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

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What is the role of nature in "A Passage to India"?  

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Nature in A Passage to India is used in building atmosphere and in symbolism.

Forster refers to nature continuously throughout the novel, and often to build the atmosphere of a location or event. For example, in the very beginning of the novel, describing Chandrapore, a fictional city in India, Forster consistently uses natural objects to describe the city: the Marabar Caves, the River Ganges, bank, stream, the sea, filth, mud, soil; in fact at the end of the first paragraph Chandrapore is described as something that itself appears to be alive: "...the general outline of the town persists, swelling here, shrinking there, like some low but indestructible form of life." This constant reference to nature establishes that in India, there are no boundaries between urban and rural areas and that the environment in India, both natural and social, is unforgiving.

In Part II - Caves, Forster uses several paragraphs to detail the ancient natural history of India. This makes the entire country feel...

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