Does E.M Forster see any possibility of uniting the East with the West in the characters of Aziz and Fielding ?

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lynnebh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I believe Forster intends to imply in this novel that the culture clash between the Indians and the British can only be overcome on a personal level through friendships. Fielding and Aziz both want to be friends, but Aziz believes they cannot be friends until the English are no longer in his country. Fielding does not agree, but he is British. The culture clashes in this novel are most pronounced among characters that are not really interested in making friends in India (Adela, Ronnie, etc.), but among the characters that are more sensitive to cultural differences  (Mrs. Moore, Fielding, Godbole), there are opportunities to come together and overcome the cultural differences. The evils of colonialism, however, seem to be overwhelming forces that Forster, at the end of the novel, implies may be too great to erase decades of ethnocentric behavior on the part of the British and the Indians and perhaps even good friendships are not strong enough to bridge the gap.