During the last part of the novel A Room With A View by E. M. Forster, what Lucy Honeychurch thought was her love for Cecil, her fiance, gradually changes to vexation as Cecil slowly transforms into her “fiasco. ” As Cecil intrudes upon Lucy’s fun whether in music or in her recreational activities, and annoys her family and friends, he eventually agitates her so much that she breaks off their engagement. Cecil, with his constant infringing upon Lucy’s pastime games and commands, inevitably appears to Lucy as both a spoilsport and a bother.
For example, Lucy becomes “red” with anger when Cecil prohibits her from playing what she likes and instead commands her to play another piece at which she “close[s] the instrument” out of exasperation. In addition, when he refuses to join in the tennis match, Lucy, already “angry” that Cecil “fail[s] to realize that it may be an act of kindness for a bad player to make up a fourth,” concludes that he is actually “sneer[ing]” at her and the other players and thus “refuses to answer” him when he tries to get her attention.
However, Lucy, in a good mood after the game and believing that she “love[s]” Cecil, disregards her irritation with him and invites him to “read away” only to be further annoyed with Cecil when he does not share her mood and refuses to read “while Mr. Emerson is [t]here to entertain [them]” and even goes as far as to call Cecil “frivolous. ” Not only does Cecil’s intrusive and snobby manner stop Lucy from having fun, but it also creates problems for the other characters.
For example, even though Cecil says that he “will not spoil the set”of four, he, in fact, actually does by refusing to play and thus troubles Lucy and the other characters to look for a fourth partner. As a consequence, the characters fall back on Lucy and she is forced to “change [her] frock” and to commit the sacrilege of “br[eaking] … sabbath” to compromise for Cecil. In addition, Cecil distracts Lucy by “read[ing] …
aloud” a “bad novel” during the men’s four tennis match and causing her to “miss her stroke,” Lucy, so irritated that Cecil had spoiled her fun, actually calls him a “nuisance. ” Later, Cecil imposes himself upon Freddy and Floyd by insisting that they “must listen” to him read aloud from his “bad novel” and annoys them so much that they would rather leave him to “hunt for a lost ball” than to rest and listen to his drivel.
Later that Sunday night of the tennis game, all of Cecil’s egocentric and patronizingly patriarchal actions finally push Lucy to end their engagement. For example, Lucy finally sees how “abominably selfish” Cecil is after he refuses Freddy’s invitation to play once again, seeing that although he could “play well enough to make up a set of four,” he still decides to deny Freddy the game by declining once again.
In addition, Lucy at last notices that Cecil is incapable of “know[ing] anyone intimately” as he “always protect[ed] [her]” under the assumption that Lucy didn’t know what was “ladylike and right” and never bothered to see that she can evidently “choose for [her]self. ” Finally, Lucy, furious that Cecil tries to “stifle” and “wrap [her] up” in “art and books and music” like himself and limit her freedom, decides at last that she cannot “behave as [his] wife” and breaks off their engagement.
Thus, as Cecil spoils the mood by never participating in anything Lucy’s family and friends engage in, by creating trouble for them, and by restricting Lucy’s thoughts and actions, he unavoidably sets himself up to Lucy as a poor sport. Lucy, in turn, interprets Cecil’s lackadaisical attitude as the symbol of his whole being and as a result becomes increasingly exasperated with Cecil over time and ultimately terminates their relationship.