At the beginning of Chapter 37, Maurice now cares 'less for Clive, than Clive for him'. The hand kissing and Clive not paying him any attention has at last freed Maurice from the confines of his previous feelings and loyalty towards his first love. This, alongside his hypnosis session in London seems to have set something free inside Maurice. He looks at the Durhams with fresh eyes. And not just them, but also the society in which he moves.
The outdoors seems to be more real, its sights, sounds and smells no longer drift by Maurice. At this point they seem to be more real than the 'dry' people he has to interact with indoors. Everything about his life seems incongruous, and his mind at last is rid of voices and confusion. What indeed does the correct dress matter when one is stuck with dull people? It's almost as if an abscess or boil has burst open after a long period of putrification, and now the mess is cleared away new, healthy skin can grow.
This healthiness comes in the form of Alec Scudder. He enters the story as merely a gamekeeper mentioned in passing, then progresses to Scudder before, in chapter 38 becoming Alec. His imminent departure to the Argentine makes Alec brave, yet he only considers that he and Maurice will have sex before he is sent on his way. Maurice, of course, has reached full realisation of who and what Alec is by this point and they spend the entire night together, waking early 'in each other's arms'.
They form a bond that night which is continued the follwing day during the cricket match. Alec and Maurice make perfect partners for each other. However, when Clive appears and takes over Alec's position Maurice is knocked out immediately. Following this, Maurice seems to be plagued with doubt about what happened the night before. He panics, and runs away, vomiting profusely when he reaches his room.
*In bed, when Maurice and Alec are seemingly talking of the fairly innocuous, Maurice damns the church and Alec mentions that he had never put his head under water. There is a similar mention of ducking under water and its relation to baptism in 'A Room with a View' in the scene when the men are skinny dipping in the pond. What do you think Forster is trying to say here?
*What do you think Alec feels when they are partners at cricket? Is he aware of something happening above and beyond a quick fuck with a man he takes a fancy to?
*What do you think Alec is thinking about Maurice's question 'Did you ever dream you had a friend? …Someone to last your whole life…'
*When Maurice runs away and is sick because of the panic he feels, what thoughts about the situation do you think are going through his mind?
*Also, Anne confesses something to Clive - I wonder what *that* was?!
Cricket on the Village Green painting by Kevin Walsh