Homework Help

A Passage to India examines the racial discrimination that characterised the British...

user profile pic

sallysal1987 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted July 8, 2013 at 6:42 AM via web

dislike 1 like

A Passage to India examines the racial discrimination that characterised the British occupation of India. Elaborate.

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 8, 2013 at 8:06 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 2 like

Forster in this famous novel presents the reader with a typical view of how the British viewed the Indians that they ruled over in the colonial Raj. It is important to identify how Forster develops this view. He uses two outsiders to India in the form of Mrs Moore and Adela Quested to expose the breathtaking arrogance and stereotypes that lie at the very core of British interactions with the Indians they live alongside. Note for example what Ronny says to his mother to describe the "native":

It's the educated native's latest dodge.. But whether the native swaggers or cringes, there's always something behind every remark he makes, always something, and if nothing else he's trying to increase his izzat—in plain Anglo-Saxon, to score. Of course there are exceptions.

Ronny therefore argues that those "natives" like Hamidullah and Aziz who are educated are only trying to increase their own wealth, and there is a careful and calculating motive behind every relationship between and Indian and an Englishman, if Ronny is to be believed. Of course, with this statement, Ronny argues that educated Indians do not at all have any ideas of trying to gain independence or improve their lot in life. He dismisses them all as self-seeking, greedy individuals. Ronny shows similar arrogance later on when he sees that Aziz is dressed impeccably except for his collar-stud, and derides the "slackness" and "inattention to detail" of the native, even though Aziz had actually leant his collar-stud to Fielding because he had forgotten it. The novel therefore presents the reader with many different views of racial discrimination concerning the way that the British viewed the Indians during this period of history.

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes