A Passage to India Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Describe the setting of the novel.

This story is set in Chandrapore, India, on the banks of the Ganges River. The city is run-down and poverty-stricken. As one moves inland, it improves. On the first rise, there is a hospital, a parade-ground, and a more prosperous housing area. The civil service employees of the occupying British government live on the second rise. There are offices, a club, and beautiful gardens.

2. Who are Aziz's friends, and how can they be described?

Dr. Aziz, has two close friends, Mahmoud Ali, a lawyer, and Hamidullah, the leading trial lawyer in Chandrapore. All three are Muslims.

3. Why is the bridge party organized?

The bridge party is organized with the intent of giving Adela the chance to see "real Indians" in a setting that is not superficial.

4. Describe the difference in Nawab Bahadur and Mahmoud Ali's response to the bridge party invitation.

Ali is cynical and resentful of the empty attempt to pretend an interest and concern in the Indian community, but Nawab welcomes and appreciates the gesture.

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