In this excerpt from the novel A Passage to India, the author explores several themes through the use of figurative language, linguistic features, and literary devices.
One theme is the triviality and evanescence of mankind’s order and plans when juxtaposed with the splendor and immutability of the universe. This comparison draws attention to itself when the narrator begins his description of the sky:
“Some kites hovered overhead, impartial, …and with an impartiality exceeding all, the sky”(39)
The chauvinism that is expressed in this scene is in direct contrast to the meaningless and unimportant conversations being held by the attendants of The Bridge Party. Here, this description of the sky and its immensity occurs right after Ronny ends his condescending analysis on the uselessness and paltriness of the non-British people assembled at the tragically named “Bridge Party”. The “Bridge Party” itself is a horrible misnomer for this awkward social gathering in which the bridge itself is nonexistent, as neither side trusts the other enough to even attempt a casual conversation, let alone build a bridge! This misnomer doubles as a pun, for Bridge is a card game that is played among the high aristocracy; it has no place in a colonial city in rural India. Yet, the narrator deliberately uses it to draw attention to the segregation mankind imposes upon itself and distance itself even further from the impartial beyond. The kites hover above mankind for they do not seek to create schisms and factions in their society. The sky’s “impartiality exceeds all” because it is one with space; it is constant throughout and completely incorporated as one unit into this universe. All this goes on above man’s world, yet he continues to criticize and conquer his fellow man in an effort to gain supremacy over all men. What is the value of domination over such a partial aspect of this universe? As the author contemplates the transcendence of the universe he...