A Passage to India Essay

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Essay on a Passage to India

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A Passage To India portrays the stance of the British people in India, wherein the Englishman is viewed as a racist, self-righteous and rude set who deny to relate to the Indians on an individual level or rather see Indians as a person. A Passage to India is divided into three sections: Mosque, Cave and Temple, each part portraying a symbolic meaning. Chandrapore an unusual city situated beside the river Ganges, though being grime when compared to the structures of the British colonials, Chandrapore’s hidden beauty still prevails.

This description of the Indian city and the British sets the mood and theme suggesting the distrustful and snobbish behavior of the British towards the Indians. “They all become exactly the same, not worse, not better. I give any Englishman two years, be he Turton or Burton. It is only the difference of a letter. And I give any English woman six months. All are exactly alike. ” (Chapter 2) This conversation between Hamidullah and Mahmoud Ali further paves the idea of the British towards the Indians. The encounter between Dr. Aziz and Mrs. Moore in the mosque wherein Dr.

Aziz angrily shouts at Mrs. Moore for intruding in a mosque-a holy place for Muslims, epitomizes the anger of Indians against the British for trespassing on their land and soil. Mrs. Moore answers “That makes no difference. God is here. ” (Chapter 2) And that she had removed her footwear, symbolizes that English people (though not all) do realize the fact that as God is everywhere so there is a person with feelings in each individual. This characteristic is further portrayed in Miss Adela Quested – a young intelligent educated woman and a free thinker, who accompanied Mrs.

Essay on a Passage to India

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Moore to India to decide whether or not to marry Mrs. Moore son, Ronny. This attitude as a free thinker enabled Adela to wonder as to why the Englishmen were so hostile towards the Indians. Unlike most Englishwoman, Adela attitude towards the Indians would be a friendly and approachable one. Intellectual, bold, frank and formal, or rather what Fielding calls Andela a “Prig” characterizes her. The segregation of Indians and Englishmen at the Bridge party further dismays Adela. Mrs. Turton act of enabling Adela and Mrs.

Moore interact with Indian woman paves the way for Adela to further enhance her friendly attitude towards Indians. This trend of questioning together with frankness, form Adela’s behavioral patterns and observations thus portraying her freedom as an English woman compared to an Indian woman behind a Pardha. For Adela, “I want to see the real India” (Chapter 3) the real meaning of India and to see India was through the eyes of each Indian, thus breaking all barriers between an Indian and a British for what ever or who ever one is the bottom line is we are all people. Come on, India’s not as bad as all that. Other side of the earth, if you like, but we stick to the same old moon. ” (Chapter 3) Mrs. Moore and Adela conversation about the superfluous life and reality, the reality that Indians like the Englishman are the same, for all see the same moon. Mrs. Bhattacharya invitation to Adela and Mrs. Moore can be viewed as the first step of Adela in proving that Indians are the friendly type. Adela further realizes that her purpose to India was her search for compatibility with Ronny.

Only to realize that Ronny was horrible and infuriating towards the Indians: “Aziz was exquisitely dressed, from tie-pin to spats, but he had forgotten his back-collar stud, and there you have the Indian all over; inattention to detail, the fundamental slackness that reveals the race. ” (Chapter 8) and her and his attitude towards Indians couldn’t coincide with her opinion and gestures. The journey to the polo match enables Adela to realize that her feelings for Ronny are unreal and empty as revealed in her statements to the guests that she has “no intention of remaining in India and marrying Ronny”.

This stage can be viewed as Adela confusion in life, confusion of feelings and her introspection into the reality of her life. Every problem has a solution, the bumpy ride in Nawab Bahadur car reflects the turmoil taking place in Adela’s mind and the solution the car hitting into an animal and Adela falling on Ronny: Her hand touched his, owing to a jolt, and one of the trills so frequent in the animal kingdom passed between them and announced that their difficulties were only a lover’s quarrel” (Chapter 8). This animal reveals the animal within every person.

This stage Adela wishes to marry Ronny and is out of confusion and into marriage and settlement of life. Dr. Aziz and Adela’s friendship is an epitome of hospitality and kindness between Indians and the British. And this is further strengthened with Mrs. Moore and Adela picnic to the caves with Dr. Aziz and their interests in Akbar (the founder of Hinduism) establishes a strong bond between the two cultures and personalities. Hinduism embraces India, and thus Adela by learning about Akbar, breaks all barriers and notions of religion between Indians and British. Distrust between Indians and British prevailing Dr.

Aziz is skeptical and replies: “You keep your religion, I mine. That is best. Nothing embraces the whole of India, nothing, nothing and that was Akbar’s mistake. ” (Chapter 14) The caves produce an echo “Boum”. For Adela this echo symbolizes the Dharma idea in the fundamental oneness of all things. Due to logic prevailing in Western thought, this realization only maddens her Western mindset. Adela quest leads her to panic. This negativity encourages Adela to further embrace this universality and admits to her fear of becoming a rude English woman, like most English woman become after marriage. Though engaged to Ronny, Adela opens up to Dr.

Aziz. Here one can find a sense of calmness and tranquility in Adela and her willingness to confide her inner most thoughts with an Indian, thus over stepping not only cultural boundaries or religions but over crossing self-respect and the willingness to bear her soul to Dr. Aziz. This search and introspection makes Adela realize for the second time that she does not love Ronny. Here Adela portrays the feelings of false love and her journey into and unloved marriage. On the other hand, Adela can also be viewed as a vacillating character who is unable to confirm her thoughts and actions and unable to decide her future in life.

This behavior of Adela is further positioned when she states that Dr. Aziz had insulted and sexually assaulted her. This incident at the caves causes Adela to face a predicament of rationalism against spiritualism. As Fielding called Adela “Mad” one would agree. The “echoes” heard by Adela in the caves portray the echoes in her life which have led her to hallucinate. The shift from normalcy to psychological behavior can be witnessed in Adela. These echoes represent Adela’s extent of her typical sane comprehension. Echoes symbolize the evils and sins in life, sin of Adela accusing Dr.

Aziz of bad behavior and these echoes are like: “The sound had spouted after her when she escaped, and was going on still like a river that gradually floods the plain. Only Mrs. Moore could drive it back to its source and seal the broken reservoir. Evil was loose… she could hear it entering the lives of others”. (Chapter 22). Adela testimony in the courtroom represents the old Adela who is overwhelmed by doubt. Spiritualism answer to freedom from evil makes Adela prays, for in the courtroom the echoes return to her and she wonders “by what right did they claim so much importance in the world and assume the title of civilization? (Chapter 24). Dr. Aziz once proven guilty finds Adela lost and lonely roaming the streets, among people who are now aliens to her. Adela’s alienation and Mrs. Moores words- “In England the moon had seemed dead and alien…. ” (Chapter 3) is viewed as a prediction for the future. Adela towards the end begins to trust one person-Fielding and realizes that the search for love is all in vain and this is the end. Nevertheless, Adela endures all her suffering and accepts her fate after the trial. This action of endurance enables her to win a friend at the end, which is Fielding. For Fielding sees Adela as a heroic woman and not as a conspirator. Need Help
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No aim, no purpose in life under the present circumstances, as Ronny breaks his engagement with Adela, makes her realize that the purpose to see India and her love for India is broken and shattered. Nor only the love for seeing India and Indians was shattered it left Adela the void to love anymore. Her realization of the damaged created towards Dr. Aziz portrays a sense of humanity still present within her but this realization further damages Adela for she feels paralyzed for unable to rectify her misdeeds. Adela is characterized as a person who lives under demanding surroundings.

Her behavior and her shifts in her temperaments affect the lives of other character around her. For instance her engagement with Ronny wherein she was unstable in her commitment of marriage, her accusation against Dr. Aziz and due to this accusation it caused Mrs. Moore behavior to turn cold against her. On the symbolic note Adela, may be seen as a character that signifies the ever prevailing inability of communicating and understanding the mystical patterns of life as it unfolds. Adela attempts to enjoy the benefits of the colonial life. Yet she attempts to see the real India only to fail and to return to England broken hearted.

Brandon Johnson
Author: Brandon Johnson

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