Why are the Marabar Caves so important in Forster's A Passage to India?

The Marabar Caves are so important in Forster's A Passage to India as they form a thematic backdrop to the action of the story. They represent the fundamental unity that in Hinduism lies behind all things. Such unity transcends the many cultural differences between the Indians and the British, giving the reader a different perspective on things.

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The Marabar Caves are of crucial importance to the story told in A Passage to India because it is through an invitation to the caves that Aziz attempts to make friends with a group of English people. Aziz is Muslim, and his mission is to bridge the cultural divide between the two groups.

Another reason for the caves' huge significance is the fact that it is in the caves that Miss Quested alleges that Aziz made a sexual advance on her. Aziz is arrested on these trumped-up charges, and the British community is filled with what they believe is righteous indignation. The good work that Aziz has been attempting to do in sowing understanding and harmony between the two groups is thus dealt a devastating blow by the trip to the Marabar Caves.

It is this incident—the trip to the Marabar Caves and the alleged sexual assault of Miss Quested—that commands most of the action in the second section. Although Miss Quested eventually tells her fiancé that Aziz actually didn't do anything untoward in...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 806 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on August 14, 2020
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