During the fourteen years that followed the publication of Howards
End, Edward Morgan Forster underwent a harsh mood change that culminated in
the publication of A Passage to India, Forster's bitterest book (Shusterman
159). Forster was not alone in his transition to a harsher tone in his
fiction. A Passage to India was written in the era that followed the First
World War. George Thomson writes that the novel "may be viewed as a reaction
to the disappearance of God in the nineteenth century.... Twentieth century
writers have symbolized this world without God as a wasteland" (293). Post-
war writers were appalled by the atrocities brought about by war and,
therefore, concluded that Earth is not overseen by a God. Rather, they
believed that the world was, in a sense, empty. Nowhere can this
emptiness be seen better than in the second of the novel's three major
sections, "Caves." Thomson writes that this section is "a great wasteland
image in which...the Marabar expresses the nonexistence of God" (293).
"Caves" begins as the story's major characters make a journey to the
mystifying Marabar Caves. In the monotony, hollowness, and evanescent
beauty of the Marabar Caves is revealed a truth about the universe that
Mrs. Moore and Adela are unable to accept, but by which both characters
are affected, as well as Aziz, who may have suffered the most severe
consequences of the three.
Forster foreshadows the important role that the Marabar Caves
will play in A Passage to India in the novel's first line. Forster writes,
... middle of paper ...
... Works Cited
Brown, E.K. "Rhythm in E.M. Forster's A Passage to India." Forster. Ed. Malcolm Bradbury. New Jersey: Prentice, 1966. 144-59.
Forster, E.M. A Passage to India. New York: Harcourt, 1924.
Kelvin, Norman. "A Passage to India." E.M. Forster. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1967. 126-42.
MacAulay, Rose. "A Passage to India." The Writings of E.M. Forster. New York: Barnes, 1970. 176-203.
Shusterman, David. "A Passage to India: Synthesis Broken, or No One is India." The Quest for Certitude in E.M. Forster's Fiction. Bloomington: Indiana UP,
Thomson, G.H. The Fiction of E.M. Forster. Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1967.
Wilde, Alan. "A Passage to India." Art and Order. New York: New York UP, 1964. 123-58.
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