But it is the only match that could make her happy. The British characters of the novel have very strong ideas about the need to repress passion and control young girls.Her match with Cecil is far more conventional, but marriage to Cecil would destroy Lucy's spirit. To achieve happiness, Lucy will have to fight these standards, many of which she has internalized, and learn to appreciate her own desires.Forster constantly uses the word "muddle" to describe Lucy's state of mind.
Lucy's relationship to her music is an important insight into her character.
Her playing is an indication that she has untapped reserves of passion; Mr.
Lucy has to learn to see beauty in things that her society scorns or condemns.
The Emersons are fervent believers in the equality of men and women.
Country gentry look down on those who work hard for a living; Cecil looks down on the suburban ways of country gentry.
Lucy has to overcome the class bigotry that she has been taught.
What Lucy needs, although she does not know it, is a relationship between equals. Closely connected to the theme of passion and the body, this theme runs throughout the novel.
Forster emphasizes it by having the weather often mirror the thoughts of his characters.
Lucy asks in the first chapter if beauty and delicacy are really synonyms.
One of Lucy's important lessons is that beauty need not be refined; much is beautiful in the gesture of kindness that oversteps propriety, or the act of passion that ignores convention.