A Passage to India Themes Motifs Symbols


The difficulty of English and India Friendship

Passage to India begins and ends by asking whether it is possible for an Englishman and an Indian would be ever friends, at least in the context of British colonialism. Forster uses it as a framework for exploring the general issue of political control of British India in a more personal level, through the friendship between Aziz and Fielding. At the beginning of the novel, Aziz is contemptuous of English, who wish to consider or ignore entirely comical. However, Aziz feels intuitive connection with Moore in the mosque there is possibility of friendship with Fielding. In the first half of the novel, Fielding and Aziz are a positive model of liberal humanism: Forster suggests that British rule in India could be successful and respectful, if only the English and the Indians treated as Fielding and Aziz treat each other as worthy, they connect through sincerity, intelligence and good will.

However, after the charge of completion of the novel Adèle Aziz tried his assault and the later denial of this accusation at the trial-Aziz and Fielding’s friendship falls apart. The strains of the relationship are of external nature, as Aziz and Fielding both suffer from the tendency of their cultures. Aziz has a tendency to let your imagination run away with him and let it harden in a suspicious resentment. Fielding suffers from literalism and rationalism English for real feelings blind Aziz and Fielding do too farfetched to achieved through conversations or letters Aziz. In addition, their communities and English separated by their mutual stereotypes. As you can see at the end of the novel, even the landscape of India seems to oppress their friendship. Forster’s last vision of possibility of English-India friendship is a pessimist, but conditioned by possibility of friendship on English soil, or after liberation of India. Like the landscape seems to imply the end of the novel, like a friendship could be possible over time, but “not yet”.

Unit of All Living Things

Although the main characters in A Passage to India tend to be Christian or Muslim, Hinduism also plays a major theme of the novel. The aspect of Hinduism is particularly concerned Forster ideals of religion of all living beings, from the humblest to the highest, united in love as one. This view of the universe seems to offer redemption through mystical India, individual differences disappear in a peaceful community that does not recognize hierarchies. Individual guilt and the plot abandoned in favor of attention to higher spiritual matters. Professor Godbole, the Hindu visible in the novel, is a spokesman for the idea of ​​Forster of unity of all living things. Godbole is one away from the drama of the plot, not to take sides with the recognition that all involved in a lot of Marabar. Moore also shows the opening of this aspect of Hinduism.

Although she is Christian, his experience in India made its unhappy with what she perceives as the smallness of Christianity. Ms. Moore seems to feel a great sense of connection to all living creatures, as shown by his respect for the wasp in her bedroom.

Yet, through Mrs. Moore, Forster also shows that vision of unity of all living things could be daunting. As we can see experience of Mrs. Moore’s Echo is all part of “Boum” in Maraba, as the unit of a unit, but also makes all parts of the universe the same, the realization that the end is indirectly kill Mrs. Moore. Godbole does not disturb the idea that denial is an inevitable result, when all things linked together as one. Mrs. Moore, however, lose interest in global relations after imagine the lack of differences in horror. Moreover, while Forster, generally supports the idea of ​​Hindu unity of all living things, also suggests that there may problems with it. Godbole, such as, seem to even recognize that something, even if only a stone excluded from vision of unity if the vision would be together.

“Mess” of India / The “Muddle” of India

Forster makes difference between the ideas carefully to strike “a mess” and the “secret” is the Passage to India. “Mess” has connotations of a serious disorder and confusion, while a “mystery” suggests a mystical, spiritual power of an organized plan, which is higher than a man. Fielding, who serves as the main representative of Forster’s novel, he admits that India is a “mess”, while figures such as Mrs. Moore and Godbole look at the mystery of India. Mess that is India, the novel seems to work from scratch: a rural landscape and the architecture is without form, and the flora and fauna identification challenge. The confusion and quality of the environment reflected composition of the native population of India, which mixed with a mess of different religious, ethnic, linguistic and regional groups.

India Adela confusing mess most, in fact, the cave so annoying Marabar events could be seen as manifestation of this confusion. By the end of the novel, we are not sure yet what really happened in the caves. Forster suggests that Adela outsourced to feelings and confused Ronny caves, and that suddenly experiences these feelings as something outside himself. Mess India is also influenced by Aziz and Fielding’s friendship, because of their good intentions derailed by the chaos of cultural signals.

While Forster is in tune with India and Indians in the novel, his description of the overwhelming mess of India is responsible for the way many Western writers have discussed the works of his time in Eastern Europe. As noted critic Edward Said has pointed out, these writers Orientalizing ‘”between East and West, and ability of logic is clear, and, more generally, has described domination of the East West reasonable or even necessary.

The Negligence of British Colonial Government

Despite Passage to India is in many ways a very symbolic, text, even mystical, but also intended to a real documentation of the attitude of the British colonial authorities in India. Forster devotes much of the novel that characterize the different attitudes typical of the Indians English so that they control. Forster’s satire is more difficult in English, which he describes as overwhelmingly racist, arrogant and condescending to the native population with a vengeance. Some of the English in the novel are as bad as women, but more often Forster English identifies men who, though condescending and unable to relate to each Indian, are largely well-intentioned and has invested in their work. Of all the criticisms of Forster on how to govern British India, however, does not seem to affect the right of the British Empire to rule India.

He suggests that the British would be well served by being friendly and more sympathy for the Indians, as they live, but it is not suggesting that Britain should abandon India directly. Even this minor criticism is never openly stated in the novel, but implicitly by the biting satire.


Patterns are recurring structures, contrasts, or literary devices that can help develop and communicate the key themes of the text.

The Eco

Echo caves Marabar begins: first, Mrs. Moore and Adela, than hearing the echo, and obsessed with this in the coming weeks. ECHO’s voice sound “Boum”, again regardless of the noise or utterance is initially made. This denial of the difference reflects the flip side of scary seemingly positive outlook on Hindu marriage and unity of all living things. If all the people and things change the same thing, so it can distinguish between good and evil. No system of values ​​may exist. Echo sores Mrs. Moore until her death, when he was to renounce his beliefs, and care not about human relationships. Adela, however, avoids using the echo at the end of his message to help you understand the impersonality Aziz’s innocence.

Eastern and Western Architecture

Forster devotes much time to detail the architecture of East and West in A Passage to India. Three architectural structures, if one is naturally describes three sections of the book “Mosque”, “Cuevas” and “Temple”. Forster presents the aesthetics of East and Western structures as sign of the differences in cultures . In India, architecture confused and formless: indoor outdoor garden mix, land and buildings compete with each other, structures and seems incomplete or boring. As such architecture, India reflects the confusion in India itself and that Forster sees as the Indians of the characteristic of the lack of attention to form and logic. Sometimes, however, Forster has a positive view of Indian architecture. The mosque in Part I and Part III of the temple represent the promise of opening Indian mysticism, and friendship. Western architecture, in turn, described in Fielding stop in Venice on the way to England.

Venice structures, Fielding considered as representative of Western architecture in general, the shape and proportion of honor and complete the land they built. Fielding bed in this architecture for the accuracy of self-Western reason, an order which, he complains, his Indian friends do not recognize or appreciate.

Godbole’s Song

At the end of Fielding’s tea party, Godbole sings in English for visitors to a Hindu song in which God declares a dairy to reach her or her people. The chorus of “Come! Come” appears along Passage to India, reflecting the nationwide call for salvation of something bigger than oneself. After the song, Godbole admits that God never comes to dairy products. The song very discouraged Ms. Moore, paving the way for his later spiritual apathy, their simultaneous awareness of a spiritual presence and lack of faith in spiritualism as a redemptive force. Godbole apparently referring to his song as a message or lesson that recognition of the possible existence of a figure of God can bring to the world and erode the differences, after all, Godbole sings the part of young dairy. Forster uses the chorus of the song Godbole, “Come! Come,” suggesting that redemption of India is yet to come.


Symbols are objects, characters, figures, or colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts.

The Marabar Caves

Caves Marabar represent everything that is foreign to nature. The caves are more than anything in the world and has the void and emptiness, a void in the ground literally. They defy both English and Indian to serve as guides for themselves and their strange beauty and menace destabilizes visitors. The caves of quality “foreign also the power to make visitors such as Mrs. Moore and Adela to face the parties themselves or the universe they have not yet recognized. It reduces everything to the caves echoed causes Ms. Moore to see the dark side of spirituality decreasing involvement in the world of relationships and a growing ambivalence about God. Adela confronts the shame and embarrassment in her awareness that she and Ronny are not really attracted to each other and could be attracted to someone. In this sense, the two caves to destroy the sense of reducing all expressions of the same sound and display or to say the unsalable, the aspects of the universe, visitors to the caves have not yet considered.

The Green Bird

As soon as Adela and Ronny, for the first time, the Chapter VII of the investor, find a green bird sitting on a tree above them. Neither can positively identify the bird. For Adela, bird symbol of quality throughout India unidentified: just when you think you understand every aspect of ‘India, the perspective changes or disappears. In this sense, the green bird symbolizes the chaos in India. Any other way, the birds of different points of tension in English and the Indians. England obsessed with information, literalness, and the denomination, and use these tools as a means of obtaining and maintaining power. Indians, however, are more alert to nuances, understated, and the emotions behind the words. Although England to need labeling things, the Indians recognize that the labels can blind to important details and differences. Unidentified green bird suggests incompatibility to the English obsession with classification and order of self-moving quality of Indian territory is in fact “a hundred India’s”, which defies labels and understanding.

The Wasp

The wasp appears several times in A Passage to India, usually with the Hindu vision of unity in all living things. The wasp is generally portrayed as the weakest creäture in Hindu integrate their vision of universal unity. Ms. Moore is closely associated with the wasp, which she finds one in his room and quietly enjoyed it. His account of the wasp peaceful describes his openness to the idea of ​​the Hindu community, and mysticism and the indefinable quality of India in general. But as the wasp is the lowest creäture Hindu view, it also represents the limits of the Hindu vision. The vision is not a panacea, but simply an opportunity for unity and understanding of India.

A Passage to India
A Passage to India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Edited by: Shafaq Rao

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