“A Passage to India” by E.M. Forster

This article is also available in: Italiano

One of the most interesting novels ever regarding British India, a work that tells the 3 souls of this country.

A Passage To India

A Passage to India
E.M. Forster

In Chandrapore, in India under the grip of colonialism, Islam, “an exquisite and lasting attitude towards life”, the British bureaucracy, “intrusive and unpleasant as the sun”, and “a handful of weak Hindus” face each other “, in a silent cold war.

Until the arrival of a young English tourist breaks the fragile balance. Because Adela Quested, to the amazement of the white Sahib clan, is not satisfied with clubs and official visits: she wants to know “the real India”, and she finds the perfect indigenous guide in the mild and hospitable Aziz. But when Aziz kindly offers to take them on a tour of the Marabar caves with his close friend Cyril Fielding, the trip results in a shocking accusation that throws Chandrapore into a fever of racial tension.

3 parts of India

A Passage to India
Scene taken from the film of the same name

The novel by E.M. Forster was immediately acclaimed as one of his best works ever thanks to his ability to show all the souls of India. The book in fact presents a tripartite structure which is preserved throughout the novel. Not only the vision of settler and colonized, but also that of the different souls who gave life to the country. 3 religions to represent 3 different social classes: Christianity for foreigners, Islam for the former ruling class and Hinduism

for the people.

With the trial will also emerge a social denunciation in the novel, thrown by the author not too much towards the English but all the more towards cooperation between the communities. The unconditional support for one’s defendants is in fact one of the most important keys of the novel and highlights Forster’s “realist” attitude. Indeed, he does not see a real and total support of justice as possible, but he will rather leave the door of understanding open. A novel of the most interesting novels ever regarding British India.

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