The theme of ‘WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD’ has been highlighted by a number of literary critics from various angles. Forster in most of his novels is concerned with the dual theme of personal salvation and the conflict of good and evil. In each of his novels, Forster presents two opposite world and different ways of life. The characters move between the two worlds. In ‘Where Angels Fear to Tread’ the contrast and the conflict are between the world Sawston that is of smug, respectable conventionality and that of Monteriano representing free and natural feelings. Sawston is personified in Mrs. Herriton’s sincere, calculating, cold and in her ostentatious and snobbery. Monteriano, on the other hand is represented by Gino who is affectionate, impulsive and natural.

Really, in this novel the personal relations are of paramount importance. The novelist tries to show the development of the undeveloped heart by establishing their rapport with a different kind of Italy where human love is more alluring than the charming beauty of nature. The undeveloped heart is that of Philip who is the principal character of this novel. His experiences are shared and partly shaped by another character Miss Caroline Abbott. There is also a sea change in the out look and the temperament of Miss Abbott. The personal relationship generated a feeling of love and genuine respect for each other’s culture.

Lilia, the most dynamic of all the characters play a significant role in establishing the importance of personal relationship. She is sent to Italy so that she may not disgrace the dignity of the family by keeping clandestine relation with king croft. In Sawston, living under the unkind care of Mrs. Herriton, her life became a great boredom and suffocation. She is sent to Italy with this impression that Italy really purifies and ennobles those who visit her. It is thought she is the school as well as the playground of the world. Lilia’s visit to Monteriano is a turning point in her life. Fortunately, her intimacy with Gino and finally the culmination of her intimacy into marriage is a heart burning news to Mrs. Herriton. But for Lilia it is really a paradise regained. Her personal relationship, her intimacy and the exchange of elemental natural feelings acted as a balm to her wounded feelings. Philip tries to sow the seed of hatred against Gino, but their relations are so strongly tied that Philip utterly fails in his mission. Philip wanted to save her in order to save Irma and her name. He was really eager to liberate Lilia from the influences of Gino. But Lilia was as firm as a rock in her decision. Despite, the mounting pressure of Philip she did not yield to his suggestion. She believed that the strength of human relationship was stronger than any other considerations. Cultures may be different but the beatings of the heart are the same. In brief, Lilia gave top most priority to natural and elemental human relationship and she kept it till journey ends. Although, she was betrayed by Gino yet she tolerated all the tortures thinking that this relationship should not be severed. Later on good sense prevails upon Gino and his realizes his guilt and requests Lilia to pardon him. The out burst of personal relationship could be felt in the feelings of Lilia. She is moved to pity to feel the genuine feelings of Gino.

Also Read : 


After the death of Lilia the interest of Herriton is now concentrated on Lilia’s baby. Mrs.Herriton deserves that the baby of Lilia should not live with Gino. Mrs.Herriton sent Harriet to kidnap the baby but she was amazed to see the abysmal love of Gino for his baby. His feelings for the baby and his boundless love frustrated the moves of Herriton. However, she schemed a stratagem to kidnap the baby. She succeeded in her mission but the baby died. The novelist has focused light on the relationship of Gino and Lilia and the love of Gino for the baby to establish the pervading influences and impact of human relationship despite different and opposite culture.

The nitty-gritty of this novel is to underline the importance of personal and human relationship. The dominant tone of this novel is the conflict between intellect and flesh mind and the body. The novelist in this novel has laid much importance on mind flesh and soul. Further the novelists principal theme is to show the triumph of personal human relationship.



Leave a Comment