Nature in A Passage to India
Nature is everywhere. This universal idea inspires many authors to emphasize nature’s role in the human world and to highlight how the human world affects nature. A Passage to India, written by E.M. Forster, does just that. In many instances throughout the book, Forster stresses human struggles and how these coexist with nature. While doing this, Forster also illustrates the resentment and friendship shared between the two ethnic groups in the novel. He successfully demonstrates the cacophony of the colonial Indian and the discord felt between the English and Indians while also showing the harmony of some English and Indian people, all through the use of nature and it’s actions.
The English interaction with the Indian people and culture is anything from kind. Historically, the English conquered India in 1858, through the use of excessive military strength. Although the English did not enslave the Indian people after this act, the entire population was subdued and forced to work for English gain. Understandably, this angered the Indian people and caused some resentment between the two groups. Forster is able to display this resentment through various uses of nature. He writes, “…the hot weather advanced, swelled like a monster at both ends, and left less and less room for the movements of mortals” (Chapter 22). This illustrates the restriction between the English and Indian people in the novel; it is a metaphor for what is happening. Aziz, an Indian doctor, and Adela Quested, a young English woman traveling to India, exemplify this very idea. She meets Aziz and together they travel to the Marabar Caves outside of the city. Adela later accuses Aziz of sexual harassment in the caves, which leads to his arrest. The advancing storm, the English, is growing larger and larger, and more intrusive and meddling into Indian society, causing more and more problems. As more and more problems occur, less and less respect is given to the...
Citations: Forster, E. M.. A Passage to India,. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 19241952. Print.
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