Essay on A Passage to India by E. M. Forster

Essay on A Passage to India by E. M. Forster

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When reading the novel A Passage to India or watching the film of the same name, the characters a reader or viewer remembers are Aziz, Adela, Ronny, Mrs. Moore, and many more. There is one character within the story that fails to receive the credit that is due to her: India herself. Throughout the entire novel, E. M. Forster provides thoughts and words for India, though she cannot truly speak. David Lean also attempts to create a separate persona for India in his film. The two of them, in their unique ways, managed to create an extra character with its own personality and motivations.
Forster’s novel creates in many ways a patient, but intimidating India. He says at one moment in the novel, “The inarticulate world is closer at hand and readier to resume control as soon as men are tired” (114). This begins to paint a picture of India’s personality as one that is resentful of those who have come and taken control of her land. She waits patiently for those who have invaded her territory to dissolve into dust like those before them. She has survived countless invasions and uprisings, and will still be there when men are gone.
India’s age is a common topic for Forster in his novel. He speaks of her presence since the beginning of time:
In the days of the prehistoric ocean the southern part of the peninsula existed, and the high places of Dravidia have been land since land began, and have seen on the one side the sinking of a continent that joined them to Africa, and on the other the upheaval of the Himalayas from a sea. (123)
India has been present in the world since before the mountains and oceans surrounding it. Forster also gives the impression that India is a physical body that has eyes, making it capable of seeing thes...


... middle of paper ...


...ured by clouds. These shots give the impression of power and strength, while also maintaining India’s mystery. The cloud cover shows the viewer that while they may see part of India’s might, they shall not know the true depth of her majesty (A Passage to India).
Creating a person out of a place is a very difficult task to attempt, but in both the novel and the film A Passage to India, Forster and Lean went above and beyond accomplishing this feat. Forster did so through beautiful use of figurative language and descriptions, while Lean combined editing with fantastic music to create a similar effect. A Passage to India, while being a story of the lives of Englishmen and Indians, also is the story of India itself. 



Works Cited

A Passage to India. Dir. David Lean. Columbia Pictures, 1984. Film.
Forster, E.M.. A Passage to India. New York: Harcourt, 1940. Print.

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