Essay on a Passage to India

Topics: English people, India, England Pages: 5 (1616 words) Published: May 22, 2013
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.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,...
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