E.M Forster’s novel A Passage to India Essay

E.M Forster’s novel A Passage to India Essay

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Leonard Woolf considers E.M Forster’s novel A Passage to India to be a representation of ‘’the real life of politics in India, the intricacy of personal relations, the story itself, the muddle and the mystery of life’’ (Jay, 1998). Fosters novel has been the subject of literary criticism from many angles given the highly controversial subject matter which is called into question as to whether it is a genuine representation of India under colonisation written from an objective experience, and whether this attempt to represent India is successful or a failure. The question of how successful this representation of India and the British occupation of the country is will form the argument of this work. Forster makes it known to the readers of the novel that when he first began to compose A Passage to India he had felt that he did not know India well enough to continue in an accurate portrayal, therefore returned later to India before completing the novel. In the time of his second visit, Forster felt that he was able to understand the ways in which the Anglo-Indians behaved towards the natives and also that he became better acquainted with the Indian natives. This would suggest that his writing would be objective portraying both sides of the divide without prejudice towards either class.
A Passage to India is a portrayal of India during the control of the British Raj in the 1920’s. The narrative tells the story of a young British woman, Adela who falsely accuses an Indian Doctor, Aziz of attempted rape. When this progresses to a court, during the trial she withdraws her lawsuit and admits she was mistaken. As a result of her false accusation, the trial and the retraction of her charge there is a further and deeper divide created betw...


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...mud, the inhabitants of mud-moving’’ (Foster, 1968). It is questionable whether Forster is writing from an objective experience from the point of view of a Colonial English man. He carries the reader from one event to another in the novel however his reaction to his own personal experience seems to be portrayed as a social reaction placing almost exclusively middle class raised characters in the midst of a country falling.



Works Cited

Beer, J., 1985. A Passage to India: Essays in Interpretation. London: The Macmillan Press Ltd.
Foster, E., 1968. A Passage to India. London: Aldine Press.
Jay, B., 1998. Icon critical guides- A passage to India. Cambridge: Icon Books ltd.
Page, N., 1987. Modern Novelists: E.M Forster. London: The Macmillan Press Ltd.
Said, E., 1978. Orientalism. US: Vintage Books.
Washington, P., 2007. Kipling: Poems. New York: Everyman's Library.

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