A Passage to India Part III, Chapter XXXVII: Questions and Answers

E. M. Forster

Part III, Chapter XXXVII: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why do Fielding and the others have to leave Mau so soon?

2. Why hasn’t Professor Godbole shown Fielding around the high school?

3. In what sense has Fielding’s visit been a failure? In what sense has it been a success?

4. What does Aziz say in his letter to Miss Quested?

5. Why does Fielding want Aziz to talk to Stella or to Ralph?

6. What question does Fielding ask himself when he reflects on the events surrounding the trial?

7. Why does Fielding persist in questioning Aziz about the Krishna festival?

8. What is Aziz’s visionary experience?

9. During their playful quarrel, Fielding makes fun of Aziz. What does he choose to ridicule about Aziz?

10. What is Fielding’s position now on British rule in India? What is Aziz’s position?

Answers
1. The State is officially in mourning, now that the Rajah’s death has been announced.

2. The school has been converted into a granary, and Godbole is embarrassed to admit it.

3. In terms of his official mission, the visit is a failure because he has not been able to inspect the school. In personal terms, it is a success because of the resumption of a friendship with Aziz.

4. Aziz tells her that thanks to her, he is able to live happily in Mau with his children instead of in jail.

5. Fielding knows that Ralph and Stella have a mystical sense that he lacks. Identifying Aziz as a mystical Indian, he feels Aziz may be able to understand it and explain it to him.

6. He asks himself whether he would have the courage to defy the Anglo-Indians again, since he now feels that he is one of them.

7. Fielding believes that if he can understand the Krishna festival, he will have some clue to Stella and Ralph’s attitude toward Hindu spirituality.

8. Aziz suddenly sees butterflies everywhere; he then hears in his mind a poem about Mecca and about the thornbushes that await pilgrims who have not seen God the Friend before they die.

9. Fielding criticizes Aziz for going back to charms instead of Western medicine, saying that this is an example of how India goes to seed without British supervision.

10. Fielding now believes that British rule is necessary for India. Aziz is determined that either his own or his children’s generation will expel the British.