E. M. Forster

A Passage to India (Unabridged)

A Passage to India by E. M. Forster - is a 1924 novel by English author E. M. Forster set against the backdrop of the British Raj and the Indian independence movement in the 1920s. It was selected as one of the 100 great works of 20th century English literature by the Modern Library and won the 1924 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction. Time magazine included the novel in its "All Time 100 Novels" list. The novel is based on Forster's experiences in India, deriving the title from Walt Whitman's 1870 poem "Passage to India" in Leaves of Grass.

Plot summary
British schoolmistress, Adela Quested, and her elderly friend, Mrs. Moore, visit the fictional Indian city of Chandrapore. Adela is to decide if she wants to marry Mrs. Moore's son, Ronny Heaslop, the city magistrate.

Meanwhile, Dr. Aziz, a young Indian Muslim physician, is called from dining with friends by Major Callendar, Aziz's superior at the hospital, but is delayed. Disconsolate at finding him gone, Aziz walks back and enters his favourite mosque on impulse. Seeing Mrs Moore there, he yells at her not to profane this sacred place, but the two then chat and part as friends. When Mrs. Moore relates her experience later, Ronny becomes indignant at the native's presumption.

Because the newcomers had expressed a desire to meet Indians, Mr. Turton, the city tax collector, invites several to his house, but the party turns out awkwardly, due to the Indians' timidity and the Britons' bigotry. Also there is Cyril Fielding, principal of Chandrapore's government-run college for Indians, who invites Adela and Mrs. Moore to a tea party with him and a Hindu-Brahmin professor named Narayan Godbole. At Adela's request, he extends his invitation to Dr. Aziz.

At the party, Fielding and Aziz become friends and Aziz promises to take Mrs. Moore and Adela to see the distant Marabar Caves. Ronny arrives and, finding Adela "unaccompanied" with Dr. Aziz and Professor Godbole, rudely breaks up the party.

Aziz mistakenly believes that the women are offended that he has not followed through on his promise and arranges an outing to the caves at great expense to himself. Fielding and Godbole are supposed to accompany the expedition, but they miss the train. In the first cave they visit, Mrs. Moore is overcome with claustrophobia and disturbed by the echo. When she declines to continue, Adela and Aziz climb the hill to the upper caves, accompanied by a guide.
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