A Passage to India

by E. M. Forster

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Part II, Chapters XV – XVII: Summary

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Last Updated March 22, 2023.

Miss Quested, Aziz, and a guide carry on with their slightly monotonous journey. Aziz is preoccupied with thoughts of breakfast, while Adela is focused on her upcoming wedding. She suddenly realizes she and her fiancé may not be in love, which horrifies her. As they climb in the heat, she questions Aziz about his marriage. Aziz asserts his wife is alive, but he is offended when Adela naively asks if he has multiple wives. He retreats into a cave to compose himself, while Adela wanders into another.

Upon Aziz's return, he scolds the guide for losing sight of Adela. He tries to locate her, but becomes disoriented. Hearing a car in the distance, he realizes Adela's acquaintances have arrived. He spots her far down the gully and discovers her broken field glasses. He goes down and meets Mrs. Moore, pleasantly surprised that Fielding is there too.

Aziz casually mentions that Adela went to see Miss Derek. As they head down to meet Miss Derek, her chauffeur informs them that she's driving Adela back to Chandrapore. Fielding is taken aback by this sudden change, and he, Mrs. Moore, and Aziz speculate on why the women left so abruptly. Aziz starts to fabricate his account of the cave events when questioned by Fielding.

They head back to the train. Upon arriving at Chandrapore station, Inspector Haq arrests Aziz. Fielding's attempts to help are in vain. Aziz tries to escape, but Fielding stops him, promising support. Aziz is taken to jail.

Fielding visits the collector, who claims Aziz "insulted" Adela in the caves. Fielding defends Aziz. Meanwhile, one of Ronny Heaslop's chuprassies begins looting the train carriages. The collector, furious, puts an end to it. On his way home, he vows to exact revenge on all Indians.

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Part II, Chapters XII – XIV: Summary

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Part II, Chapters XVIII – XXI: Summary