A Passage to India Part II, Chapters XXV – XXVI: Questions and Answers
by E. M. Forster

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Part II, Chapters XXV – XXVI: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What rumor has been circulating about Miss Quested’s recantation?

2. Why does Aziz feel that Fielding has deserted him?

3. What rumor does Mahmoud Ali start about Nureddin?

4. How does Dr. Panna Lal avert disaster?

5. What is the theme of the Nawab Bahadur’s speech? What is ironic about his change of title?

6. What are the four possibilities Fielding suggests to account for Miss Quested’s behavior? Does she seem to favor any one of them over the others?

7. What does Hamidullah mean by saying, “A great deal has been broken, more than will ever be mended”?

8. Why isn’t Hamidullah impressed by Miss Quested’s honesty in admitting her mistake?

9. Why does Heaslop at first remain outside on Fielding’s verandah?

10. Why is Fielding horrified at Amritrao’s suggestion that Miss Fielding pay 20,000 rupees in compensation?

Answers
1. The mob believes that she did not in fact recant, but was struck down by divine power for giving false testimony.

2. In aiding Miss Quested instead of remaining with his friend, Fielding seems to have gone over to the “other side.”

3. He claims that he heard Major Callendar call Nureddin a “nigger” and boast of putting pepper rather than antiseptic on his wounds.

4. He publicly asks Aziz to forgive him; then he clowns, allowing the crowd to feel superior. Finally, he brings out Nureddin and shows the crowd that he is safe.

5. The Nawab Bahadur speaks of justice, courage, liberty, and prudence. He announces that he will give up his British title and be known from now on as Mr. Zulfiqar. The irony in this is that “Mr.” is also a British term.

6. Fielding suggests the following: that Aziz did attempt to assault her; malice on her part; hallucination; that she was attacked by someone else. In response to Fielding’s suggestion, Miss Quested assents that it might have been the guide.

7. Hamidullah means that any possibility of trust between the Indians and Anglo-Indians has been destroyed, and the social fabric of Chandrapore along with it.

8. Hamidullah has been infuriated by the overheard conversation in which Fielding and Miss Quested speculate that it could have been the guide.

9. Fielding insulted him by not standing up at the Club. Fielding understands his response as part of the social code.

10. Fielding senses that Miss Quested is going to “lose” her marriage with Heaslop; he doesn’t want her to lose all her money as well.