Part I, Chapters I – III: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Where are the Marabar Caves in relation to Chandrapore?

2. What does Hamidullah believe about the possibility of friendship with the English in India?

3. Why do Mrs. Turton and Mrs. Lesley not ask Aziz if they may take the tonga?

4. Why does Aziz find it possible to talk freely to Mrs. Moore? What is her attitude toward the Indians?

5. What is Ronny Heaslop’s reaction when he discovers his mother has been talking to Dr. Aziz?

6. What does Mr. Turton mean when he says that Heaslop’s a sahib?

7. What kind of a “bridge-party” does Mr. Turton intend to give?

8. Why do the Englishwomen feel it is necessary to keep a distance from the Indians?

9. How does Fielding’s attitude differ from that of his fellow Anglo-Indians?

10. Why does Aziz resent Major Callendar?

1. The Marabar Caves are 20 miles from Chandrapore, set in the Marabar Hills, which can be seen from the city.

2. Hamidullah believes that it may be possible to have a friendship with the English in India under certain conditions.

3. Mrs. Turton and Mrs. Lesley, like most other Anglo-Indians, are used to ignoring native Indians and their rights or interests. They turn their heads away from Aziz as if he did not exist.

4. He finds her sensitive to the feelings of others. Mrs. Moore is surprised and...

(The entire section is 415 words.)

Part I, Chapters IV – VI: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why do the other Indians allow Nawab Bahadur to convince them to go to the party?

2. What information does Mrs. Turton give Mrs. Moore about the rank of Englishwomen in India in relation to Indian women?

3. Why does Mrs. Turton know only the imperative forms of Urdu?

4. What does Heaslop believe is the purpose of the English in India?

5. What does Mrs. Moore believe their purpose is?

6. Why doesn’t Aziz go to the party?

7. What proves Major Callendar’s ignorance of Indian life?

8. Why is it offensive to Dr. Panna Lal when Aziz hits the Brahminy bull with his polo mallet?

9. In what ways are Aziz and Heaslop similar in their attitudes toward work?

10. What are Aziz’s feelings as he gazes at the photograph of his dead wife?

1. As a wealthy landowner, the Nawab has more prestige than the others and is considered a leader.

2. Mrs. Turton tells Mrs. Moore that she—and by implication, any Englishwoman—is superior in rank to any Indian woman except one or two of the Ranis, who are equal in rank to the Anglo-Indians.

3. Mrs. Turton is accustomed to speaking the language only to servants and has never bothered to study it for any other purpose.

4. He feels the English are in India to do justice and keep the peace. He believes he is in India “to work and hold...

(The entire section is 414 words.)

Part I, Chapter VII: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why does Aziz go biking in English dress rather than a fez?

2. Why is Aziz offended by Fielding’s response to his remark about Post-Impressionism?

3. What is Fielding’s definition of the difference between a mystery and a muddle?

4. Why does Aziz invite the party to the Marabar Caves?

5. Why does Heaslop tell Fielding he shouldn’t have left Miss Quested alone with Aziz and Professor Godbole?

6. What is Aziz’s description of Deccani Brahmins?

7. What does Professor Godbole say about the Marabar Caves?

8. Why does Miss Quested feel she should have told Heaslop about her decision not to settle in India before telling the others?

9. Why is everyone irritable as they say good-bye?

10. Does Shri Krishna answer the yearning call of the milk-maidens in Professor Godbole’s song or in any other one?

1. Aziz has discovered that he is often stopped by the police if he is wearing native dress, in this case, a fez.

2. Aziz believes—wrongly—that Fielding is implying that a native could know nothing about such topics as Post-Impressionism.

3. Fielding believes that a mystery is “only a high-sounding term for a muddle.”

4. Aziz is horrified at the thought of the others seeing his miserable one-room shanty. He invites them to the caves in order to distract them...

(The entire section is 418 words.)

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?

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.

Part I, Chapters IX – XI: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why is Rafi called “the Sherlock Holmes of Chandrapore”? Is he an accurate detective?

2. How do Aziz’s visitors react to the poem he recites?

3. Why does Fielding’s remark about atheism lead the Indians to ask him why the English are justified in holding India?

4. What is the reply Fielding could have made and doesn’t? Why not?

5. Why are the Indians unable to understand the terms in which Fielding is talking?

6. Why had Aziz ordered his servant not to bring Fielding’s horse when the other visitors left?

7. What is the corollary that Aziz adds to his remark that all men are brothers?

8. On what grounds do the Hindus and Muslims begin to quarrel?

9. How does Fielding feel about intimacy?

10. Why does Aziz think that Fielding is unwise?

1. Rafi claims to know everyone’s secrets, but most of the rumors he purveys turn out to be inaccurate.

2. Although Hamidullah is the only one beside Aziz who is a reader of poetry, the rest are touched by it; they appreciate its pathos and it voices their loneliness.

3. The Indians take it for granted that authority should be rooted in spiritual qualities. On hearing that most educated English people are atheists, they naturally question the grounds for English rule of “spiritual” India.

4. The standard British answer would be: “England holds India for her good.” Fielding cannot in honesty say this, since he does not entirely believe it.

5. Fielding is talking in terms of chance and self-interest. The Indians are used to thinking in terms of justice and morality, and find it difficult to comprehend an argument that makes no reference to these values.

6. Aziz wanted to detain Fielding so they could have a conversation alone.

7. He says that all men are brothers when they behave as such.

8. They begin to insult each other and each other’s relatives, seemingly out of latent hostility. No particular incident provokes these insults.

9. Fielding realizes he will not become an intimate friend of Aziz, or of anyone else. Then he reflects that this is all right with him.

10. Fielding’s candid talk with a group of people he doesn’t know very well seems reckless to Aziz, who warns that they might be inclined to harm him by reporting his words to others.

Part II, Chapters XII – XIV: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What do visitors usually feel about their experience of the Marabar Caves? Why do they find it difficult to discuss them?

2. What do the walls of the circular chamber look like when a match is lit inside?

3. What version of Miss Quested’s remark in the Club reaches Aziz?

4. In what ways does Aziz rely on his friends’ help to organize the expedition?

5. Why does Aziz suggest the women send their servant back? Why do they agree?

6. Why do Fielding and Godbole miss the train?

7. What is Mrs. Moore’s opinion of marriage?

8. What mistake does Aziz make in overrating hospitality?

9. How does Aziz characterize the three Moghul Emperors he mentions, and why does he prefer Babur to Alamgir?

10. What causes Mrs. Moore to fall into a state of despair?

1. Visitors tend to be unsure whether or not they have had an interesting experience, or whether they have had an experience at all. It is the monotony of the caves, their lack of ornamentation, that makes them difficult to describe.

2. In the light of a match, the walls look like a mirror inlaid with beautiful colors.

3. According to the version that reaches Aziz, the ladies have been waiting for his invitation to the caves and are deeply offended because it has not arrived.

4. Aziz asks Fielding to invite the ladies...

(The entire section is 416 words.)

Part II, Chapters XV – XVII: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why does Adela not want to break her engagement to Heaslop, even though she has realized that they don’t love each other?

2. What train of thought leads her to ask Aziz how many wives he has? Why is Aziz shocked by it? Is she aware of his shock?

3. Why does Aziz strike the guide?

4. What is Aziz’s reaction when he hears that Miss Quested and Miss Derek have driven back to Chandrapore?

5. What causes the awkwardness between Mrs. Moore and Fielding? How does Aziz feel about it?

6. Why does Aziz conceal the truth about what happened in the caves?

7. Why does Mrs. Moore feel apathetic and cynical?

8. Why is Fielding...

(The entire section is 491 words.)

Part II, Chapters XVIII – XXI: Questions and Answers

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 entire section is 535 words.)

Part II, Chapters XXII – XXIII: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why does Miss Quested long to see Mrs. Moore?

2. What does her response to Fielding’s letter suggest about her inner state?

3. What do Mrs. Moore’s words and actions indicate when Adela arrives at the bungalow?

4. What are Heaslop’s unspoken opinions of his mother?

5. Why does Heaslop ask Miss Quested not to speak of Aziz’s innocence again?

6. What does Mrs. Moore mean by saying, “There are different ways of evil, and I prefer mine to yours”? What is Mrs. Moore’s way of evil?

7. Why does Mrs. Moore believe Aziz is innocent? What do Heaslop and Miss Quested think of her belief?

8. Why does Heaslop...

(The entire section is 418 words.)

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...

(The entire section is 384 words.)

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...

(The entire section is 402 words.)

Part II, Chapters XXVII – XXIX: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why does Aziz say that he should have become anti-British much sooner?

2. What does Fielding try to explain about Miss Quested? On what grounds does he ask Aziz to spare her from paying excess costs?

3. Why is Fielding offended by Aziz’s suggested letter of apology?

4. Why does Ronny Heaslop continue to inwardly criticize Mrs. Moore after her death?

5. Why is the letter that Fielding helps Miss Quested write a failure?

6. Why does Heaslop break off the engagement?

7. How does Miss Quested feel about her broken engagement? Why didn’t she break it herself?

8. Why does Miss Quested feel that she will be all right in...

(The entire section is 401 words.)

Part II, Chapters XXX – XXXII: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. How do Aziz and Mr. Das feel about each other during their outwardly friendly conversation?

2. Why does Aziz resolve to leave British India and to go live in a Hindu state?

3. What is the “naughty rumor” Mohammed Latif is spreading?

4. Does Hamidullah insist that his wife keep purdah, or is it her choice?

5. What is Fielding’s reaction when Aziz tells him about the rumor that Mohammed Latif is spreading?

6. Why does Aziz claim to have remembered a previous dinner engagement with Mr. Das?

7. According to Fielding, why is it difficult for Indians to write poetry?

8. Why is Aziz, who is not a mercenary man, haunted...

(The entire section is 385 words.)

Part III, Chapter XXXIIIQuestions and Answers

Study Questions
1. How much time has passed since Fielding left India?

2. What is Professor Godbole’s title in Mau?

3. What is the expression on the faces of the worshippers when they see the image of Shri Krishna?

4. Why are Godbole’s musicians unperturbed by the Europeanized band?

5. Does Professor Godbole make an effort to remember Mrs. Moore for a particular reason?

6. Who is the ruler of the State of Mau? What is his role in the festival?

7. According to legend, at what time was Shri Krishna born?

8. Who are the two physicians who take care of the Rajah?

9. What games are played after the Rajah has been carried...

(The entire section is 262 words.)

Part III, Chapters XXXIV – XXXV: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Is Aziz tolerated in this Hindu state? What is the most important distinction there?

2. Why doesn’t Aziz know that Fielding has married Mrs. Moore’s daughter?

3. How has Aziz’s life changed since he left Chandrapore?

4. Who is Colonel Maggs? Why is he unable to influence the Rajah against Aziz?

5. Why does Aziz tear up Fielding’s note?

6. Why is the news of the Rajah’s death concealed?

7. Who is and who is not stung inside the Shrine of the Head?

8. What conditions at the Guest House cause Fielding to complain?

9. What reveals Aziz’s mistake about Fielding’s marriage?

10. What is...

(The entire section is 306 words.)

Part III, Chapter XXXVI: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why doesn’t the usual dramatic performance depicting the life of Krishna take place?

2. Why is it difficult for Aziz to understand the atmosphere that surrounds the festival?

3. Why does Aziz intend to bring the ointment back with him after treating Ralph? Why does he change his mind?

4. What is the Sweeper’s band? What is its function in the festival?

5. Who are the letters from and what do they say?

6. Why is Aziz rough with Ralph at first? When and why does his attitude change?

7. Why is Aziz puzzled by his gratitude toward Mrs. Moore?

8. What is the place that Ralph directs Aziz toward in the boat?


(The entire section is 377 words.)

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...

(The entire section is 386 words.)