tells about his personal experience with owning a land. His viewpoint is well expressed and argued. All examples that he used in the essay are understandable. For example, in his talk about the bird in the 4th paragraph he mentions that just because someone owns a property, it doesn’t mean that he owns totally everything on this property. Also the author tells that owning property makes people greedy and they start wanting more and more, until they achieve the unachievable. Also one of the impacts is that the owner of property wants to make show off of his property. Property makes person so selfish in owning that he can’t benefit anyone else but himself.

And if to look thought the 2nd paragraph we see that the property produces men of weight. And the author mentions that the man of weight is the one who didn’t manage to get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So, the men of weight show the men of self-importance. So, the more property someone has, the more important he considers himself. The man of weight can’t move like the lightning from the East to West, by definition. And Foster agrees that his wood makes him feel heavy.

So, all biblical allusions, word choices, manipulations of sentences, examples and facts make the Foster’s essay interesting and have a big impact on readers. Sometimes his language is too complicated, not understandable, but this is one of the things that make this essay unique, that attracts reader. He uses a lot of metaphors and that is why his style of writing makes readers to think a lot, using their imagination. The topic that is described in “The Wood” is quite simple and understandable, but the way it is presented makes people enjoy reading the essay.


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