A Passage to India Part I, Chapters I – III: Questions and Answers
by E. M. Forster

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Part I, Chapters I – III: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Where are the Marabar Caves in relation to Chandrapore?

2. What does Hamidullah believe about the possibility of friendship with the English in India?

3. Why do Mrs. Turton and Mrs. Lesley not ask Aziz if they may take the tonga?

4. Why does Aziz find it possible to talk freely to Mrs. Moore? What is her attitude toward the Indians?

5. What is Ronny Heaslop’s reaction when he discovers his mother has been talking to Dr. Aziz?

6. What does Mr. Turton mean when he says that Heaslop’s a sahib?

7. What kind of a “bridge-party” does Mr. Turton intend to give?

8. Why do the Englishwomen feel it is necessary to keep a distance from the Indians?

9. How does Fielding’s attitude differ from that of his fellow Anglo-Indians?

10. Why does Aziz resent Major Callendar?

Answers
1. The Marabar Caves are 20 miles from Chandrapore, set in the Marabar Hills, which can be seen from the city.

2. Hamidullah believes that it may be possible to have a friendship with the English in India under certain conditions.

3. Mrs. Turton and Mrs. Lesley, like most other Anglo-Indians, are used to ignoring native Indians and their rights or interests. They turn their heads away from Aziz as if he did not exist.

4. He finds her sensitive to the feelings of others. Mrs. Moore is surprised and disturbed by Heaslop’s harsh judgment of Indians. She is eager to meet them and know more about their lives.

5. Heaslop is upset and begins to question Mrs. Moore. He worries that Miss Quested may not understand the unwritten rules of behavior that would forbid such contacts between Indians and the English.

6. The word “sahib” identifies Heaslop as one who accepts his role in the Anglo-Indian governing class, displays class and ethnic solidarity, and can be counted on to maintain acceptable opinions and behavior.

7. This party is one to which Indians of a certain rank are invited in order to bridge the gap between them and the Anglo-Indians.

8. They believe the “natives” will not respect them anymore if they are able to meet socially. They pride themselves on hardly ever speaking to Indians.

9. Fielding believes that in order to know the real India, it is necessary to meet the actual Indian inhabitants. This causes him to be regarded as “not pukka.”

10. The Major treats him like a subordinate, frequently summons him after hours, causes him to leave pleasant social occasions, and then keeps him waiting on the verandah or does not turn up at all.