Passage to india Summary

In the field of Contemporary Literature, a novel, born from the pen of the English writer E.M Forster, first published on June 4, 1924, is known as Passage to India, thanks to the work of the publishing house Edward Arnold.

About the play

Considered an emblematic work of the pink novel, as well as of political fiction, a Passage to India tells a story set in the British Raj, during the 1920s independence movement, and serves as an excuse to highlight the social relations that arose around the different nationalities and religions that coexisted in this country, which by then was a British colony.

Likewise, this story reveals the problems that this coexistence imposed through British colonization brought as a consequence: racism, abuse of power by the British class, classism, religious discrimination, among others. As for their significance, the various literary sources agree that Passage to India has earned its place as one of the hundred best works of English-language Literature, according to the modern library’s criteria.

Similarly, this literary work was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize the same year of its publication, in the category of fiction, in addition to being also included in the list of the “100 Best Novels in English from 1923 to 2005″ , conducted by Time Magazine.

India Passage Summary

This e.M. Forster novel begins with a journey by Adela Quested, a British teacher, and her future mother-in-law, Mrs. Moore, to Chandrapore City, a fictional town, which the narrator places in British India. The narrator also introduces another of the main characters: Dr. Aziz, whose introduction takes place in his conversation with two friends about whether there can be a friendship between an Indian and an Englishman, a question that will travel throughout the plot.

Later, after an incident with his car, when he is on his way to meet an appointment imposed by the senior doctor of the hospital where Aziz works, he is adrift on a road. As he transits the railway, this Indian Muslim doctor sees his favorite mosque on the side of the road, so he decides to go in to pray, without suspecting that Mrs. Moore is on her road.

Faithful believer, Dr. Aziz is annoyed, urging him to leave the site, as he commits a desecration. However, Mrs. Moore is not disturbed, but ends up showing her that she consonates with religion, has taken off her shoes, and also accepts that she is in the presence of God. A little confused, and even sorry, Aziz lets his guard down, who ends up talking to Mrs. Moore, thus syllating a new friendship.

This experience will make both Mrs Moore and her future daughter-in-law interested in meeting some Indians, a wish that leads Mr. Turton to organise an evening where Indian and British guests agree. Indeed, the event takes place, even though most of the time the deep tension between the two groups is evident. However, this occasion serves for Cyril Fielding, Adela, Ms. Moore and Dr. Aziz to agree to go for tea on a forthcoming occasion.

This is how in the next talk the atmosphere is much friendlier, and the group is dedicated to talking several minutes about India and its culture. Thus, between the subject, Aziz ends up promising Adela and Ms. Moore to invite them to the marabar caves, an offer that later forces himself to comply, believing that he may offend the ladies not to do so.

Finally, dr. Aziz and the ladies end up going on the walk. However, in the first cave, Ms. Moore suffers an upset, the result of an attack of claustrophobia, which forces her to abandon her intention to explore the caves. Determined not to miss the trip, Adela and Aziz venture into the rock formations, accompanied by a guide.

In the middle of the trip, Adela asks Aziz directly if it is true that she has more than one woman, a question that indisposes this Muslim Indian doctor, who goes into a cave alone, seeking to calm down. However, when leaving she does not find Adela, only the guide, who informs her that the woman has entered a cave alone. Aziz goes after her, fearing she will get lost, but can only find her broken binocules, which she lifts. Aziz presses the guide but only makes him run away.

After the guide has escaped, he manages to see Adela down the hill, while conversing with Miss Derek, who has reached this location, accompanied by Fielding. However, when Aziz descends, Adela has already left in the car without uttering a single word, which – in addition to the intrigue – causes Aziz to return by train with Mrs. Moore, and even Fielding himself.

Upon returning, Aziz discovers the reason for Adela’s sudden escape: this woman accuses him of trying to abuse her during the cave tour, a situation she denounces before the British authorities, setting off alarmbells for both the Indian population, who puts Aziz’s side, like the British who reinforce their racist thoughts about the Indians. However, not all Britons believe in Adela’s testimony, even her future mother-in-law does not, so her son, and Fiancé of Adela embarks her to Europe, a journey that Mrs Moore does not complete, as she dies on the high seas.

Finally, after accusing Aziz of having tried to abuse her, Adela cannot deal with the trial process, without even being able to answer certainly whether or not it is true what she stated in principle. In fact, he ends up accepting that what has happened is that the depth of the cave, combined with the echo, has caused his mind to become disturbed for a moment, confusing the feeling with the idea that Aziz has wanted to attack it. Therefore, the authorities have no choice but to dismiss the case.

Although this revelation favours Aziz, who is free of guilt, it actually infuriates the British population, who sees in Adela a traitor to their culture. Adontized, this woman stays in Fielding’s for some time, since even Ronny Heaslop, her fiancé and Mrs. Moore’s son breaks up with her. After a few days, Adela departs for England never to return to India.

For his part, Aziz sees In Fielding’s support Adela a betrayal of his friendship with him, so he resents it. Eventually, Fielding departs for England, while Aziz moves to Mau, a Hindu state, where he seeks to remake his life, with the firm’s conviction not to befriend any white man or woman again. Eventually, the two friends will reconnect and re-establish their friendship.

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Picture: Portrait of E.M. Foster, author of A Passage to India / Source:

Passage to india Summary
Source: Education  
September 26, 2019

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