A Passage to India By E. M. Forster Study Help Essay Questions

1. Compare the attitude toward the natives of (1) Mrs. Moore; (2) Fielding; (3) Ronny.

2. Describe some of the barriers to understanding between the British civil servant and the natives.

3. Give instances of insensitive and uncivil treatment of the Indians by the English.

4. Discuss Oriental womanhood as shown in the novel.

5. In what specific ways does Mrs. Moore make herself agreeable to Aziz?

6. What is the effect of the exoneration of Aziz upon (1) Mr. and Mrs. Turton; (2) Ronny; (3) Fielding; (4) Aziz?

7. Give instances of satire in the novel.

8. What is the basis of the friendship between Fielding and Aziz? Between Fielding and Adela?

9. Does Cyril Fielding change in the course of the novel? Why, and in what ways?

10. Why does Mrs. Moore allow Ronny to send her back to England?

11. What is the effect of Professor Godbole's song upon Adela and Mrs. Moore?

12. What keeps the "Bridge Party" from being a success?

13. Why do the Hindus not respond favorably to the missionaries?

14. How does the Hindu religious festival of the Temple section differ from the Mohurram festival?

15. In what way does Adela get the "worst of both worlds"?

16. Why is reconciliation difficult for Fielding and Aziz at the end of the book?

17. What portentous statement does Aziz make to Fielding on their last ride together about the future generations of Indians?

18. What similarities do you see between Hinduism and Christianity as presented in this book? What differences?

19. What is the significance of the friendship between Aziz and Ralph?

20. Why does Fielding not reprimand Godbole for neglecting the government school?

21. Explore the use of any one of these symbols in detail, or all of them briefly: the echo, the sky, the wasp.

22. Adela may be said to approach life intellectually, Mrs. Moore emotionally, and Aziz impulsively. Compare and contrast these characteristics in any given situation.

23. Select a protagonist and defend your choice.

24. Take the scene of the "Bridge Party" and describe what might have brought the groups together.

25. What is the significance of the magnificent native who operated the fan in the court scene? Discuss his relation with the participants.

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