A Passage to India is basically about the clash conflict
of two cultures. Do you agree?
Forster’s A Passage to India is much more than a study
of the British Raj. Discuss.
Ans. ‘A Passage to India’ deals with the difficulties men face in
their effort to understand each other and the world they live in.
Forster sees British rule as a corrupt influence on both the
rulers and the ruled. Forster’s criticism of imperialism is based on
ethical rather than political convictions. The station “shares nothin
landscape is symptomatic of the wide gulf that separates the rulers
from the ruled. Forster thinks that it is not possible for an Indian
to be a lend of an Englishman as long as the English remain unfeeling,
proud, and autocratic towards the Indians. In their dealings with the
Indians, the British as a class, operate only at the level of politics and
Thus the ruling Anglo-Indians think of their rule as a burden
of social duty. Nobly borne by them in order to civilize the native barbarians. This
imperialistic prejudice produces a rigid system in which humanity
has been harshly divided into the whites and the colored. The
Anglo-Indians act as a herd, united in their vicious contempt and
hatred for the native Indians, whom they despise as belonging to an
inferior race. They have built around themselves a rigid barrier of
conventions, rank, and position, and feeling. Safe and superior
behind this fence of conventions, they look down upon the Indians
outside with contempt and disdain. Fearful of the primitive Indians
outside, they always feel the need of sticking together, of keeping in
step with others in order not to fall behind the herd.
The most frightening expression of this herd-felling is, of course,
visible, when the largest numbers of them are gathered together in
their club at the Bridge Party, arranged in honor of the newcomers,
Mrs. Moore and Adela Quested. Some of the distinguished Indians
are also invited to the party to bridge the gulf between the British and
the Indians. But the Anglo-Indians as a group are simply not
interested in their talking to the Indians, they themselves have
invited. As a result, the Indians who attend the party on goodwill, feel
This mass-hysteria of the Anglo-Indians may also be seen in the
trial scene. Their collective concern in the trial scene is not
for Adela, but to achieve the utmost humiliation of the Indians
Forster shows how their mass-hysteria can, in critical situation*
lead them towards uncontrollable evil.
Forster’s view is that the British do not care to understand the
true nature of India and the Indians and that is why their rule Unsuccessful.
A Passage to India Passage to India A Passage to India