A Passage to India by E. M. Forster

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Part II, Chapters XXVII – XXIX: Summary and Analysis

New Characters:
Sir Gilbert Mellanby: lieutenant-governor of the province

A missionary

Fielding and Aziz lie on the roof of Mr. Zulfiqar’s mansion, speculating about the future. Aziz says he will be rich from his compensation money and invites Fielding to travel with him. He brushes aside the objections he anticipates from Fielding, saying that he has become anti-British.

They discuss how much Miss Quested should pay. Fielding insists on costs only. Aziz requires an apology, suggesting half-humorously that Miss Quested admit she would have liked him to follow her into the cave. Fielding is offended on her behalf. Aziz says that he will consult Mrs. Moore. Fielding tells him she is dead.

The lieutenant-governor of the province visits and commends the outcome of the trial and Fielding’s actions. He orders him to rejoin the Club. Miss Quested and Fielding write a letter of apology to Aziz. Indians want friendship rather than justice, Fielding declares.

Appealing to Mrs. Moore’s memory, Fielding continues to try to talk Aziz into withdrawing his claim for excess compensation. Suddenly, he agrees to claim only costs.

Ronny Heaslop comes to tell Fielding that Miss Quested is leaving for England. Fielding goes to see her and discovers Heaslop has broken their engagement. Fielding asks her if someone had followed her into the cave or if no one had. She says it will never be known. Mrs. Moore knew, she says, and they speak of her death. They affirm their friendship and promise to write.

Adela sails home ten days later. At Port Said, she goes ashore with a missionary who tells her that every life should have a turn and a return. Suddenly, she understands that she should look up Mrs. Moore’s children, Ralph and Stella, when she reaches England.

Mrs. Moore’s death and her memory shadow this entire section. At first, when Aziz declares he will consult the older woman about his demand for compensation, Fielding tries to convince Aziz that she has died. Aziz refuses to believe it. This leads the Englishman to reflect on death and how it exists within the minds of others. Later, he uses Mrs. Moore’s memory in his campaign to convince Aziz to reduce his demands for compensation from Miss Quested. It is in fact Mrs. Moore’s memory that finally leads Aziz to agree; he feels this is a way for him to honor her.

Fielding and Miss Quested also speak of Mrs. Moore’s death and of how meditation on death may affect the living. She maintains that only Mrs. Moore would have known the solution to the central mystery: what happened in the caves. As Miss Quested disappears from India, her last resolve is to look up...

(The entire section is 906 words.)