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The entire plot of 'A Passage to India' hinges on race and gender. Do you agree? 

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swatisameer | Elementary School Teacher | eNoter

Posted December 27, 2009 at 2:32 PM via web

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The entire plot of 'A Passage to India' hinges on race and gender. Do you agree? 

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 27, 2009 at 7:49 PM (Answer #1)

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It is a challenge to take a complex work and attempt to reduce to one or two elements.  This might be where we are with this particular statement in regards to Forster's work.  Certainly, race and gender are critical elements to the work, in general.  However, there are other themes that help to develop it as a whole.  One of those might be the idea of ambiguity in the social stratification offered in race and gender.  The novel does a very good job of depicting characters that are immersed in a great deal of doubt and questioning social structures, trying to find their own place in these settings as one tries to find their own presence in the darkness of the Marabar Caves.  To a large extent, each character realizes that despite the socially carved out role for each on basis of race or gender, they still struggle to discover their own identity and understanding their own consciousness.  Each character, from Dr. Aziz to Mrs. Moore to Adela to Rony to Fielding, has to endure some level of questioning the structure and their identity.  Race and gender has helped to create this, but there is a greater level of ambiguity, complexity, and doubt that emerges in this process.  It seems to me that the novel examines this understanding as well as the issues of race and gender.

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