Study Guide

Where Angels Fear to Tread Chapter 7

By E. M. Forster

Chapter 7

  • Early the next morning, Miss Abbott goes to see Gino alone, afraid that Philip might fail in his mission to secure the baby. Miss Abbott convinces herself that only she knows how to handle Gino, who is strong-willed and won't part easily with his son. Leaving a note for Philip explaining her intentions, Miss Abbott readies herself to confront Gino.
  • Caroline is initially thrown off when she sees the baby—this whole time, the child had only been an object, an idea she had latched onto in an effort to make herself feel less guilty about Lilia's death.
  • But now seeing the baby in person, Miss Abbott realizes how wrong it would be for her to control the child's fate. Pushing these troubling thoughts out of her head, Caroline tries to get down to business with Gino.
  • As the conversation progresses, Miss Abbott learns that Gino intends to marry a second time so that there will be someone to help him take care of his son. Caroline expresses her disapproval, but her resolve is weakening. She is beginning to see that Gino really does love his son.
  • In the adjoining room, the baby starts fussing and Gino remembers that it's time for his bath. Excusing himself from Miss Abbott, Gino prepares warm water for his son. By this point, Caroline feels all warm and fuzzy inside as she watches Gino tendering caring for the baby. She's completely won over by Gino's devotion to his son. She offers to help him bathe the baby, and the experience is strangely exhilarating for her.
  • When Philip arrives at the house (after getting Miss Abbott's note), he walks in on Miss Abbott holding the baby in her arms with Gino sitting beside them.
  • Miss Abbott stands up unsteadily and hands the baby to his father. She pulls Philip aside, saying she has failed, and runs off in tears.
  • Philip doesn't understand what just happened, but he turns to Gino and they prepare to discuss business.

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