A Passage to India

by E. M. Forster

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Part II, Chapters XVIII – XXI: Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. Why is Fielding’s first request to see Aziz denied?

2. Why is Mr. McBryde triumphant when he finds a picture of a woman among the contents of Aziz’s drawer?

3. What change has occurred in the Anglo-Indian women’s feelings toward Miss Quested?

4. What are Mr. Turton’s emotions as he speaks to the Anglo-Indians at the Club? Is he entirely ruled by his emotions at this time?

5. Why does Major Callendar feel guilty? How does he deal with his guilt?

6. What rumors does Major Callendar relay about Aziz? Are these rumors generally believed?

7. Why does Callendar’s first attack on Fielding fail to mature?

8. Why do the Anglo-Indians rise to their feet when Heaslop enters? Why doesn’t Fielding rise with the others?

9. Why does Fielding resign from the Club? Why does Mr. Turton call him weak?

10. Why does Fielding classify his rudeness to Heaslop as a tactical and moral error?

1. Fielding has revealed that the collector is against him, so McBryde feels both justified and supported in denying the request. McBryde also feels strongly that Anglo-Indians must stick together. In his eyes, by maintaining Aziz’s innocence, Fielding is acting like a traitor.

2. The case McBryde is building against Aziz in his mind involves a picture of someone who is obsessed with sex. He’s already found a letter from Aziz to a brothel-keeper; he assumes the picture must be of a prostitute.

3. Miss Quested, who has been regarded as an awkward outsider, now arouses all their protective feelings, along with a certain amount of guilt about their earlier treatment of her.

4. Mr. Turton is raging with pity and heroism. Officially he speaks to the British sense of fairness when he urges the others not to convict all Indians because one has been charged with a crime. We know Mr. Turton’s thoughts; he is consumed with a desire for revenge on all Indians.

5. Major Callendar says that he contributed to the alleged attack by granting Aziz leave. His sense of guilt inspires outbursts of emotion in which he wants the army called up. He finds a way out by scapegoating Fielding, transferring his own guilt onto someone else.

6. The Major reports that Aziz bribed Godbole to make Fielding miss the train. He also says that Aziz paid natives to suffocate Mrs. Moore in the cave. Although Callendar’s drunken and hysterical cries for calling up the army are discounted, his version of Aziz’s premeditation seems to be generally believed.

7. Mr. Turton, who is the controlling figure at the Club, fails to support Callendar’s attack.

8. They rise to honor him and to assure him of their support. Fielding is afraid that he will be carried along in solidarity with the rest if he does not make his position clear.

9. Fielding resigns from the Club as a sign that he is taking Aziz’s side in this matter. Major Callendar calls Fielding weak because he refused to stand up with the other Anglo-Indians.

10. It is suggested that by refusing to stand, Fielding has insulted Heaslop. His intention was to make his own position clear. The tactical error may lie in his losing all hope of influence with the Anglo-Indians.

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Part II, Chapters XV – XVII: Questions and Answers


Part II, Chapters XXII – XXIII: Questions and Answers