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

Cyril Fielding is a cultured and thoughtful middle-aged Englishman who has come to Chandrapore to be the principal of the college. Education is his top priority. Like Mrs. Moore, he has fewer prejudices than most British in India. He is comfortable teaching both British and Indian students, and has friends from both societies, including Mrs. Moore, Adela, Aziz, Godbole, and Hamidullah. He strives to be fair, trying to as certain the truth before making judgements. He understands power structures and appreciates the people who follow their human instincts. He particularly dislikes the British rulers in India, because he feels they are greedy, arrogant, cruel, rude, and power-hungry.

Although somewhat reserved like most Englishmen, he is still good tempered and has a sense of humor. He has obviously suffered some set-backs and disappointments in life and by his own admission would "now prefer to travel light." Forster, however, gives no information about Fielding's family background or past life.

Although Fielding and Dr. Aziz become close friends in the novel, they present a study in contrast. Fielding is rational, frank, open, and trusting; Aziz is emotional, highly imaginative, and often suspicious. At the end of the novel, Fielding is in changed circumstances; he is married to Stella Moore and become more nationalistic; he may even return to England since Godbole has not school for him in Mau. He has also realized that his simple philosophy of "kindness, kindness, kindness, -- more kindness till it hurts" does not work.


Major Callendar

Callendar is a pompous, undignified man who represents the worst of the British ruling class; in short, he is a vindictive and insolent bully. He serves as Dr. Aziz's Senior Doctor at the local hospital. Although he would never admit it, he realizes that Dr. Aziz is a better surgeon than he is and resents him for it. He patronizes the British women after the arrest of Aziz and blames himself for permitting Dr. Aziz to organize the expedition to the Marabar Caves. It would be no exaggeration to say that he stretches to the extreme all the faults that Ronny has.

Mr. McBryde

McBryde is an unlikable British official who is somewhat ineffectual. Although he is educated and well-read, he is perhaps the most obnoxious British character in the novel. As District Superintendent of Police, he viciously goes after Aziz. He opens the trial with a totally prejudiced and hateful point of view, saying that the darker races are always attracted to the fairer sex, but never vice-versa; he holds up this view as a scientific fact. During the court proceedings, McBryde dramatically accuses Aziz of the type of behavior--sneaky, lecherous, and deceitful--that he himself is apparently engaging in with Ms. Derek.

Ralph and Stella

Mrs. Moore was twice married, and Ralph and Stella are her children by her second marriage; Ronny is their half-brother. Since Forster introduces them only at the end of the novel, they are not developed fully.

Fielding has married Stella, and he has brought her and Ralph to India. Fielding confides to Aziz that by nature her inclination is more towards the spiritual than the physical. Although she never speaks in the book, she contributes to the reunion of Fielding and Aziz by causing the two boats to capsize, throwing the men into the river to be reborn into a new sense of friendship.

Ralph is an idiot-savant, a sort of wise fool who is open and honest. He has some of his mother's perceptive nature and interest in life. Ralph has an important role to play in the life of Aziz because he rekindles the doctor's faith in the fond memories of Mrs. Moore.

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