Forster, E. M. "The Road from Colonus".
Mr Lucas travels through Greece to fulfil his old wish to see this country. Haunted by the awareness of his getting old and his therefrom springing general discontentment. Greece disappoints him. He stops with his companions at the little village of Khan for a lunch, discovers there a rivulet springing from the trunk of a tree, and is surprised by a sudden restoration of youthful feelings. In order to preserve this feeling of liveliness, he wants to stay in the village, but is forced away by his daughter Ethel.
Back in England with his noisy flat and his old irritation, he learns that the day they stopped in Khan there was a tragic accident: A tree blew down in the night and killed the Greek peasants who served them their meal. Ethel realises her insistence to make her father observe the plan of their journey and to make no special stay in Khan saved them their lives.
- 3rd person point of view, close to Mr Lucas's consciousness
- the everyday anxieties and oppressions of an ageing man
- sense of loss and unfulfilment: Mr Lucas seeks in Greece the youth he has lost, of course does not find it which further increases his frustration
- internal unrest vs. resignation: the rebellious idea of Mr Lucas about staying in Khan vs. his enforced removal to the next destination by his daughter
- the loss of one's free will: Mr Lucas fails to defend his intention of staying in Khan, follows a resignation to his fate as directed by his daughter
- further increasing anger as a result of the above failures: Mr Lucas's irritation about the sounds of children from the neighbours, the barking dogs, singing drunkyards, …
Questions to Consider
- Mr Lucas vs. Ethel: who is a more sympathetic character?
- initially: Ethel with her never tiring care for her father seems to be the character to be blamed for Mr Lucas's conditions
- finally: Ethel's decision to leave Khan enforced upon her father eventually saves their lives
- an oppressed old man vs. his unsympathetic daughter?
- a well-meaning daughter vs. her tiresome old father?
AuthorForster, Edward Morgan. (1879 - 1970).
Full Title"The Road from Colonus".
First PublishedIn: The Celestial Omnibus and Other Stories. London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1911.
Forster, E. M. "The Road from Colonus". (1911). Collected Short Stories. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1963.