Slide 1

Author’s Bio
•Forster Visited India in 1914 •He later re-visited for a longer stay, this time unaccompanied, in 1920 •In addition to Passage to India, he wrote a nonfiction book chronicling his stays in India, The Hill of Devi.

Slide 2

Structure
•3 Parts – Mosque, Caves, Temple. •The names of the parts indicate the settings of the major scene of the part •These scenes define India as Forster sees it.

“Mosque” refers to the mosque where Aziz meets Mrs. Moore – here he lashes out at her out of habit and fear, but comes to befriend and love her. “Caves” refers to the Marubar caves, where Adela Quested and Mrs. Moore both have forms of panic attacks, but where Aziz is right at home. “Temple” refers to the site of the Hindu ritual, where the Rajah must be moved out of the sacred area for Aziz to attempt to treat him. All of the scenes at these sites epitomize the relationships between divided sects in India – only peaceful when they are separate. Even though Aziz eventually becomes enamored of Mrs. Moore, he still lashes out at her when he first sees her, for no reason other than prejudice. The reverse of this occurs in the caves – Mrs. Moore and Adela have a repulsion to the caves, possibly the most potent symbol of Indian culture in the novel, based in their very nature – they cannot bear to be inside of the caves, immersed in the true India.

And the scene at the temple reminds us that even within their own nationality, Indians are divided – the sacred areas of the Hindus are offlimits even to the Muslim who ministers to the Rajah!

Slide 3

Motivations/Psycholo gical Analysis
•Dr. Aziz
Seeks friendship Naïve until court incident; then somewhat hardened; also depressed from wife’s death

•Dr. Fielding
Motivated by unbiased concern for all Rejected by most for not showing partiality

•Adela Quested
Idealistic but ultimately unable to accept the society she wishes to embrace

•Mrs. Moore
Wise, realistic, and unbiased; however, she is not perfect, and is, like Adela, unable to accept India in full

•Ronny Heaslop
Sycophantic to the point of rejection of his mother, and later fiancée Small-minded and selfish

Aziz is, though depressed by his wife’s death, nevertheless naïve and idealistic until forced to confront the full brunt of English racism by the ungrounded trial. From then on, he becomes almost completely cynical, even hardening towards Fielding until their friendship eventually ebbs away. His severe disappointments crush his original hopefulness, preventing him from staying rational; he can either be almost wholeheartedly faithful that some englishmen are befriendable, or almost wholeheartedly conviced otherwise, but nothing in between; he is not a pendulum, with a full arc of philosophies within his ability to adopt, but rather a switch, able to feel a certain amount of conviction of one idea, or else the same amount of conviction of the opposite, nothing more or less. Dr. Fielding, perhaps the most unbiased and truly admirable character, can appreciate all aspects of every situation, positive or otherwise, because he is not prejudiced in the least. He judges based on a person’s character and track record, and sides, when forced

to pick sides, with whomever is justified and right, no matter who that may be. His friendship with Aziz is strong until Aziz sours towards englishmen; then, they cannot remain friends, as Aziz’s prejudice prevents them from sharing the bond they had. He is motivated by near-perfect altruism, and is likely Forster’s idea of the ideal englishman in India. Adela is a very weak, idealistic, romantic character; she feels that she ought to experience India as one must try new foods – to broaden her knowledge, experimentally and excitingly. In this attitude she slowly, steadily belittles the Indians in the manner of her fellow englishmen – plainly, yet subtly. She does not intend to be prejudiced; rather, it is a part of her nature, which is fed by her countrymen’s constant and glaring, yet dangerously unchallenged, innocuous yet intense insensitivity, and steadily grows from an inclination to an attitude of superiority – or would, if she continued her stay in India. As it is, she is warped to enough of a degree that exploring the caves – another attempt to love a culture she has conditioned herself to hate, unknowingly – causes her mental anguish, pain and fear at being repulsed by that which she so wishes to enjoy, which she cannot understand, and thus projects onto the India at the forefront of her mind – Aziz. Her contradicting feelings, brought to a head when she enters the caves, must have an identifiable source in her mind, so her mind attempts to tell itself that the pain is

warranted and not self-inflicted. It is not due to her hypocrisy being subconciously realized, it is due to traumatization at the hands of an Indian pervert! (This speaks to the seriousness of her depression.) In the end, though she is unable to understand or cope with her feelings, she at least recognizes that Aziz had no hand in causing her any pain – though too late – and reveals an even more distinct part of her character – integrity. Indeed, had she no integrity, she would have felt no pain at lying to herself that she did enjoy India even as she learned from her friends to hate it. Mrs. Moore is the most comfortable in her own skin. She too realizes the discrepancy between her enjoyment of India and the conditioning she receives to hate it – however, unlike Adela’s dilema, hers is minor and due to bad influences, not actual character flaws. Adela conditions herself to believe she loves India, but truly hates it; Mrs. Moore really does love India (and indeed, leaving it kills her) but is conditioned to hate it. This being the case, Mrs. Moore’s character throws off her impressions in the caves, a healthy encouter though frightening; Adela’s impressions must die or else overthrow her character, and since she wishes neither, she remains confused and now overtly traumatized. Mrs. Moore is the best example of one trying to throw off prejudices she hates, rather than justify prejudice she has, to avoid acknowledging it as a character flaw.

Ronny is weak, subservient, and easily the worst of the bunch. He is completely prejudiced, does all he can to belittle the Indians and reinforce his ego, which is fragile due to others belittling him. While Adela is under the influence of her own prejudice, he further corrupts her, and nearly manipulates her into violating her basic caring nature, as her fiancée, when he nearly secures her testimony against Aziz. He rejects everyone – the Indians from prejudice, his mother through fear, Adela through contempt that she does not share his weakness, and those above him through spite that he does not share their power. Slide 4

Connections to Other Lit.
•Brave New World – Englishmen are conditioned •Catch-22 – Similar regime make-ups •To Kill a Mockingbird – In contrast to this earlier text on racism, Passage to India shows a very different form of racism.

Brave New World – Englishmen are conditioned through slight but unquestioned declarations of Indian inferiority to prejudge them, and the Muslims are likewise conditioned to prejudge Hindus, just as the higher casts are hypnotized to hate the lower castes in Brave New World Catch-22 – The regimes in power in both novels are both composed of self-centered self-glorifying men with nothing but contempt for their inferiors, who, they believe, constitute everyone but themselves; Ronny and Cathcart are prime examples of this. To Kill a Mockingbird – In contrast to this earlier text on racism, Passage to India shows a very different form of racism. In Passage, no one ever truly acknowledges racism; they may comment on their oppression or superiority, but no one ever agrees that to oppress others based on race or creed is wrong. Also, the prejudice in general in Passage is

much more subtle; whereas in Mockingbird many prejudiced characters reveal outright that they prejudge African Americans, Passage characters simply speak of the nobleness of solidarity between countrymen, and speak matter-offactly, and not even overtly disrespectfully, of members of what they feel are an inferior class. This subtler form of racism, which is so sly as to go unacknowledged, is all the harder to eradicate, and thus much more dangerous than the overt kind seen in Mockingbird; anything overt can be challenged; anything subtle will merely be overlooked or denied.

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