Until the 80s Victorian society recognised as valid such values as respectability, success, money, the importance of charity, ect. even if a vane of pessimism was already present in fiction (for example in Hardy's prose). After the 80s, under the influence of Compte's and Spencer's philosophy, of Darwin's theories and of James's psychology, the previously values come to be inconsistence and a period of uncertainties followed. The intellectuals of the late Victorian age mirrored such uncertainties in their works: prose writers adopt new techniques; this new fiction was called transition prose or modern prose. An aspect of fiction in transition is represented by Forster; indeed apart from the semantic universe conveyed by Forster's novels, it is the narrative technique of indirectness that makes them an index of change and novelty. It is in this ambiguous representation of reality that Forsterian modernity is most evident. His language is intensely self-aware, his narrative forms intricate and contradictory, his judgements ambiguous, his innate scepticism enlarged into a whole style if indirectness that seeks to challenge fixity, formula, and closure. So, for example, we do not know at the end of "a room with a view" if the two protagonist will be happy because there is no formula, what we can say is only about today: now they are happy, but we can not know what will be happen tomorrow. Thematically his novels are a clear expression of fictional in transition and he investigate the domestic possibilities congenial to comedy. In Forster's prose what prevails is always the uncertainties of a life that is never wholly decoded or interpreted. But there is a great difference between Forster and Virginia Woolf and James Joyce. Indeed Forster puts great emphasis on plot while for V. Woolf and Joyce the novel must concentrate on the space represented by the human mind that has nothing to do with the dictates and conventions of narrative. With V. Woolf and Joyce born a new narrative techniques: stream of consciousness. With them we enter into an arena where joy and catastrophe are meaningless. What matters is only the art of writing which become epiphanic, revelatory of the interior dimension of men: the only dimension that still to be explored, the terra incognita of the literary world.
Likely Forster Lawrence offers a background full of uncertainty and contrasts (ref. Mr and Mrs Morel personality). Also, in both writers there is no facile optimism in progress (the consequences of industrial revolution) and the plot follows a chronological development. Finally there is still a love story and the structure of sentences and the choice of word are simple. Moreover, unlike Forster the protagonist of Lawrence's novel become from lower classes. The background is always English (in Forster there is also Italy and India). Then Lawrence used a language made up by perceptions, imaginary and he investigate the human soul (ref. sacrifice of Arabella and the episode of the rose bush). Finally in Lawrence there is no sense of comedy and his language can capture the sense of life in the things surround his characters and there is often a sense of sympathy between the object and the soul. Although Forster is able to provide a colourful description.