A Passage to India Questions and Answers
by E. M. Forster

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To what extent can we consider the incident of the cave a turning point in relation between the British and the Indians in A Passage to India?

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The incident at the Marabar Caves proved to be a significant turning point in the relationship between the Indians and the British in A Passage to India.

There had been existing tension between the Indians and the British who lived in Chandrapore.  However, it is clear that the reaction to what happened in the caves between Aziz and Adela brought these tensions to the surface.  It was a turning point between both groups because it helped to fill out the narrative that both sides had regarding the other.  The British who lived in Chandrapore saw the incident at the caves a prime example of how Indians are "savages" and cannot be trusted.  Members of British society like Heaslop, Turton, and McBride looked at Aziz's actions as representative of how all Indians behave, thereby justifying British rule.  At the same time, Indians viewed what happened in the caves as the embodiment of how the British take advantage of Indians.  The incident at the caves epitomized British disrespect towards "the natives."  The Indians saw Adela's claims as false. The incident in the caves was a significant turning point because it brought the simmering tensions of both sides to the surface.

The enmity between the Indians and the British was clearly seen in Aziz's trial.  Both sides viewed the other as playing "politics."  As a result, neither side trusted the other and the truth could not be achieved. The trial became a "muddle," just like the relationship between the Indians and the British after the incident in the caves.   

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