Tag Archives: e m forster

Where Angels Fear to Tread

Off the back of the thoroughly enjoyable A Passage to India, I picked up E.M. Forster’s Where Angels Fear to Tread. I must say, I still find the title a bit misleading at first. I expected a dark and mysterious tale in a land in the outer reaches of the empire. My interpretation of the title now would be tat of a satirical title, the ‘Angels’ being the self-important English, and the location being a common village in Italy. Of course, I could be way off.

While I found the plot quite interesting and unpredictable, I couldn’t pin down a main character, or at least one I felt anything towards.

Many times I found it a bit drab. It reminded me of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, without so much comedy and quirky characters. I suppose it was a less hyperbolic version of that type of English society, with more severe consequences.

I do enjoy, that again, Forster sheds a light on prejudice and how the behaviours of the characters could not be overcome with actions, because while they are irrational, they are instinctual. However, the inability of some characters to stand up for their beliefs, suppressed to heavily by society, would be disappointing to many an idealist or activist reader.

While I am a happy and laid back person, I can be a cynic at times. Therefore I must say, I did enjoy the ending. The characters’ desires being tangibly strong, yet unmet, were reflective of the all too realistic disappointments of life

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A Passage to India

 Because I found this book flawless, I didn’t know where to being when providing my review. Remembering back to school book reports for inspiration, I began…

I read A Passage to India, by EM Forster. It is a fiction book, based in India during the early British Empire…

At this point I became nauseated about how children are taught to think about a book so I deviated…

 

E M Forster

 

The main themes of this book are around prejudices and bigotry. However, A Passage to India doesn’t say “Look how bad these racist people are”. Instead it exposes deeper, instinctual feelings, and investigates the causes of such intolerance. I feel To Kill a Mockingbird is superficial, underdeveloped and obvious, compared to this masterpiece.

A Passage to India reveals that there are no true victims, because each societal group is both the perpetrator and the receiver of discrimination, and narrow-mindedness. Everyone, save perhaps the Dalai Lama, stereotypes.

In case you have not noticed from my other reviews, I like books that ask questions and pose problems, not ones which prescribe answers. Forster allows the reader to develop their own view of the characters.

The plot is fantastic. When I thought I knew what was going to happen, I was surprised. Forster knows just when to provide long, vivid descriptions, dialogue, action, and when to change the course of the story.

British India

His language is beautiful, but not too fanciful. It is intelligent, but not patronising, and doesn’t have the average reader reaching for the dictionary every few pages. He uses a set of metaphors, idioms and linguistic tools, which are not common in today’s language, but which are easily relatable and provide for interesting reading.

I could go on and on but I dislike blogs which require scrolling, and don’t wish to be a hypocrite. Happy reading!

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