Study Guide

Irma Herriton in Where Angels Fear to Tread

By E. M. Forster

Irma Herriton

Irma is Lilia and Charles' only daughter. We really wish Irma was given more screen time—she seems like a smart kid and we want to see more of her, but Forster only gives us small peeks into her life. We're worried that Mrs. Herriton will crush any spark of originality or willpower in Irma in order to mold her into a well-behaved, submissive young girl.

We can't help feeling angry at Lilia for not taking more interest in her daughter—Irma doesn't really seem to have any role model to follow except for Mrs. Herriton, and we're not huge fans of Mrs. Herriton. Lilia plays so little a role in her daughter's life that, when she dies, Irma has a good cry but seems to get over the news pretty quickly since her mother has never really been there for her (sadface).

When Irma finds out that she has a little brother in Italy, she's thrilled and starts bragging to her friends at school, and we can't help wishing for a perfect world where Irma and her little Italian brother aren't restricted by cultural boundaries and can grow up together in freedom. But Forster leaves us to imagine the worst possible fate for Irma, who will continue to be supervised under Mrs. Herriton's watchful eye.

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