Places Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Places)
Chandrapore Old, remote Hindu city with filthy alleyways and mean streets that is divided into three parts: old Chandrapore on the Ganges River; inland Maidan on higher ground, and the Civil Station on the second hill. Although it is located on the river, Chandrapore has no riverfront and no bathing steps. Nothing distinguishes Chandrapore except for its proximity to the Marabar Caves. It is home for the Indians.
Maidan. Central section of Chandrapore that contains the hospital in which Dr. Aziz practices medicine and which is the section in which most Europeans live, in houses near the railway station. Maidan has an oval parade field on which polo is played and where soldiers practice.
Civil Station. Section of Chandrapore made up of British civil offices and residences. It is a city of gardens, forests, birds, and streets laid out and named for generals. If not charming, it is functional, with houses for the officials, a grocery store, a cemetery, the Chandrapore Club, Government College, and the official offices. The police station and courthouse are located in the Civil Station. The police station is where Aziz is incarcerated after he is accused of an attack on Adela. The court is the formal courtroom for legal proceedings and is composed of several platforms for various service persons and magistrates who function in the courtroom.
The Civil Station is more formal than some of the other settings of the novel. Mr. Fielding’s residence is located near the Government College. Social interaction among Aziz, the British officials, and visitors before and after Aziz’s trial occurs here. It is also the only place for Adela to stay after the trial ends. The residence of the superintendent of police is where Mrs. McBryde provides nursing care and sanctuary for Adela after the attack and...
(The entire section is 781 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!
Part I, Chapters I – III: Questions and Answers
1. Where are the Marabar Caves in relation to Chandrapore?
2. What does Hamidullah believe about the possibility of friendship with the English in India?
3. Why do Mrs. Turton and Mrs. Lesley not ask Aziz if they may take the tonga?
4. Why does Aziz find it possible to talk freely to Mrs. Moore? What is her attitude toward the Indians?
5. What is Ronny Heaslop’s reaction when he discovers his mother has been talking to Dr. Aziz?
6. What does Mr. Turton mean when he says that Heaslop’s a sahib?
7. What kind of a “bridge-party” does Mr. Turton intend to give?
8. Why do the Englishwomen feel it is necessary to keep...
(The entire section is 415 words.)
Part I, Chapters IV – VI: Questions and Answers
1. Why do the other Indians allow Nawab Bahadur to convince them to go to the party?
2. What information does Mrs. Turton give Mrs. Moore about the rank of Englishwomen in India in relation to Indian women?
3. Why does Mrs. Turton know only the imperative forms of Urdu?
4. What does Heaslop believe is the purpose of the English in India?
5. What does Mrs. Moore believe their purpose is?
6. Why doesn’t Aziz go to the party?
7. What proves Major Callendar’s ignorance of Indian life?
8. Why is it offensive to Dr. Panna Lal when Aziz hits the Brahminy bull with his polo mallet?
9. In what ways are Aziz and...
(The entire section is 414 words.)
Part I, Chapter VII: Questions and Answers
1. Why does Aziz go biking in English dress rather than a fez?
2. Why is Aziz offended by Fielding’s response to his remark about Post-Impressionism?
3. What is Fielding’s definition of the difference between a mystery and a muddle?
4. Why does Aziz invite the party to the Marabar Caves?
5. Why does Heaslop tell Fielding he shouldn’t have left Miss Quested alone with Aziz and Professor Godbole?
6. What is Aziz’s description of Deccani Brahmins?
7. What does Professor Godbole say about the Marabar Caves?
8. Why does Miss Quested feel she should have told Heaslop about her decision not to settle in India before...
(The entire section is 418 words.)
Part I, Chapter VIII: Questions and Answers
1. Why didn’t Heaslop pay attention to Aziz’s previous announcement that Miss Quested would not stay in India?
2. Why is Miss Quested ashamed of Heaslop’s behavior at the tea party?
3. Why does the chauffeur take the Marabar Road rather than the Gangavati?
4. Why is Mr. Harris self-conscious when he is together with Indians and Anglo-Indians?
5. In what way is Miss Derek condescending to Heaslop?
6. What is Miss Quested’s reaction to this condescension?
7. What is the Nawab Bahadur’s mental picture of the Maharani? What is his opinion of superstition at this point?
8. Why does Miss Quested feel humiliated after...
(The entire section is 378 words.)
Part I, Chapters IX – XI: Questions and Answers
1. Why is Rafi called “the Sherlock Holmes of Chandrapore”? Is he an accurate detective?
2. How do Aziz’s visitors react to the poem he recites?
3. Why does Fielding’s remark about atheism lead the Indians to ask him why the English are justified in holding India?
4. What is the reply Fielding could have made and doesn’t? Why not?
5. Why are the Indians unable to understand the terms in which Fielding is talking?
6. Why had Aziz ordered his servant not to bring Fielding’s horse when the other visitors left?
7. What is the corollary that Aziz adds to his remark that all men are brothers?
8. On what grounds do...
(The entire section is 382 words.)
Part II, Chapters XII – XIV: Questions and Answers
1. What do visitors usually feel about their experience of the Marabar Caves? Why do they find it difficult to discuss them?
2. What do the walls of the circular chamber look like when a match is lit inside?
3. What version of Miss Quested’s remark in the Club reaches Aziz?
4. In what ways does Aziz rely on his friends’ help to organize the expedition?
5. Why does Aziz suggest the women send their servant back? Why do they agree?
6. Why do Fielding and Godbole miss the train?
7. What is Mrs. Moore’s opinion of marriage?
8. What mistake does Aziz make in overrating hospitality?
9. How does Aziz...
(The entire section is 416 words.)
Part II, Chapters XV – XVII: Questions and Answers
1. Why does Adela not want to break her engagement to Heaslop, even though she has realized that they don’t love each other?
2. What train of thought leads her to ask Aziz how many wives he has? Why is Aziz shocked by it? Is she aware of his shock?
3. Why does Aziz strike the guide?
4. What is Aziz’s reaction when he hears that Miss Quested and Miss Derek have driven back to Chandrapore?
5. What causes the awkwardness between Mrs. Moore and Fielding? How does Aziz feel about it?
6. Why does Aziz conceal the truth about what happened in the caves?
7. Why does Mrs. Moore feel apathetic and cynical?
8. Why is Fielding...
(The entire section is 491 words.)
Part II, Chapters XVIII – XXI: Questions and Answers
1. Why is Fielding’s first request to see Aziz denied?
2. Why is Mr. McBryde triumphant when he finds a picture of a woman among the contents of Aziz’s drawer?
3. What change has occurred in the Anglo-Indian women’s feelings toward Miss Quested?
4. What are Mr. Turton’s emotions as he speaks to the Anglo-Indians at the Club? Is he entirely ruled by his emotions at this time?
5. Why does Major Callendar feel guilty? How does he deal with his guilt?
6. What rumors does Major Callendar relay about Aziz? Are these rumors generally believed?
7. Why does Callendar’s first attack on Fielding fail to mature?
8. Why do...
(The entire section is 535 words.)
Part II, Chapters XXII – XXIII: Questions and Answers
1. Why does Miss Quested long to see Mrs. Moore?
2. What does her response to Fielding’s letter suggest about her inner state?
3. What do Mrs. Moore’s words and actions indicate when Adela arrives at the bungalow?
4. What are Heaslop’s unspoken opinions of his mother?
5. Why does Heaslop ask Miss Quested not to speak of Aziz’s innocence again?
6. What does Mrs. Moore mean by saying, “There are different ways of evil, and I prefer mine to yours”? What is Mrs. Moore’s way of evil?
7. Why does Mrs. Moore believe Aziz is innocent? What do Heaslop and Miss Quested think of her belief?
8. Why does Heaslop...
(The entire section is 418 words.)
Part II, Chapter XXIV: Questions and Answers
1. What are the ominous signs of unrest that precede the trial?
2. Why is Miss Quested sure she will get her verdict?
3. What point does Miss Quested not want to tell the truth about?
4. Why does Heaslop support Mr. Das in asking the Europeans to step down?
5. Why does Mahmoud Ali leave the court?
6. How does Heaslop react to hearing his mother turned into a Hindu goddess?
7. When McBryde states that Miss Quested entered the cave alone and then Aziz followed her in, what reply does he expect? Why does he expect this answer?
8. Why does Mr. Das insist on addressing Miss Quested himself? Is this in keeping with his...
(The entire section is 384 words.)
Part II, Chapters XXV – XXVI: Questions and Answers
1. What rumor has been circulating about Miss Quested’s recantation?
2. Why does Aziz feel that Fielding has deserted him?
3. What rumor does Mahmoud Ali start about Nureddin?
4. How does Dr. Panna Lal avert disaster?
5. What is the theme of the Nawab Bahadur’s speech? What is ironic about his change of title?
6. What are the four possibilities Fielding suggests to account for Miss Quested’s behavior? Does she seem to favor any one of them over the others?
7. What does Hamidullah mean by saying, “A great deal has been broken, more than will ever be mended”?
8. Why isn’t Hamidullah impressed by Miss...
(The entire section is 402 words.)
Part II, Chapters XXVII – XXIX: Questions and Answers
1. Why does Aziz say that he should have become anti-British much sooner?
2. What does Fielding try to explain about Miss Quested? On what grounds does he ask Aziz to spare her from paying excess costs?
3. Why is Fielding offended by Aziz’s suggested letter of apology?
4. Why does Ronny Heaslop continue to inwardly criticize Mrs. Moore after her death?
5. Why is the letter that Fielding helps Miss Quested write a failure?
6. Why does Heaslop break off the engagement?
7. How does Miss Quested feel about her broken engagement? Why didn’t she break it herself?
8. Why does Miss Quested feel that she will be all right in...
(The entire section is 401 words.)
Part II, Chapters XXX – XXXII: Questions and Answers
1. How do Aziz and Mr. Das feel about each other during their outwardly friendly conversation?
2. Why does Aziz resolve to leave British India and to go live in a Hindu state?
3. What is the “naughty rumor” Mohammed Latif is spreading?
4. Does Hamidullah insist that his wife keep purdah, or is it her choice?
5. What is Fielding’s reaction when Aziz tells him about the rumor that Mohammed Latif is spreading?
6. Why does Aziz claim to have remembered a previous dinner engagement with Mr. Das?
7. According to Fielding, why is it difficult for Indians to write poetry?
8. Why is Aziz, who is not a mercenary man, haunted...
(The entire section is 385 words.)
Part III, Chapter XXXIIIQuestions and Answers
1. How much time has passed since Fielding left India?
2. What is Professor Godbole’s title in Mau?
3. What is the expression on the faces of the worshippers when they see the image of Shri Krishna?
4. Why are Godbole’s musicians unperturbed by the Europeanized band?
5. Does Professor Godbole make an effort to remember Mrs. Moore for a particular reason?
6. Who is the ruler of the State of Mau? What is his role in the festival?
7. According to legend, at what time was Shri Krishna born?
8. Who are the two physicians who take care of the Rajah?
9. What games are played after the Rajah has been carried...
(The entire section is 262 words.)
Part III, Chapters XXXIV – XXXV: Questions and Answers
1. Is Aziz tolerated in this Hindu state? What is the most important distinction there?
2. Why doesn’t Aziz know that Fielding has married Mrs. Moore’s daughter?
3. How has Aziz’s life changed since he left Chandrapore?
4. Who is Colonel Maggs? Why is he unable to influence the Rajah against Aziz?
5. Why does Aziz tear up Fielding’s note?
6. Why is the news of the Rajah’s death concealed?
7. Who is and who is not stung inside the Shrine of the Head?
8. What conditions at the Guest House cause Fielding to complain?
9. What reveals Aziz’s mistake about Fielding’s marriage?
10. What is...
(The entire section is 306 words.)
Part III, Chapter XXXVI: Questions and Answers
1. Why doesn’t the usual dramatic performance depicting the life of Krishna take place?
2. Why is it difficult for Aziz to understand the atmosphere that surrounds the festival?
3. Why does Aziz intend to bring the ointment back with him after treating Ralph? Why does he change his mind?
4. What is the Sweeper’s band? What is its function in the festival?
5. Who are the letters from and what do they say?
6. Why is Aziz rough with Ralph at first? When and why does his attitude change?
7. Why is Aziz puzzled by his gratitude toward Mrs. Moore?
8. What is the place that Ralph directs Aziz toward in the boat?
(The entire section is 377 words.)
Part III, Chapter XXXVII: Questions and Answers
1. Why do Fielding and the others have to leave Mau so soon?
2. Why hasn’t Professor Godbole shown Fielding around the high school?
3. In what sense has Fielding’s visit been a failure? In what sense has it been a success?
4. What does Aziz say in his letter to Miss Quested?
5. Why does Fielding want Aziz to talk to Stella or to Ralph?
6. What question does Fielding ask himself when he reflects on the events surrounding the trial?
7. Why does Fielding persist in questioning Aziz about the Krishna festival?
8. What is Aziz’s visionary experience?
9. During their playful quarrel, Fielding makes fun of...
(The entire section is 386 words.)
Ideas for Group Discussions
Compare and Contrast
Glossary: Anglo-Indian Terminology
Topics for Further Study
What Do I Read Next?
Bibliography (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Bradbury, Malcolm, ed. E. M. Forster, “A Passage to India”: A Casebook. London: Macmillan, 1970. Nineteen essays about every aspect of the novel. Particularly interesting are an interview with Forster in which he discusses his writing of A Passage to India and a selection of early reviews and reactions to his novel.
Furbank, P. N. E. M. Forster: A Life. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978. Provides many details about Forster’s travels in India. Explains Forster’s struggles to write his masterpiece and how he coped with its critical and financial success.
Godfrey, Denis. E. M....
(The entire section is 221 words.)