A Passage to India

A Passage to India

eBook - 2002
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Rosetta Books

E. M. Forster’s 1924 masterpiece, A Passage to India, is a novel that tackles the thorny notions of preconceptions and misconceptions through characters’ desire to overcome the barrier that divides East and West in colonial India. Here we see the limits of liberal tolerance, good intentions, and good will as we try to sort through the common problems that exist between two very different cultures. But Forster’s India is a country where the English and Indians stare at each other across a cultural divide and a history of imbalanced power relations, mutual suspicion, and ill will. A fresh reader must wonder whether connection is possible at all.

A Passage to India begins simply enough: with people genuinely desiring to connect and to overcome the stereotypes and biases that have divided the two cultures. Mrs. Moore accompanies her future daughter-in-law, Adela Quested, to India where both are to meet Mrs. Moore’s son Ronny, the City Magistrate. From the outset, Adela makes it clear that she wishes to see the “real India” and Mrs. Moore soon befriends and Indian doctor named Aziz. Cyril Fielding, an Englishman and the principal of a local government college, soon becomes acquainted with everyone and it is his tenuous friendship with the Indian Dr. Aziz that really constitutes the backbone of this novel.

While it is true that the primary characters take great pains to accept and embrace difference, their misunderstanding, fear and ignorance made that connection far more difficult than they expected. Getting to know the “real” India proves to be a daunting and challenging task. The bulk of this perhaps falls to Dr. Aziz, who soon learns that the indignities of life under British rule and the insults--unintentional and intentional--of his English acquaintances make him suspect that although genuine friendship may be desired, the two cultures are not yet ready.



Publisher: New York : RosettaBooks, 2002
ISBN: 9780795309366
0795309368
9780795309328
0795309325
Branch Call Number: E-BOOK

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traceyrb
Sep 18, 2017

Wonderful writing. The book is set in 3 parts: first, The Mosque which is set in the cool dry season. It seems to be about Islam and there is a sense of harmony of things. Second, The Caves which is set in the hot season. There is a lot of tension and unrest and the story focuses on the British domination of India and Christianity. The third and final part, The Temple is set in the rainy season, a time of growth, and Hinduism is predominant.

Two of the characters, Mrs. Moore and Adela Quested, want to see and experience the real India but through the story Forster suggests that there is no one India but a clash of cultures and religions. The book points to a future time when maybe, possibly there is more harmony. It is a story of friendships and how difficult it is to establish friendships between peoples of different cultures and faiths.

A beautiful and yet eerie novel.

athompson10 Jan 26, 2017

A classic for a reason. Beautiful and thoughtful, with a cruel clash of cultures at the heart.

multcolib_central Jul 19, 2014

Civilized prose infused with raw emotions. The characters are multi-dimensional, as are their motives, which makes for a fascinating read

LMOH Sep 20, 2013

A terrific audiobook to listen to. Very funny.

dragonsnakes Mar 17, 2011

Enjoyable read. The movie is worth watching too.

m
macierules
Jun 19, 2010

Last week, a man sitting next to me on a plane asked me if this was the first time I had read this book - and I thought, hey I like you because you are as nosy as me checking out what everyone else is reading. I had already taken note of his book as well. Imagine how wonderful to have read all the great books and had time to go back and read the best over again. I love Forster, but don't think I'll revisit this book.

samdog123 Jun 17, 2010

A beautifully written account of British Imperialism in India in the 1920's. Forster's writing is wonderful, but I prefered his A Room with a View--much more humour there.

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FavouriteFiction Sep 30, 2009

Miss Adela Quested, Mrs. Moore, and Cyril Fielding arrive in India and cross paths with Dr. Aziz.

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