Describe and analyze the relationship between Aziz and Fielding in the closing scene of A Passage to India, particularly as revealed by their behaviour and sentiment.

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

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Part of the reason why the ending of the book does not lead to overall friendship between Aziz and Fielding is because of Forster's assertion that the culture divide and clash is too formidable to cross.  The cultural divide that exists is one that suggests if two people hold beliefs that are incommensurate, a tense political climate will ensure that those divisions cannot be overcome.  Fielding and Aziz are friends with one another, and their embrace suggests this.  Yet, the tension in India at the time, confirmed by Aziz's hopes that the British will be overthrown and Fielding's belief that the British presence is the only element maintaining law and order, will go very far to ensure that friendship, in this political dynamic, is impossible.  In this light, Forster is suggesting that cultural differences can be overcome.  Yet, in strictly defined political contexts, this task will be very difficult, if not outright impossible.  The skies that suggest "No, not there," speak to the idea that transcendental notions of friendship can only overcome harsh contingencies if both participants are willing to put aside beliefs for something more elevated.  Forster argues that given both men's beliefs and the political cauldron that British India became, this is impossible to accomplish.

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