Study Guide

Gino Carella in Where Angels Fear to Tread

By E. M. Forster

Gino Carella

Gino Carella makes a terrible husband, but an awesome daddy. When he's married to Lilia, we kind of hate him—he has a bad temper; he forbids Lilia to take walks on her own; he even cheats on her with other women. The narrator describes Gino as someone who has "a good strong will when he chose to use it, and would not have had the least scruple in using bolts and locks to put it into effect" (4.5).

Unlike the polite, well-mannered members of English society like Philip and Miss Abbott, Gino is portrayed as passionate but aggressive, honest but brutish. Lilia comes to realize that Gino only married her for her money, which is exactly what the Herritons suspected him of doing. Ugh. Gino, you dirtbag.

Given our first exposure to Gino's overbearing treatment of Lilia (which honestly isn't much better than Mrs. Herriton's attempts to control her), we're totally ready to be critical of the way Gino raises his son.

But, like Miss Abbott, we're taken by surprise when we see how loving he is toward his baby. Gino's devotion to his son completely wins us over, just like it does with Caroline. When Philip offers Gino money in exchange for the child, Gino politely refuses, which only makes us like him more for refusing to give up his son. But Forster can be merciless in this novel, and when he does away with the baby, we're left wondering—along with Gino—why life can suck so much.

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