StudentShare
Contact Us
Sign In / Sign Up for FREE
Search
Go to advanced search...
Free

A Passage to India - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Summary
A Passage to India, by E.M. Forster, is at times a complicated novel. One of the most difficult complications is the relationship that exists between Cyril Fielding, the schoolmaster of Government College, and Dr. Aziz. This relationship is dynamic and represents, to some extant, the larger relationship of Great Britain and India…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER92% of users find it useful
A Passage to India
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "A Passage to India"

The Limits of Friendship: Cyril Fielding and Dr. Aziz A Passage to India, by E.M. Forster, is at times a complicated novel. One of the most difficult complications is the relationship that exists between Cyril Fielding, the schoolmaster of Government College, and Dr. Aziz. This relationship is dynamic and represents, to some extant, the larger relationship of Great Britain and India. How Dr. Aziz comes to distrust the British is a major element of the novel. This essay will examine the particular characteristics which allowed Fielding to befriend Dr. Aziz, the very real limits of this friendship as constrained by issues of law and nationalism, and whether an egalitarian friendship might ever transcend the larger structure of imperialist oppression.
As an initial matter, it is quite true that Fielding and Dr. Aziz established a genuine friendship. This owes a great deal to Fielding's fiercely independent nature. Unlike other British officials whom adopted a condescending attitude toward the native people, Fielding treated the Indians with a sense of decency and respect. He wasn't an idealist, but he did tend to approach issues and people from an objective and open-minded point of view. He didn't allow his perceptions of India to be affected negatively by bias or stereotypes. These qualities attracted Dr. Aziz and distinguished Fielding from the other British officials. Indeed, when Dr. Aziz was subsequently accused of assault by Adela, Fielding broke with the British and lent his support to the Indians. In short, the qualities that allowed Fielding's friendship with Dr. Aziz to flourish were his independence of mind, his personal conviction in the notion of an objective justice for all, and his strength of character in declaring and acting on his beliefs. Fielding was a principled man and Dr Aziz respected him in this way.
That there were very real limits to this friendship, however, is beyond doubt. There are moments, in the beginning of the novel, when Dr. Aziz is very accommodating and accepting of the British. He is generous to his British friends, particularly Fielding and Mrs. Moore. The assault charges filed by Adela, however, are a turning point in the novel; indeed, this is where the limits of the friendship between Fielding and Dr. Aziz are most particularly defined and drawn. These men are not equals under the law. The Indians are not entitled to a presumption of innocence; quite the contrary, they are presumed guilty. More, they are not considered honest and their testimony is frowned upon and disbelieved under British law. There is a double standard at work, an in-egalitarian double standard which serves as a barrier to friendship between the British and the Indians.
Issues of nationalism only serve to exacerbate the tensions. If the unequal application of the law functions to separate people, then the competing senses of nationalism tend to inflame the passions of the people trying to co-exist. How can Fielding ever defend an oppressive imperialism given his stated beliefs in justice Indeed, he cannot and his disgust and frustration ultimately persuade him to leave India. In sum, the friendship between Fielding and Dr. Aziz is limited in very real ways. The law treats them unequally, there are competing struggles for influence and power, and nationalism sharpens the disputes. It sharpens the disputes because people are compelled to take sides. Friendships are casualties of these types of conflicting loyalties.
The final issue is whether, in a context such as Fielding and Dr. Aziz existed, egalitarian friendships are truly able to persist. This is an extraordinarily difficult question. One might refer to the American Civil War as an analogy. In this case, fathers, sons, and brothers went to war on opposite sides. Families were divided, destroyed, and friendships damaged beyond repair. There were similar issues of unequal treatment under the law, and a fierce sort of nationalism which erupted. In the North, the nationalism manifested itself in terms of the need to preserve the Union. In the South, the nationalism manifested itself in terms of actual declarations of secession and calls for independence. This analogy is illuminating because it happened within a country with similar ethnic groups, legal principles, and religious backgrounds. In Fielding and Dr. Aziz's case, the differences were far more significant. The point is that the forces at work, the emotions and injustices felt, were much stronger in the case of the British oppression of India than those experienced during the American Civil War. The differences, such as religion and culture, were far greater. That said, I don't believe that friendships can endure the oppression of imperialism. The strains are too great, and people do have to choose sides. At best, friendships which might survive are badly damaged.
In the final analysis, Fielding and Dr. Aziz had much in common. They were both educated men and they were both willing to offer their friendship to people of other nationalities. The unequal treatment of Indians under British law, and the resulting nationalism, however, set up barriers to the development this friendship. There friendship, perhaps, was doomed from the very beginning.
Work Cited
Forster, E.M. (1924). A Passage to India. Penguin Classics: New York. Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
  • CHICAGO
(“A Passage to India Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words”, n.d.)
Retrieved from https://studentshare.org/miscellaneous/1525394-a-passage-to-india
(A Passage to India Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words)
https://studentshare.org/miscellaneous/1525394-a-passage-to-india.
“A Passage to India Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/miscellaneous/1525394-a-passage-to-india.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF A Passage to India

A passage to India

...?A passage to India From an Indian (i.e. Hindu) perspective what are some of the Western similarities between two of the novel’s main characters, Dr. Aziz, the Muslim, and Cyril Fielding, the Englishman? The two important characters Dr. Aziz and Cyril Fielding have many similarities. They are presented in the novel as very close friends who separate for some time due to misunderstanding. Dr. Aziz, Indian Muslim, who had to confront with humiliation and numerous slights befriend with Fielding, an English man. The Indian Hindu perspective of the novel is very evident when Dr. Aziz and friends longs for the company of an English man, the common wish of the Indians during that time. Both, Aziz and Fielding...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay

Managing People

3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Illusions and disillusionment in A Passage to India

...? Illusions and disillusionment in A Passage to India E.M. Forster in his A passage to India creates a world which is full of illusions. The characters cherish certain illusions in their life around which all their hopes lie. These illusions involve different social and religious myths. The real motive of the writer seems to show the hollowness of these illusions and the ultimate destruction of these myths in an ironic way. The unknown powers of destiny seem to be against human aspirations as in Greek Myth and they always are engaged in efforts to dispel the illusory belief formed by man. In this hostile universe faith is an illusion which is unsuccessful to solve the...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Analysis and Interpretation to Develop a Narrowly Focused Theme in A Passage to India

...Sur Supervisor On a Theme in ‘A Passage to India’ A passage to India by E. M. Forster is a novel with multiple perspectives. On the one hand, it depicts political and cultural intricacies that are woven around different classes of people then on the other, it has spiritual or philosophical view point. The novel also echoes relationship issues throughout. Forster depicts the complexities in aspects of friendship and relationship between the people of two different races throughout. The chief among them is that friendship between the people of two different races is impossible in the realm of imperialism. The paper attempts to explore this theme through arguments and...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

A Passage to India Analysis

...? s A Passage to India ‘A Passage to India’ is one of the greatest works produced by E.M. Forster that sheds great light on to the relationship between the Indians and British. The novel was set against the backdrop of the British rule in the Sub-continent. It follows the lives of two women, Mrs. Moore and Adela Quested, who travel to India to gain more insight into the Indian culture; as they were not completely convinced or impressed by the account given by all their fellow English people. Both women embark on their journey to find ‘real India’. The author juxtaposes the women’s quest with that of Aziz, an Indian doctor, who is greatly...
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay

Forster's A Passage to India

...The novel 'A Passage to India' is set in colonial times and depicts relations between the English and the Indians at a time when Indian nationalism was still at a nascent stage. The story unfolds mainly in a small place called Chandrapore, situated on the banks of the holy Ganges River, whose only other attraction is the nearby Marabar Caves. These caves are to play an important role in the book as a symbol of ambiguity as also for the effect a visit to the Caves has on the persona of Mrs. Moore. Mrs. Moore is an elderly English lady who along with her travelling companion, Adela Quested are on a visit to India, to see Mrs. Moore's son from her first marriage, Ronny Heaslop, the City...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

Sexuality in Forsters Passage to India

...Sexuality in Forster's "Passage to India" 2008 Thesis ment Sexuality has been the most hidden aspect in depicting the cultural clashes between the colonizer and the colonized in E.M. Forster's novel A Passage to India, especially in the friendship between Fielding and Aziz or the closeness between Adela Quested and Aziz. Outline Forster's most famous novel A Passage to India (first published in 1924) has been critically discussed in the light of colonialism, freethinking, modernism, traditions, sexuality and the connection between the personal and political. The passing yet cautiously hidden homoerotic feeling between Aziz and Fielding,...
14 Pages(3500 words)Book Report/Review

Passage

...Your Full Your Teacher’s April 14, Necessity of Unity of Productive Forces Across the World Karl Marx, in the section “The Development of the Productive Forces as a Material Premise of Communism” of his work “German Ideology”, explains why communism can only work with the cooperation of working class over the world. He highlights the necessity of an interdependent national revolution across the “propertyless” masses. The core arguments that he puts forth to support his thesis are that without unity and cooperation between the working class over the world, communism would merely end up being a “local event”. This would result in the working class remaining as isolated as ever, whereas they need to be “in their world-historical... Full Your...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay

Passage

...benefits on a global scale. Marx questions the existence of “the species” or society which is causally active apart from the activities of individuals. This dependence of individuals, under a communist revolution, would transform men so that they would master the same powers which they were governed by, and felt as if it were completely alien to them. The passage elucidates the idea of alienation, and history being in a continuous state of evolution. The alienation of man from himself is quite reflective when it comes to the case of private property, which for Marx was a great obstacle for freedom. Property has historically, in all societies, reinforced the relations of production, where a minority took charge of...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay

Passage To India. Responses

...to question Britain’s right to rule India, Foster strives to condemn their inhumane way of ruling. English fail to be pleasant to Indians and most Indians end up feeling dejected. Chracters such as Ronny do not see anything in the Englishmen way of ruling and instead says that, “..English are in India to keep the peace, not to be pleasant..” (Forster 01). I believe Britain was guided by selfish, egocentric interests and was committed to ensure it exhausts the Indians. Instead of finding a real India, Mrs. Moore and Adela’s visit to the caves confirms to them that indeed India was corrupt and was hard to get the experience of ‘real India’. Was utter...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic A Passage to India for FREE!

Contact Us