The Themes of Forster's Rescue

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The Themes of Forster's Rescue Forster uses the idea of Rescue as a continuous motif throughout the book. It returns with different connotations in different situations. For example, when Philip leaves to try and stop Lilia marrying an Italian. This is the first of two rescue parties and is a physical plan to rescue a character. However, Forster also uses the idea of rescue through the development of Caroline and Philip's character. Here "rescue" has connotations of conversion and being saved. These two characters develop an emotional maturity am d knowledge of self that allow them to belong to the category of the "saved". There are also failures associated with these attempts of rescue. Philip failed to prevent Lilia's marriage to the Italian and the rescue party that departed to save the baby failed. In order to examine why the rescue parties, dispatched from England, failed in their original plan we should consider why these parties assumed the right to determine the characters that need rescuing and the right to rescue them. Mrs Herriton dispatched Philip "so Philip was received with the news that he must start in half an hour for Monteriano" Forster implies that it is Mrs Herriton's decision to send a rescue party rather than Philip choosing to go and save Lilia. As Mrs Herriton is Lilia's mother-in-law she has no real right to assume this responsibility. However she does so and her reason, as she claims is, "If Lilia marries him she insults the memory of Charles, she insults Irma, she insults us. Therefore I forbid her and if she disobeys we have done with her forever". This suggests that she is protecting the memory of h... ... middle of paper ... ...g to put his religious imagery and connotations to use. The conversion of Philip and Caroline allows them to leave the baby with Gino and not feel their visit was a failure. However, Harriet and Mrs Herriton are not saved, rescued or converted. They remain shallow characters throughout the novel. Harriet is used as a contrast to Philip and Caroline's character development. This is represented when she believes they can rescue the baby in two hours. It is through Harriet and Mrs Herriton's pride and arrogance that the second rescue mission fails. Harriet cannot leave Italy without the baby as she perceives that to be a failure. I believe the theme of rescue is a motif that runs throughout the novel and shapes it into what it is. It is essential to the understanding of the central characters, Philip and Caroline.

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