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MonkeyNotes-A Passage to India by E. M. Forster
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Chapter 3

Mrs. Moore joins Adela Quested at the club, where an English play is being performed. Uninterested in the play, Adela says she wants to go out and see the real India. She has traveled to India with Mrs. Moore in order to become better acquainted with Ronny Heaslop, Mrs. Moore's son by her first husband; Ronny lives in Chandrapore and serves as a British government official. Adela is trying to decide if she wants to marry him.

Both Adela and Mrs. Moore are shocked about the narrow- mindedness of the local British towards the natives. When Adela mentions her desire to meet some Indians, the women around her are appalled. Someone, however, mentions that Fielding, a schoolmaster, might be able to make some introductions. Mr. Turton then offers to give a party to try and bridge the gulf between the Indians and the English. Although the idea is accepted, it becomes clear that the Indian guests will not really be welcome.

On the way home from the club, Ronny asks his mother where she has been. Mrs. Moore tells him about her visit to the Mosque and her meeting with Dr. Aziz. Ronny is openly upset. He firmly believes that the Indians must be kept in their place and that it is wrong for the English to meet them on informal terms. He is proud of being a "Pucca Sahib." When Ronny hears that Aziz complained about Mr. Callendar, his immediate reaction is to report the matter and see that Aziz is punished for it. Mrs. Moore, however, suggests that the matter be dropped, and Ronny reluctantly agrees.


Notes

Adela and Ronny are introduced in this chapter. She is on a visit to India for the first time. Mrs. Moore has brought her along at the request of her son Ronny, who would like to marry Adela. Both Mrs. Moore and Adela also want to get to know India, to understand the culture. They are not like the other British, who believe that the Indians are barbarians who must be ruled with an iron hand. Ronny is a typical British ruler who feels that his people should have nothing to do with the Indians. He is horrified that his mother, Mrs. Moore, has entered the Mosque and befriended Aziz. She, however, has no racial, cultural, or religious barriers. Instead, she becomes the symbol of the universal mother, who thinks the answer is to be found in love, who is capable of judging a person for his worth, and who is gentle enough to call a wasp "a pretty dear." Ironically, she is snubbed by her fellow countrymen for her strange beliefs.

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