A Passage to India by E. M. Forster

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Part I, Chapter VII: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why does Aziz go biking in English dress rather than a fez?

2. Why is Aziz offended by Fielding’s response to his remark about Post-Impressionism?

3. What is Fielding’s definition of the difference between a mystery and a muddle?

4. Why does Aziz invite the party to the Marabar Caves?

5. Why does Heaslop tell Fielding he shouldn’t have left Miss Quested alone with Aziz and Professor Godbole?

6. What is Aziz’s description of Deccani Brahmins?

7. What does Professor Godbole say about the Marabar Caves?

8. Why does Miss Quested feel she should have told Heaslop about her decision not to settle in India before telling the others?

9. Why is everyone irritable as they say good-bye?

10. Does Shri Krishna answer the yearning call of the milk-maidens in Professor Godbole’s song or in any other one?

Answers
1. Aziz has discovered that he is often stopped by the police if he is wearing native dress, in this case, a fez.

2. Aziz believes—wrongly—that Fielding is implying that a native could know nothing about such topics as Post-Impressionism.

3. Fielding believes that a mystery is “only a high-sounding term for a muddle.”

4. Aziz is horrified at the thought of the others seeing his miserable one-room shanty. He invites them to the caves in order to distract them and to provide another setting.

5. In the view of Anglo-Indians, native men constitute a threat to Englishwomen, and it is the duty of an Englishman to chaperone Miss Quested.

6. He believes they have a very high opinion of themselves. They are also subtle, extremely rich, and have a great deal of influence.

7. Professor Godbole is vague in his description of the caves. He says there is an entrance in the rock, that there are no sculptures in them, and that they are not ornamented in any way.

8. Since Miss Quested may become engaged to Heaslop, her decision not to stay in India means she will not marry him. She feels this is a private decision, and strangers have no right to hear it first.

9. Mrs. Moore has been disturbed by Adela’s announcement that she will not stay in India. Heaslop’s arrival and his snubbing of Aziz and Professor Godbole has upset everyone except the Brahmin himself. Aziz has chattered tactlessly; Heaslop has irritated Fielding by criticizing him and irritated Mrs. Moore and Miss Quested by his rudeness. Only Professor Godbole is inundated with tranquility.

10. No, according to Professor Godbole, Shri Krishna does not arrive, in this or any other devotional song.