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

Mrs. Moore is more a symbolic character than a fully developed one. In fact, Forster never even mentions her first name. She, however, becomes the person who conveys Forster's basic messages: love is meant to bind all people, connection is communication, and an open heart leads to an open mind. Unfortunately, she sees that the British rulers in India, including her son Ronny, are a total contrast to her philosophy. Instead, she is attracted to men like Aziz and Fielding, who are free of prejudice and arrogance.

Mrs. Moore is the mother of Ronny, Stella, and Ralph. She has traveled to the East to see her son Ronny and to bring Adela over to India to hopefully marry him. Like Fielding, Mrs. Moore is middle-aged, loving, and caring. Forster intended her to be a kind of universal matronly mother. Her simple outlook on life is her belief that loving everyone is a very simple thing. With no prejudices, acceptance is Mrs. Moore's creed.

Although Mrs. Moore is not totally untroubled, she has an essential peace that appeals to eastern characters, especially Aziz. Like Adela, she hears the horrifying echoes in the cave and is frightened by them. She is also affected by the Hindu songs of Godbole. Her mystical vision, awakened in the Marabar Caves, saps her energy and leads to utter despair, for she realizes that universal love does not seem to be possible. In turn, she loses her will to live and dies during her boat trip back to England. Her death suggests that she could never accept Britain as her homeland again.

It is interesting to note that. Moore is more alive in death than she was when she walked the earth. There are shrines constructed in her memory by the Indians, and Ronny has a headstone erected for her in England, even though she is buried at sea. Adela, Aziz, and Ralph also honor her memory and revere her influence. In fact, she is the reason that Aziz is able at the end of the novel to forgive Adela and thank her for exonerating him during the trial.


Professor Narayan Godbole

It is curious that Forster refers to Godbole as Professor although he does not refer to Fielding as Principal Fielding. Forster sets him apart from the other Indians portrayed in the novel, for Godbole is fair, almost like a European, has gray-blue eyes, and is a Hindu. He works at the college with Fielding and is considered an intellectual. He is an authority on Hinduism and practices his religion with intensity. His Hindu song about Lord Krishna, symbolizing the spiritual side of India, makes a deep impression on Mrs. Moore and Adela. He is detached from the life around him and at peace with himself. He is not upset by the arrest of Dr. Aziz nor by the fact that the school he started comes to be used as a granary. Neither is he terribly concerned about British rule in India.

Nawab Bahadur

Nawab, a wealthy Muslim landowner, is important to be book because he represents the beginning of the Indian uprising for freedom. After the trial of Dr. Aziz, he renounces his British- conferred title, Dr. Panna Lal.

Forster seems to have created Panna Lal purely as a figure of fun. He is a humorous figure in his abjectly humble attitude towards the British. He has no reservations about apologizing to the mob that has collected outside the hospital. He is Indian humility personified and becomes a caricature.

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