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

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What kind of picture does Forster present of British rule in India?

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A Passage to India was written between 1912 and 1921, at a time when the British domination in India started to be strongly questioned. (India did not, however, achieve its independence until 1949, after more than thirty years from the novel’s publication). The debates on colonization found their way into the novel and went on to constitute its narrative core. Much of the praise or criticism that the novel has garnered since its publication has focused on the representation of British colonialism in India. Anglo-Indians felt caricatured by the book and, as Paul Scott recalled when reassessing A Passage to India in the 1960s, “threw copies overboard from the P. and O. into the Red Sea.” As Scott went on, the novel had a clear impact on society as “it gave vivid dramatic evidence to justify the direction of a swing that had already begun” (Scott 15). The swing that Scott talks about is that against colonialism and colonization.

A Passage to India documents the racial oppression...

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