A Passage to India Part I, Chapter VIII: Questions and Answers

E. M. Forster

Part I, Chapter VIII: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why didn’t Heaslop pay attention to Aziz’s previous announcement that Miss Quested would not stay in India?

2. Why is Miss Quested ashamed of Heaslop’s behavior at the tea party?

3. Why does the chauffeur take the Marabar Road rather than the Gangavati?

4. Why is Mr. Harris self-conscious when he is together with Indians and Anglo-Indians?

5. In what way is Miss Derek condescending to Heaslop?

6. What is Miss Quested’s reaction to this condescension?

7. What is the Nawab Bahadur’s mental picture of the Maharani? What is his opinion of superstition at this point?

8. Why does Miss Quested feel humiliated after she agrees to marry Heaslop?

9. What makes the Nawab Bahadur a “show Indian”?

10. Why is Heaslop concerned about the approach of the Mohurram festival?

Answers
1. It has never occurred to Heaslop that an Indian might convey something important between two English people.

2. She feels he has been gross and spoiled both the conversation and the song, the latter by walking away in the middle of it. She also dimly realizes that she is really irritated with herself and is taking it out on him.

3. Heaslop changes the instructions that the Nawab has given the chauffeur. He says that Gangavati Road is under repair. They end up on Marabar Road.

4. Mr. Harris is Eurasian and feels rejected by both races.

5. Miss Derek implies that Heaslop is of lower status, since he has no contact with the wealthy and titled Indians that she is employed by.

6. Miss Quested is annoyed by the condescension and feels protective of Heaslop.

7. The Nawab imagines the Maharani as uneducated and superstitious. He praises British reason and orderliness in contrast, and says that superstition must be eradicated in India.

8. She feels that she is now labeled and her life will be all too predictable.

9. He tends to agree with and praise the English rule and to help induce other Indians to fulfill the wishes of their rulers. Therefore, he can always be pointed to as an example of an Indian who helps the Anglo-Indians to sustain their fantasies about themselves.

10. Mohurram, a festival in which there is loud and emotional mourning for the martyred sons of Mohammed, is a time when Hindus and Muslims frequently find occasion for quarrels and fighting.