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Where Angels Fear to Tread, E.M. Forster - Term Paper Example

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British society in Where Angels Fear to Tread is portrayed as a society full of hypocrisy, which is juxtaposed with the more naturalistic and down-to-earth society which is represented by the Italian society in this novel (Kar-Man Ng, 1982, p. 16)…
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Where Angels Fear to Tread, E.M. Forster
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Download file to see previous pages 316). Goodlad (2006) states that, in this novel, “morality embedded in affective relations will often be narrow, undemocratic, reactionary, violent, sexist, or simply selfish” (Goodlad, 2006, p. 320). Forster portrayed the British upper-crust society with a great deal of disdain, or as an object of ridicule, especially the matriarch of the Herriton clan, Mrs. Herriton and her daughter, Harriett. In this way, the novel closely parallels the poem upon which the novel is based, which is An Essay on Criticism by Alexander Pope. In the stanza where the famous quotation may be found, which is “For Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread,” Pope skewered the educated elite who are blind to the aspects of life that really matter. Pope describes the “Bookful Blockhead, ignorantly read, with Loads of Learned Lumber in his Head,” who nonetheless are ignorant about the world around them because they are always listening to themselves and not the wise men around them. Moreover, Pope feared that such fools were everywhere, as “No Place so Sacred from such Fops is barr’d.” ...
Like Mrs. Herriton and Harriett, Lilia’s foolishness comes, in part, from an innate prejudice about supposedly “lower” societies, such as the Italian society and lower class people; however, it is not immediately obvious that Lilia does not harbor such a prejudice. After all, she married Gino. Lilia’s foolishness seems to be more a product of a rebellion against the British society then a sense of superiority over the Italian people, although there are some instances where she does show that she feels superior to her husband Gino. Lilia was oppressed by her former in-laws – “when I came to your house a poor young bride, how you all looked me over – never a kind word – and discussed me, and thought I might just do; and your mother corrected me, and your sister snubbed me, and you said funny things about me to show how clever you were! And when Charles died I was still to run in strings for the honour of your beastly family, and I was to be cooped up at Sawston and learn to keep house, and all my chances spoilt of marrying again” (Forster, 1905, p. 27). This shows Lilia’s state of mind when she left for Italy and met and married Gino. Because Lilia was so desperate to break away from this society, she married Gino without really knowing him, which set her up for the unhappy life that she had with him. Yet there was some indication that Lilia, despite the fact that she married Gino, had the same thoughts about him and the Italian society, for he treated him like a boy and as a fool “thinking herself so immeasurably superior to him that she neglected opportunity after opportunity of establishing her rule” (Forster, 1905, p. 32). Further, Lilia felt that she could do what she liked because she was wealthier and Gino ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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