Quotes: A Passage to India

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A Passage To India Quotes

“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." (Ch. 2) "Conversation and billiards stopped, faces stiffened. It was the Anthem of the Army of Occupation. It reminded every member of the club that he or she was British and in exile. It produced a little sentiment and a useful accession of will-power." (Ch. 3 – response of the British when the national anthem is played).

"I want to see the real India." (Ch. 3 – Adela)

"Here we are, and we're going to stop, and the country's got to put up with us, gods or no gods." (Ch. 6 – Ronny’s remarks about the presence of the British in India).

"he did not realize that 'white' has no more to do with a colour than 'God save the King' with a god, and that it is the height of impropriety to consider what it does connote." (Ch. 7)

"A mystery is only a high sounding term for a muddle. No advantage in stirring it up, in either case. Aziz and I know well that India is a muddle." (Ch. 7 – Fielding: Mystery & Muddle)

"I have never known anything but disaster result when English people and Indians attempt to be intimate socially." (Ch. 17 – Mr. Turton's views on relations between the English and the Indians). "The buildings of Venice, like the mountains of Crete and the fields of Egypt, stood in the right place, whereas in poor India everything was placed wrong." (Ch. 32 – Fielding’s thoughts after he leaves India). "In England the moon had seemed dead and alien; here she was caught in the shawl of night together with earth and all other stars. A sudden sense of unity, of kinship with the heavenly bodies, passed into the old woman and out, like water through a tank, leaving a strange freshness behind." Chapter 3, pg. 28 "Because India is part of the earth. And God has put us on the earth in order to be pleasant to each other. God is love." Chapter 5, pg. 53 "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, pg. 160 "But suddenly, at the edge of her mind, Religion appeared, poor little talkative Christianity, and she knew that all its divine words from 'Let there be light' to 'It is finished' only amounted to 'boum.'" Chapter 14, pg. 166 "'I have had twenty five years experience of this country'--and twenty five years seemed to fill the waiting room with their staleness and ungeneroisity--'and during those twenty five years, I have never known anything but disaster result when English people and Indians attempt to be intimate socially.'" Chapter 17, pg. 182 "They are not to blame, they have not a dog's chance – we should be like them if we settled here." Chapter 18, pg. 184 "But every humane act in the East is tainted with officialism, and while honoring him they condemned Aziz and India." Chapter 20, pg. 208 "Suspicion in the Oriental is a sort of malignant tumor, a mental malady, that makes him self-conscious and unfriendly suddenly; he trusts and mistrusts at the same time in a way the Westerner can not comprehend. It is his demon, as the Westerner's is hypocrisy." Chapter 32, pg. 311 "But the horses didn't want it-they swerved apart; the earth didn't want it, sending up rocks through which riders must pass single file; the temples, the tank, the jail, the palace, the birds, the carrion, the Guest House, that came into view as they issued from the gap and saw Mau beneath: they didn't want it, they said in their hundred voices, 'No, not yet,' and the sky said, 'No, not there.'" Chapter 37, pg. 362

"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 Englishwoman six months." (1.2.16)| Hamidullah expresses here the Indian's experience with the English colonial...
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