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Critically examine the Fielding-Aziz relationship in A Passage to India.

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gayathri | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 10, 2008 at 3:26 PM via web

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Critically examine the Fielding-Aziz relationship in A Passage to India.

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m0000m | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 22, 2008 at 10:50 AM (Answer #3)

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The friendship breaks down after Aziz is arrested. He accuses Fielding of deserting him, even though Fielding had been prevented by Mr. Turton from accompanying him to jail, and had staunchly declared his belief in Aziz's innocence. After his release, an embittered Aziz rejects Fielding's friendship. After Fielding returns to England, Aziz, who wrongly believes that Fielding has married Adela, destroys Fielding's letters unread.

The collapse of the friendship between Aziz and Fielding also shows the difficulty of friendship and communication between West and East, between the occupying power and the disenfranchised indigenous inhabitants. This is not a recipe for a relationship between equals. The end of the novel poignantly expresses the gulf that circumstances and race have placed between Aziz and Fielding, and which cannot be bridged. Although they both want to continue their restored friendship, Aziz insists that it cannot happen until the English leave India

dear gayathri ... this is what I found after reading the novel and searching the net. I hope it is useful for you.

good luck

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pearl7391 | Student, Undergraduate | Honors

Posted February 10, 2012 at 4:42 PM (Answer #4)

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E.M. Forster's A Passage to India is essentially a psychological novel that centres round more or less the Aziz-Fielding relationship. The relationship, though frank and hearty at the initial stage, proved to be very much complex later, since the temperaments of the two are basically different. Seemingly Fielding, as portrayed in the novel, is a believer in universalism having a craving for friendship with human in general whether Aziz is a staunch disciple of Islam. Moreover he rears the strongest form of nationalism in him that prevents the growth of universalism even to some extent. Fielding representing the ruler class to Dr. Aziz who has to sufer insult and harassment repeatedly in spite of his efficiency as a doctor and a well-mannered person cannot be expected to get the warmth of friendship for long. It is also because Aziz believes that a long-lasting friendship can be possible only if the two are equal racially, socially and temperamentally.

Gradually their friendship collapses with  the strong blows of a sequence of events that widens the gap between the two cultures. This is the common lot of the two cultures where there is one nation colonised by the other.

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bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted February 11, 2008 at 10:31 AM (Answer #1)

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Fielding is an outsider among the other British in India. He doesn't view the Indians as an inferior race, just different. He really believes that people of different cultures and beliefs can bridge the gap of understanding "by the help of good will plus culture and intelligence." He values friendship above any differences that people may have, and he tries to prove this with Dr. Aziz. He's the only British person who believes in the innocence of Aziz and doesn't hesitate to stand up for him.

Dr. Aziz is a complex man who seems unable to forge friendships with his own people and seems almost desperate to establish friendships with the English. He doesn't accept the Hindus in his own country, and I think this is indicative of Aziz being unable to accept friendship from anyone when it is sincerely offered to him. Aziz doesn't see Fielding for two years, and hearing that Fielding has remarried, Aziz assumes Fielding married Miss Quested, the woman who accused Aziz of rape. (Fielding had offered his home as an asylum to her after the trial.) It's almost as if Aziz is subconsciously sabotaging any possibility of a friendship with Fielding. The two meet accidentally, and Aziz is embarrassed about his assumption that Fielding married Quested. Aziz allows his bitterness toward all English to extend to Fielding as well and feels Fielding has chosen sides by marrying an Englishwoman.

There's so much more on the topic, so go to the link below.

Sources:

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m0000m | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 22, 2008 at 10:47 AM (Answer #2)

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The most important relationship in the novel is that between two men, Aziz and Fielding. The relationships between men and women-primarily those between Adela and Ronny, and Adela and Fielding-are superficial by comparison. Aziz and Fielding like each other immediately they meet, and an intimacy and depth of feeling springs up between them. When Fielding invites Aziz to tea, Aziz goes out of his way to please his host, offering him his own collar stud when Fielding breaks his. Later, when Fielding visits him, Aziz shows him a picture of his dead wife. Fielding has none of the prejudice against Indians that the other English people have, and is happy to reciprocate Aziz's trust and affection. However, he feels a trifle uncomfortable with the emotional Aziz, because his own nature is more reserved, and he does not usually form close friendships. But the friendship does not survive unscathed, partly because the two men are so different in temperament. Aziz is emotional, imaginative, and poetic: "In every remark he found a meaning, but not always the true meaning, and his life though vivid was largely a dream" (chapter 7). The down-to-earth Englishman who relies on facts and information to solve life's problems could hardly be more of a contrast. Aziz is also quick to take offense, and even Fielding eventually starts to believe that all Indians are likely to let a man down.

to be continued

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