The first book in Galsworthy’s trilogy, _The Forsyte Saga_, _The Man of Property_ revolves around the lives of the Forsytes, a self-conceited and cold family, who place a high value on propagating money and rising from their yeoman roots. The novel chronicles the events that lead to their inevitable demise, which is instigated by the stuffy man of property, Soames Forsyte, as he pursues the ideals of the preceding generation, whilst maintaining his own obsession with ownership. At the same time, Galsworthy candidly criticizes the values of the upper-middle classes, by means of satire, irony, a mixed array of realistic characters, an evocative setting, and an intricate plot. Set in late 19th century London, the story begins when the extended Forsyte family come together to celebrate the engagement between June Forsyte and a bohemian architect, Philip Bosinney. Among the guests are Soames Forsyte and his beautiful wife Irene. Furthermore, Soames is represented by his adamant desire to possess property, extending even to the objectification of his wife, who he considers to be his most prized possession. Irene, on the other hand, finds herself trapped in an unhappy and loveless marriage. In a jealous attempt to distance Irene from her acquaintances and the bad influence of London, Soames appoints Bosinney to build a country house, ultimately with the aim of securing her attention for him alone. However, his covetous intentions slowly crumble in front of his very eyes, as Irene begins a furtive love affair, which threatens not only her marriage and Soames’ pride, but also directly affects those close to her. Nevertheless, _The Man of Property_ offers an incisive illustration of a certain time in history, as it thoroughly details the social and political mindset present in the late 19th century, including class distinction, financial attitude, and patriarchal hierarchy. In addition the novel serves to expose the destructiveness of possessive instinct, and highlight the fact that not everything in life can be bought with money.
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