Where Angels Fear to Tread

Where Angels Fear to Tread

Infobox Book
name = Where Angels Fear to Tread
title_orig =
translator =

image_caption =
author = E. M. Forster
illustrator =
cover_artist =
country = United Kingdom
language = English
series =
genre = Novel
publisher = William Blackwood and Sons
release_date = 1905
english_release_date =
media_type =
pages = 319 pp
isbn = NA
preceded_by =
followed_by =

"Where Angels Fear to Tread" (1905) is a novel by E. M. Forster, originally entitled "Monteriano". The title comes from a line in Alexander Pope's "An Essay on Criticism": "For fools rush in where angels fear to tread".

In 1991 it was made into a film by Charles Sturridge, starring Rupert Graves, Giovanni Guidelli, Helen Mirren, Helena Bonham Carter, and Judy Davis.

Plot summary

On a journey to Tuscany with her young friend and traveling companion Caroline Abbott, widowed Lilia Herriton falls in love with both Italy and a handsome Italian much younger than herself, and decides to stay. Furious, her dead husband's family send Lilia's brother-in-law to Italy to prevent a misalliance, but he arrives too late. Lilia had already married the Italian and in due course becomes pregnant again. When she dies giving birth to a son, the Herritons learn that Lilia's one-time traveling companion, Caroline Abbott, wishes to travel to Italy once again, this time to save the infant boy from an uncivilized life. Not wanting to be outdone -- or considered any less moral or concerned than Caroline for the child's welfare-- Lilia's in-laws try to take the lead in traveling to Italy. In the public eye, they make it known that it is both their right and their duty to travel to Monteriano to obtain custody of the infant so that he can be raised as an Englishman. Secretly, though, they have no regard for the child; only public appearances.

Similarly to "A Room with a View", both Italy and its inhabitants are presented as exuding an irresistible charm, to which eventually also Caroline Abbott succumbs. However, there is a tragic ending to the novel, while the film adds a suggestively positive scene.

Analysis: Forster's depiction of Italy

From reading "Where Angels Fear to Tread" one might conclude that Forster had an intimate knowledge of the Italian culture he describes. However, the author himself admits that that is not the case: "What's so remarkable is my own temerity. For I placed Gino firmly in his society although I knew nothing about it." (Stallybrass, 8) Forster purposely uses certain widely known clichés about Italy. Thus, the reader is - on a certain level - familiar with the Italian society that is described, because he is familiar with the stereotypes that Forster presents. Such clichés are for instance the romantic fascination with the natural beauty of Italy and the vital joy of living of its inhabitants.

The author uses Italy as a convenient backdrop to shed light on the seeming sterility and lack of passion of English morals and values. Italy, by contrast, exudes a primal passion and sensuous savagery that, while not "superior" to English ways, is nonetheless irresistible to restless hearts. Perhaps the most striking difference between the culture of Monteriano and of Sawston is the role and position of women. English society is portrayed as being matriarchal: it is Mrs. Herriton, and not a male character, who dominates Sawston. Monteriano, on the other hand, is pictured as being a patriarchal society -- it is the latter, with hot-blooded, passionate men exuding an unrestrained masculinity, that attract Lilia and later, Caroline. In the end, Forster's book sheds light on the predicament of the West: Its values and beliefs may be well-thought out and "civilized," but virtue and civilization, order and decency come at a price: a lack of passion. The reader is left to ponder, what matters most: Truth or passion?


* Forster, E.M., Where Angels Fear to Tread, ed. by Oliver Stallybrass (London, 1975).
* Winkgens, Meinhard, ’Die Funktionalisierung des Italienbildes in den Romanen "Where Angels Fear to Tread" von E.M. Forster und "The Lost Girl" von D.H. Lawrence’, Arcadia, 21 (1986), 41-61..

External links

* [http://emforster.de/hypertext/template.php3?t=waftt Plot Summary and Links]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Нужно решить контрольную?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • where angels fear to tread — where even the angels fear to go, where danger is    They were using a ouija board going where angels fear to tread! …   English idioms

  • Where Angels Fear to Tread — est un album de Mink DeVille sorti en 1983 chez Atlantic Records. Liste des titres Each Word s a beat of my heart (Willy DeVille) River of tears (Willy DeVille) Demasiado Corazon (Too much heart) (Willy DeVille) (salsa) Lilly s Daddy s Cadillac… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Where Angels Fear to Tread (Mink DeVille album) — Infobox Album Name = Where Angels Fear to Tread (Mink DeVille album) Type = studio Artist = Willy DeVille Mink DeVille Released = 1983 Recorded = Criteria Recording Studios, Miami Genre = Rock, Soul, Latin Length = 31:43 Label = Atlantic Producer …   Wikipedia

  • Where Angels Fear to Tread (Matt Redman album) — Infobox Album | Name = Where Angels Fear to Tread Type = Studio album Artist = Matt Redman Released = 2002 Recorded = 2002 Genre = Worship Length = 53:01 Label = Survivor Records (UK) Executive Producers = Les Moir and John Hartley Engineered by …   Wikipedia

  • Where Angels Fear to Tread (film) — Infobox Film name = Where Angels Fear to Tread caption = Film poster director = Charles Sturridge producer = Nick Elliott Derek Granger Giovanna Romagnoli (co producer) Titanus Distribuzione writer = E. M. Forster(novel) Tim Sullivan Derek… …   Wikipedia

  • Fools Rush In Where Angels Fear to Tread — The line For fools rush in where angels fear to tread. was first written by Alexander Pope in his poem An Essay on Criticism .It has since been used as follows:the full line* Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear to Tread) , a 1940 song covered by… …   Wikipedia

  • fools rush in where angels fear to tread — 1711 POPE Essay on Criticism 1. 625 No Place so Sacred from such Fops is barr’d, Nor is Paul’s Church more safe than Paul’s Church yard: Nay, fly to Altars; there they’ll talk you dead; For Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread. 1858 G. J.… …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • fools rush in (where angels fear to tread) — spoken phrase used for saying that people who are not sensible do things without thinking carefully about what may happen as a result Thesaurus: not showing careful thought or good judgmentsynonym Main entry: fool * * * fools rush ˈin (where… …   Useful english dictionary

  • fools rush in where angels fear to tread — This idiom is used where people who are inexperienced or lack knowledge do something that more informed people would avoid …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. — Fools rush in (where angels fear to tread). something that you say which means that stupid people do things without thinking about them enough. Alan volunteered to be chairman and now he regrets it. Fools rush in, is all I can say …   New idioms dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”