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

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In E. M. Forster's A Passage to India, what is the impact of Mr. Fielding in the story?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I think that you can place your focus on how Fielding is the only sample of hope for both sides in the Anglo-Indian relationship.  Forster spends a great deal of time in the novel exploring the theme of the clash of cultures.  By the end of the novel with the trial, the accusations of rape, and the overall disdain that both sides have for one another, there is a zealous polarization that dominates the relationship between both cultures.  It is only through the attempts of people like Fielding that redemption is possible in this configuration.  Fielding is a honorable man, one that looks past cultural trappings and seeks to see people as they are.  He stands against his own people in his belief in Aziz and still stands by Aziz, even at the end when Aziz's own antagonisms have occupied his psyche.  Fielding's impact is to provide a sense of hope in the landscape of the Anglo-Indian relationship.  Perhaps with Fielding as a model, there can be hope for both sides to come to some accord and find common ground.  The extreme nature of the relationship requires that someone rise above such antagonisms.  Fielding provides the hope and the redemption that this is possible, confirming the large impact he has in the narative.

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