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MonkeyNotes-A Passage to India by E. M. Forster
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Chapter 18

Fielding finally arrives at the police station. He finds Mr. McBryde, the District Superintendent of Police, to be an educated and understanding Englishman. When questioned, he explains the whole charge against Aziz to Fielding. When Adela wandered into the cave alone, Aziz supposedly followed her and made insulting advances. Adela tried to escape from him; in doing so, she hit him with her field glasses. He pulled at them, breaking the strap of the glasses. Adela left her glasses behind and ran away. Miss Derek brought her back to town.

According to the authorities, all the evidence presented against Aziz proves him to be "guilty" of the offense; there is even evidence that Aziz had intentions of going to Calcutta to visit prostitutes. Lastly, McBryde reports that Aziz has pictures of women in his house. Fielding tells him that the woman is Aziz's wife! McBryde does not believe him. Fielding feels frustrated; he realizes that all the evidence as circumstantial. When Fielding asks to see Aziz, the request is denied. Neither will McBryde allow Adela to be questioned.


Notes

This chapter shows the difficulty Aziz will have proving his innocence. The British have already put together a case against him, built on circumstantial evidence. The highhandedness, the insolence, and the utter lack of respect for truth are obvious here. McBryde tries to make Aziz appear like a man who is ravenous for sex. He claims that the prisoner's house is filled with pictures of a woman and refuses to believe Fielding when he says the pictures are of Aziz's wife. Even a letter from Aziz's friend, who is supposed to own a brothel in Calcutta, is presented as evidence of Aziz's sexual craze and guilt. It is a picture of the justice system gone awry; the reader is left to believe that an Indian man, even though a respected doctor, stands little change against these prejudiced British officials.

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