Comment on Forster’s treatment of the theme of
friendship in Passage to India.
Write a short note on Aziz Fielding relationship in A
Passage to India.
Ans. Aziz-Fielding relationship in ‘A Passage to India’ is a
complex study of human behavior. It points to the difficulties that
men of different races face in trying to understand one another.
There are real differences of opinions between the two, but it is the
much more subtle and pervasive differences of temperament and
mutual misunderstandings, common to persons of two different
races that finally separate Dr. Aziz and Fielding.
The fundamental differences of character and outlook between
Aziz and Fielding rise to the surface after Aziz’s arrest and release.
Aziz is determined to take revenge upon Adela for ruining his career.
Fielding, moved by pity for helpless Adela urges Aziz not to persist in
his demand for compensation. Aziz refuses and Fielding is distressed
to that Aziz’s unforgiving and revengeful attitude is based on his
sexual snobbery. Aziz thinks that Fielding is pleading for Adela
because he wants to marry her for her money, and this idea leads him
to break with Fielding on this issue.
When Aziz and Fielding meet each other again in the last section
of the novel, there is no joyous reunion between the two friends.
During the festival of Sri Krishna‘s birthday, Aziz happens to meet
Ralph, son of Mrs. Moore. At first, Aziz wants to take revenge on the
helpless boy for what the British had done to him. But the memory of
Mrs. Moore softened his mind and he also finds Ralph like his
mother. So he warms towards the boy and in friendship takes him
out on the river where the festivities are taking place. Meanwhile
Fielding and his wife are also in another boat, having come to witness
the Hindu ceremony of pushing a clay-model of Gokul, Krishna’s
birthplace, into the waters. Aziz and Fielding in boats are so absorbed
in enjoying the ceremony that their boats collide with each other and
there is total confusion. The boats capsize and Fielding, Ralph and
Stella together are plunged in the water and undergo a sort of
purification, a sort of spiritual baptism. The holy water seemed to
wash away all the suspicions, hatred, and pettiness. Aziz finds that not
Adela but Stella is Fielding’s wife. The relationship between Aziz and
Fielding becomes somewhat normal once again. The day before
Fielding’s departure, Aziz accompanied his friend for a ride in the
jungle of Mau. They bring their horses nearer to embrace each other,
but the horses swerve apart. This indicates that sub-human India is
hostile to inter-racial friendship and therefore, their union by
necessity is transitory.
To sum up, in the concluding chapter the writer makes it clear
that friendship is possible only among equals. As long as the
Britishers were mg-stars in India, there could be no lasting bond of
the English and the Indians.
A Passage to India A Passage to India A Passage to India A Passage to India A Passage to India A Passage to India