The setting in E.M. Forster’s The Road from Colonus serves as an analogy for Mr. Lucas’ journey through old age. His outlook on life is detailed and complemented through the landscapes and elements of the Greek countryside.
‘With childish impatience’ Mr. Lucas rides ahead of his party ‘down the hill sides through clumps of flowering shrubs and stretches of anemones and asphodel, till he heard the sound of running water (P.125). These traveling descriptions along with the atmospheric ‘hard, brilliant landscape scorched by the April sun’ set the tone for the way Mr. Lucas feels toward the contradiction between his inner youth and his aging body.
Although he equates Greece and England through their major rivers, Greece beckons his inner child through its ‘silent men, murmuring water, and whispering trees’ (P.137). As they reach the Khan settlement’s ‘frail mud building and wooden balcony with animals grazing’, Mr. Lucas feels at home amongst the ‘clear gushing stream and fertile meadows’ and the ‘water out of the hollow tree’ (P.126).
The descriptions serve to complement the inner turmoil Mr. Lucas feels as well as his inherent optimism. Forster writes of Mr. Lucas’ expectations concerning the Greek journey, “The place shall be mine. I shall enter it and possess it (P.139). As it turns out, Greek entered and possessed Mr. Lucas as he was (un)luckily forced to return to England along with his so-called party.