A Passage to India | E.M. Forster Week (2023)


In which I talk about A Passage to India . . .

A Passage to India (1924): www.goodreads.com/book/show/45195.A_Passage_to_India

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Right so hello and welcome back to books and things and welcome to another iam foster week.

Video today, I'm going to be talking about enforcer's novel, a passage to india, except for the marabar caves, and they are 20 miles off the city of chandrapur presents nothing extraordinary.

So a passage to india was first published in 1924 and I'm talking about today, because it is my fourth favorite ian foster book in a way I feel like this ought to be higher up this list, because I feel like it is possibly ian force's most interesting novel.

But I think I just love the other three more.

But also there is something really fantastic about passage to india.

So let me tell you a bit about it.

A passage to india is set in india, um in the sort of dying days of the british empire and we're following various characters and who are living in and around the city of chandrapur, which is a fictional city in india, um, which in foster created for a passage to india.

And we are following various characters.

As I said, one of our main characters is a muslim indian doctor.

Dr, aziz and then we're also, following, um, various english characters who are living in india.

There is a young man called ronnie heslop, who is a city magistrate and his mother mrs moore has come over to visit him bringing with her a young woman called adela crested and adella might be about to marry ronnie.

But she hasn't decided whether or not she's going to marry ronnie.

So she's, basically come to india with possibly her future, mother-in-law to try and work out whether or not she wants to marry ronnie and live with him in india where he is an official.

And then there is also a teacher called mr fielding, um, who is a good friend of? Dr, aziz.

And he is quite an important character as well in bringing these different characters together.

And the setup basically is that these various characters come together, meet each other and something happens.

That means everything goes a bit wrong.

And I can't really tell you what that thing is because I feel like that would spoil it.

And I went into a passage to india, not knowing very much about it.

And I really enjoyed that especially as as I mentioned in my introduction, video on monday, one of the things I really like about ian force's novels is that his plots are quite hard to predict, and you don't really know where things are going to go, and I would say a passage to india and howard's end are like perfect examples of that where they're the slightly longer ones you don't know, what's going to happen, but everything that happens works perfectly when it does.

And and so I don't really want to tell you too much about the plot of passage to india.

I wouldn't recommend reading the back of your edition, necessarily the back of this edition tells me quite a lot of what happens in the book.

And actually, I think there's something quite interesting about going into passage to india relatively blind.

So there are many things I like about passage india, it has incredibly well, crafted characters and wonderful, writing it's, an enjoyable and engaging read.

But I think the thing I love most about a pastor to india is it is just an incredibly interesting novel like I've only read it.

Once I read it last year and it's one that I would definitely like to read again, because I think it would be really interesting to read again.

I think it would be a really interesting novel to study, um, because it is just so interesting.

And I think the way it explores culture and religion and kind of the end of the british empire and the kind of complex relationships between british and indian people living in india at that time in the sort of first quarter of the 20th century, it's just fascinating and it's, just a really really interesting read.

Because of the way it looks at that.

It looks a lot at culture, our religion at gender, um at the kind of culture clash of english and indian culture.

And the kind of very fragile setup of the kind of british rule in india at this time, one of the things it really explores very well is how sort of on the surface at this point in the history of the british empire in india and the relationships on the surface between british people and indian people seem okay, like things seem to be functioning and things seem to be all right and the british people who are living in india, um seem to and claim to have a lot of respect for indian people as well.

But then like one thing happens and everything cracks.

And you see how much contempt there is from the british people to the indian people and how much resentment there is on both sides and things become very, very complicated and very messy.

And our characters are kind of caught in the middle in certain ways and it's just really really interesting.

And I think the way the culture clash is explored in a passage to india is fascinating and makes for a really really engaging read it's, just a really interesting kind of point in history.

And in the history of the british empire and kind of both british and indian history to read about, and I feel like ian foster explores it in a really really interesting way.

I would also say that for a book that was written in the 1920s.

It is relatively sensitive, um to issues of race and nationality, which many books written in the 1920s were not.


I fairly recently read peking picnic by ambridge, which is another kind of like book set in the dying days of empire.

And this time about western characters living in china, um.

And that was just so much more problematic and that's, not to say, there's, nothing problematic in a passage to india by any means.

But I think it is a much more interesting book about empire, um.

And I think it is it telling that the character who stays with me most and the character who is my favorite character is? Dr, aziz, um, who is the most important of the indian characters in the book, and he is definitely much more interesting, um and likable, possibly than many of the british characters.

Although I do really like mr, fielding too, he is quite an interesting character.

Another thing that I love about a passage in india is the characters.

I do think that the characters in this book are very well drawn and really interesting.

Dr, aziz is a wonderful character.

And I really love following him.

Mr fielding is very interesting too.

And though I don't like misquested that much necessarily, and she is really interesting mrs.

Moore is a really fascinating character too.

I think it's very interesting to see in all of the characters how their arcs change how their perspectives develop and how the characters sort of switch sides in various debates that are going on during the course of the novel that is something that is very interestingly, explored as well it's, just a really interesting book and there's just a lot in it.

That is fascinating like I said, I really want to reread this one, because I think it is one of those books that the more I read it, the more we'll get out of it because there are so many interesting issues dealt with there's also a lot of interesting things in this book about gender, which I feel like I haven't properly thought out.

And I don't know, if I feel it's always handled that well, but I don't know yet, because I haven't thought it out yet, and I need to reread it and work that out it's a really interesting book, um.

And I do really really love it.

I think it has wonderful characters.

Fascinating themes and it's just so so interesting.

So that was a bit of a, um confused review.

But I hope that made sense, please do let me know down in the comments.

If you have read a passage to india.

And what you thought of it, I would be very interested to know, it's a really fascinating book and definitely one.

I recommend and that's it for today.

Thank you very much for watching and I'll be back tomorrow with another bookish video, you.


Who are the people that Forster meet during his visit to India? ›

The story revolves around four characters: Dr. Aziz, his British friend Mr. Cyril Fielding, Mrs. Moore, and Miss Adela Quested.

What is the summary of the passage to India by E.M. Forster? ›

Overview. E. M. Forster's A Passage to India, published in 1924, tells a story of the power of colonialism, the tension between spirituality and morality, and the inescapability of evil. Forster wrote this novel after traveling to India in 1912 and volunteering in Egypt during World War I.

What is the main message of A Passage to India? ›

If the message of Howard's End was that private relationships are all, that men must only learn to connect, the message of A Passage to India is that an unjust social order can be a stronger barrier to understanding than even sex; that even lover between friends will drown in a sea of racial suspicion and hatred.

What does the novel of Forster indicate about human beings? ›

The recurrent theme in Forster's novels is that of friendship, of intimate relationships between members of different cultures, or communities, or two ideological groups. An intimate relationship between individuals is possible only, when men are able to cross the barriers of culture, religion, and national prejudices.

What is the main conflict in A Passage to India? ›

The Clash of Civilization and The Clash of Ignorance:

This civilizational identity creates conflict among British, Hindu, and Muslim during this time. This kind of conflict is depicted fictionally in E. M. Forster's 'A Passage to India'.

What is the last line of the Passage to India? ›

Even though they take pleasure in sparring over politics, the novel's last paragraph emphasizes how distanced they've become. Despite the promising beginning of the chapter, the novel ends with the earth itself uttering with "its hundred voices, 'No, not yet,'" and the sky chiming in, "No, not there" (3.37. 29).

What is the world's famous quote? ›

Famous quotes in English
That's one small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind.Neil ArmstrongEnglish
The love of money is the root of all evil.the BibleGreek
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.Franklin D. RooseveltEnglish
The truth will set you free.the BibleGreek
54 more rows

What is the moral lesson of A Passage to India by E.M. Forster? ›

One message in "A Passage to India" is that positive cultural relationships and personal friendships for people from different cultures are only possible when both sides show respect for one another. Fielding and Aziz attempt to maintain a friendship, but it is ultimately ruined due to broken trust and prejudice.

What is the conclusion of Passage to India by E.M. Forster? ›

Answer: The ending of the book shows that Aziz and Fielding can't be friends at this point in Indian history. At the start of the last chapter, Aziz and Fielding say to each other that they are “friends again.” They start their horse ride with the hope that they can get back to being friends.

What does the cave symbolize in Forster's A Passage to India? ›

The Marabar Caves represent all that is alien about nature. The caves are older than anything else on the earth and embody nothingness and emptiness—a literal void in the earth. They defy both English and Indians to act as guides to them, and their strange beauty and menace unsettles visitors.

What is the critical summary of A Passage to India? ›

Critical Essays Structure of A Passage to India

It reveals the division of Chandrapore into two factions, the English and the Indians. It shows how each feels toward the other with a kind of uneasiness apparent in the differences between them. It is the period before the hot weather and on the surface, benign.

What is the main idea behind the passage? ›

The main idea of a paragraph is the author's message about the topic. It is often expressed directly or it can be implied.

What do the three parts of A Passage to India symbolize? ›

In his notes in the Everyman Edition, Forster records that the three parts of the book correspond to the three seasons of India: the cold season, which is just ending in the Mosque section, the hot season, which dominates the Caves section, and the rainy season, which occurs during the Temple section.

What is Forster's concern about society? ›

Forster's portrayal of a future world, "The Machine Stops," contains recurring humanist concerns about connections of senses and individuals, individuals and the natural world, and individuals with themselves. He portrays an indoor society that looks only at man-made things.

Why does the Forster give the importance of tolerance over love? ›

Forster says love has always failed as a force in public policy. Tolerance is a better basis than love for public policy because we cannot love those we do not know. As a basis for public policy, tolerance allows us to live and work together in peace.

What does Forster say absolutely essential to a plot? ›

Plot. In a chapter on plot, Forster defines plot as a narrative of events over time, with an emphasis on causality. He claims that the understanding of plot requires two traits in the reader: intelligence and memory.

What is the theme of race and culture in A Passage to India? ›

Overall Forster shows that race and culture are forces that cannot be altogether avoided, no matter a person's individual intentions. Forster gives the greatest importance to interpersonal human interaction and friendship, but he also recognizes the pervasive influence of larger social forces.

Why is the title A Passage to India significant? ›

Apparently the title, " A Passage to India' may signify a journey to India but as a matter of fact there is more then that. It is a journey of the mind in search of new ventures, a journey of the soul to understand thoroughly what India really is.

What are the symbols in A Passage to India? ›

A Passage to India contains different types of symbols. The principal symbols are the mosque, the caves and the temple. The subsidiary symbols are and ceremonies connected with the birth-anniversary of Sri Krishna, the figure of Mrs. Moore, the Punkhawallah, the image of the wasp, and the collision of boats.

What are the three achievements in Passage to India? ›

Whitman was greatly impressed by three great engineering achievements: the opening of the Suez Canal (1869), the laying of the transatlantic undersea cable (1866), and the joining of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads at Utah to produce the nation's first transcontinental railway (1869).

What is the best short quote of all time? ›

Short motivational quotes
  • “Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.” — ...
  • “Opportunities don't happen, you create them.” — ...
  • “Love your family, work super hard, live your passion.” — ...
  • “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” —
Dec 1, 2022

What is Barack Obama's quote? ›

If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress.

What is the most powerful motivational quote? ›

“The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.” Don't always be in competition with others. If you constantly compare yourself to others you'll either look down on them or be jealous. Remember that the only person you should strive to be better than is yourself.

What is colonialism in Passage to India? ›

A Passage to India tells about how the British government gained political control over Indian territory. It tells about how British colonial power built up a system based on the European system of government. It makes British people hold important positions in India even when qualified Indian people are available.

What is the theme of prejudice in A Passage to India? ›

Forster's A Passage To India and argues that the Indians are prejudiced just as much as their colonizers, and apart from race stereotype, there are also gender, social and marital status prejudices.

Who is the protagonist in A Passage to India? ›

In Edward Morgan Forster's A Passage to India, the protagonist is a young Muslim doctor who resides in Chandrapore by the name of Dr. Aziz. Dr. Aziz has lost his wife, and he also has three children.

What is Forster's treatment of the theme of colonialism? ›

Forster portrays most of the British men working in India as at least well-meaning, although condescending and unoriginal, but their positions in the colonial system almost always push them towards becoming racist and harmful figures. This is played out most explicitly in the development of Ronny's character.

How is imperialism portrayed in A Passage to India? ›

A Passage to India also portrays colonialism and imperialism as an obstacle between the friendship of the English and the Indians by referring to the status and position of the colonizers and the colonized.

What is the famous essay of E.M. Forster? ›

E M Forster's essay 'What I Believe' was published by the Hogarth Press in 1939. It is one of his best-known essays, and in it he expresses some of his humanistic beliefs.

What does the sky symbolize in A Passage to India? ›

The sky, as the entity that embraces all things, could be construed as a symbol of inclusiveness, but it has also been read as a symbol of the vast expanse of either British imperial control or the inconceivable vastness of India itself.

What does the mosque symbolize in A Passage to India? ›

The mosque in Part I and temple in Part III represent the promise of Indian openness, mysticism, and friendship.

What happened to Adela in the cave? ›

When Adela enters a cave, her claustrophobia, as well as what some critics have assumed is a sexual desire for Aziz, and the consequent guilt over her lack of feeling for Ronny, combine to overwhelm her. She flees the caves down a steep incline and is pierced and lacerated by strongly thorned plants along the way.

Why did Forster wrote A Passage to India? ›

The impetus to write the novel came partly from something Forster had been told by Syed Ross Masood, a young Indian man whom he had tutored in Latin and fallen – unrequitedly – in love with: 'You know my great wish is to get you to write a book on India, for I feel convinced from what I know of you that it will be a ...

What is the theme of exploration in Passage to India? ›

Themes. Whitman engages with themes that include exploration, expansion, and the future throughout 'Passage to India'. While the title suggests that the poem is focused on India as a place of exploration that's not the case.

What is the role of the last paragraph in the given passage? ›

The first paragraph introduces the main point. The last paragraph sums up the main point.

How will you summarize this passage? ›

To summarize, you must read a passage closely, finding the main ideas and supporting ideas. Then you must briefly write down those ideas in a few sentences or a paragraph. It is important to understand the difference between a summary and a paraphrase. A paraphrase is simply a rewriting of a passage in your own words.

What is the message conveyed in the last paragraph of the passage? ›

The message conveyed in the last paragraph is that of 'Be yourself '.

What is the message of A Passage to India? ›

Forster published in 1924 and considered one of the author's finest works. The novel examines racism and colonialism as well as a theme Forster developed in many earlier works, namely, the need to maintain both ties to the earth and a cerebral life of the imagination.

What are the major themes in A Passage to India? ›

A Passage to India Themes
  • Colonialism. On one level, A Passage to India is an in-depth description of daily life in India under British rule. ...
  • “Muddles” and Mysteries. Throughout the novel Forster uses the words “muddle” and “mystery” as distinctive terms to describe India. ...
  • Friendship. ...
  • Division vs. ...
  • Race and Culture.

Who are the main characters in A Passage to India? ›

Who is the club for in A Passage to India? ›

Membership of the Bangalore United Services Club was originally reserved for the British and was off-limits to Indian citizens, as Mrs Moore found out in the film, when she wished to invite Dr Aziz inside.

Why did E.M. Forster go to India? ›

His motive for going to India was to see Syed Ross Masood, a young Indian man whom he'd befriended in 1906 and with whom he was deeply in love.

Why did E.M. Forster write A Passage to India? ›

The impetus to write the novel came partly from something Forster had been told by Syed Ross Masood, a young Indian man whom he had tutored in Latin and fallen – unrequitedly – in love with: 'You know my great wish is to get you to write a book on India, for I feel convinced from what I know of you that it will be a ...

Why did Adela accuse Aziz? ›

Traumatized, Adela feels not only as though her world is breaking down, but as though India itself is responsible for the breakdown. This idea solidifies in her mind as the idea that Aziz, an Indian, has attacked and attempted to rape her.

What is the dominant symbol in A Passage to India? ›

The Green Bird

For Adela, the bird symbolizes the unidentifiable quality of all of India: just when she thinks she can understand any aspect of India, that aspect changes or disappears. In this sense, the green bird symbolizes the muddle of India.

Who attacked Adela in Passage to India? ›

Adela meekly accepts this possibility, and Fielding lists the options for what actually happened in the cave: Aziz did assault Adela (what the English think), Adela maliciously made up the charge against Aziz (what the Indians think), or else Adela somehow hallucinated the whole thing—which is what Fielding believes.

Why does Ronny call Aziz sloppy? ›

Ronny criticizes Aziz for what he calls the "fundamental slackness" of the race because Aziz, otherwise impeccably dressed, has apparently forgotten a collar button (the one which he gave to Fielding).

What is the meaning of the ending of A Passage to India? ›

The last novel E.M. Forster wrote, A Passage to India (1924), ends with the question of whether two men can overcome social divisions, not of class (as in Maurice) but of race. Here, the hoped-for destruction of the barriers of prejudice is deferred.

What is the conclusion of passage to India by E.M. Forster? ›

Answer: The ending of the book shows that Aziz and Fielding can't be friends at this point in Indian history. At the start of the last chapter, Aziz and Fielding say to each other that they are “friends again.” They start their horse ride with the hope that they can get back to being friends.

Who is the central character in E.M. Forster novel A Passage to India? ›

In Edward Morgan Forster's A Passage to India, the protagonist is a young Muslim doctor who resides in Chandrapore by the name of Dr. Aziz. Dr. Aziz has lost his wife, and he also has three children.

What happened to Aziz in Passage to India? ›

Back in Chandrapore, however, Aziz is unexpectedly arrested. He is charged with attempting to rape Adela Quested while she was in the caves, a charge based on a claim Adela herself has made. Fielding, believing Aziz to be innocent, angers all of British India by joining the Indians in Aziz's defense.

What is the irony in A Passage to India? ›

The irony in Ronny Heaslop's story is that he cannot go far from the line of duty and is proudly a part of the pack of comic English wolves. He keeps acting like a trained British wolf making his mother feel all the more helpless.

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