A Passage to India

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There are people bustling, merchants selling, Anglo-Indians watching, and birds flying overhead. How many perspectives are there in this one snippet of life? They are uncountable, and that is the reality. Modernist writers strive to emulate this type of reality into their own work as well. In such novels, there is a tendency to lack a chronological or even logical narrative and there are also frequent breaks in narratives where the perspectives jump from one to another without warning. Because there are many points of view and not all of them are explained, therefore, modernist novels often tend to have narrative perspectives that suddenly shift or cause confusion. This is because modernism has always been an experimental form of literature that lacks a traditional narrative or a set, rigid structure. Therefore, E. M. Forster, author of A Passage to India, uses such techniques to portray the true nature of reality. The conflict between Adela, a young British girl, and Aziz, an Indian doctor, at the Marabar Caves is one that implements multiple modernist ideals and is placed in British-India. In this novel, Forster shows the relations and tension between the British and the Indians through a series of events that were all caused by the confusing effects of modernism. E.M. Forster implements such literary techniques to express the importance or insignificance of a situation and to emphasize an impression of realism and enigma in Chandrapore, India, in which Forster’s novel, A Passage to India, takes place.

Forster has a tendency to suddenly switch narratives from one point of view to another, contrasting point of view. This emphasizes another modernist outlook that suggests that there is not only one truth and rather that there a...

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...e refuses to come… I say to Him, Come, and come, come, come, come, come. He neglects to come”. (84) The meaning is never understood because the narration does not explain it or its significance, and as a result, the muddle of India is further enforced.

Therefore, much of the modernist views on India being a muddle, realistic truths, and the fact that there are multiple truths are all enforced by the narrative techniques used that E.M. Forster uses. Many of the modernist techniques that are frequently used by modernist writers work in collaboration with the manipulation of narration. In A Passage to India, most of the modernist views are reinforced by the narration shifts, multiple truths, and confusing narration or dialogue. By doing this, Forster escapes the traditional, strict forms of writing and is able to explore a new and modern literature fit for his time.

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