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Book Review : A Passage to India by E.M Forster

Cover of "A Passage to India"

Cover of A Passage to India

Book cover by Amazon

I have finished reading,  A Passage to India by E.M.Forster , Penguin Books, London,England, 2005.

The clever and articulate binding of the races, religions, and differing points of view, makes this novel a real page turner. The reader keeps wondering how it is all going to end. The confusions that arise over cultural differences, and religion, and the colonial power struggle between the different sects of Indians and the British is fascinating. The way Forster describes India as chaotic, hot, colorful, and mesmerizing sets the background for the various plots and sub-plots. There is also a mystical and philosophical theme running throughout the novel. However, one fault in the novel (my opinion) was Adela’s accusation against Dr Aziz. She claims that the echo disoriented her, and she continues to hear it in her head, until she confesses that Dr Aziz is innocent. That doesn’t explain why she would claim an innocent person assaulted her.Up until then she is portrayed as a young, sensible and pragmatic woman.

There are many references to British Colonialism, Imperialism e.g. Colonialism: p.23 –  ‘… the amateur orchestra played the  National Anthem.It was the Anthem of the Army of Occupation.’ p. 45 – ‘And Englishmen like posting as Gods.’p. 163 – ‘Fear is everywhere;the British Raj depends on it…’

There are also references to Philosophical ideas e.g. p.89 -‘Mrs Moore, if one isn’t absolutely honest, what is the use of existing?’ p. 248 – ‘Were there worlds beyond which they could never touch, or did all that is possible enter their consciousness?’

A really wonderful book that makes you ponder the absurdities of life and the many ways that  humans deal with day-to-day reality.

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This entry was posted on May 10, 2012 by and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

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