A Passage to India Part II, Chapter XXIV: Questions and Answers

E. M. Forster

Part II, Chapter XXIV: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What are the ominous signs of unrest that precede the trial?

2. Why is Miss Quested sure she will get her verdict?

3. What point does Miss Quested not want to tell the truth about?

4. Why does Heaslop support Mr. Das in asking the Europeans to step down?

5. Why does Mahmoud Ali leave the court?

6. How does Heaslop react to hearing his mother turned into a Hindu goddess?

7. When McBryde states that Miss Quested entered the cave alone and then Aziz followed her in, what reply does he expect? Why does he expect this answer?

8. Why does Mr. Das insist on addressing Miss Quested himself? Is this in keeping with his previous behavior?

9. Why does Major Callendar want to stop the proceedings?

10. What is Aziz’s reaction to the verdict?

Answers
1. A stone thrown at the Turtons’ car, a group of threatening students, strikes by Sweepers, and a hunger strike by Muslim women indicate that trouble is brewing.

2. She has been surrounded by Anglo-Indians who have assured her that anything else is unthinkable.

3. She intends to tell the truth; the difficulty is that, like Aziz earlier, she is determined not to admit to the conversation they had just before entering the caves. She is embarrassed at having blundered, and now speculates that the question about marriage may have inflamed him and led to the attack.

4. Heaslop is himself a magistrate and has a sense of fairness that leads him to applaud a correct decision.

5. Mahmoud Ali has been in a rage throughout the trial. Rather than withdraw his sensational charge, since he cannot prove it, he leaves.

6. He is revolted.

7. McBryde expects Miss Quested to agree. Only two hours before, she has signed a deposition testifying to this. He led her through the questions before the trial began.

8. Mr. McBryde does not want her to withdraw the charges, and is attempting to influence her to return to her original version. This is the only way for Mr. Das to hear what she has to say. He has previously been timid, but is now at ease and authoritative.

9. Major Callendar wants to avoid the acquittal of Aziz. By claiming that Miss Quested is ill, he may imply that she has suffered a nervous breakdown which invalidates her current testimony.

10. He faints in Hamidullah’s arms.