Chapter 3 Notes from A Passage to India

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A Passage to India Chapter 3

Mrs. Moore returns to the club and is intercepted by Adela Quested, who has also left in the middle of the performance. Mrs. Moore's son Ronny Heaslop asked his mother to bring Adela to India with her. Adela and Ronny are both cautious in nature and India is their test to determine whether they should get married or not. Adela tells Mrs. Moore, "I want to see the real India." Chapter 3, pg. 22 Mrs. Moore tells Adela that the Turtons have arranged a sightseeing tour for them, but Adela skeptically replies that they will probably be taken on an elephant ride, implying that their hosts would lead them on a superficial tour of the country. The two women talk about the reflection of the moon that they see in the Ganges River. A stranger walks by them, listening to them talk about India and says, "Come on, India's not as bad as all that. Other side of the earth, if you like, but we stick to the same old moon." Chapter 3, pg. 23

Topic Tracking: Earth 2

However, Adela remarks that though they are physically on the other side of the earth, they are not really seeing it. Mrs. Moore agreed with Adela and said that their lives were dull. Mrs. Moore seems less disappointed by this due to her older age and assures Adela, "Adventures do occur, but not punctually." Chapter 3, pg. 22 The performance ends and the band plays the National Anthem. The tune inspires little sentiment from the British, but gives them a sense of power.

Topic Tracking: Nation 1

The crowd lets out from the play and among them is Mr. Cyril Fielding, the schoolmaster at the government college. Ronny asks Fielding how his mother and Adela could see the real India. Fielding passes by and says that they should meet real Indians. Mrs. Lesley and Mrs. Callendar tell Adela that natives should be avoided. Mr. Turton tells them that he will organize a Bridge Party, at which time the women could meet some Indians. Adela asks Turton to introduce her only to the Indians that he comes across socially. Turton replies that he does not treat Indians as friends. After the Turtons leave, Ronny comments to Adela that Turton has done a good deed by organizing the Bridge Party. He tells Adela that Turton knows the country well since he has been here over 20 years. Ronny, however, still admits he is naïve and tells Adela an anecdote about the time he asked Mahmoud Ali if he wanted to smoke. Ronny said that Ali must have told all his friends because rumors were spreading that he was in with the City Magistrate. Ronny tells Adela that he came down hard on Ali in the courts and that it taught the man a lesson. Adela disagrees, believing that instead, Ronny should have invited all the other Indian lawyers for a smoke. Ronny recognizes Adela's good intentions and tells her he once thought like she did, but he changed.

Topic Tracking: West vs. East 2

The following day, Mrs. Moore awakens after sleeping outside. She slept there while trying to watch the moon:

"In England the moon had seemed dead and alien; here she was caught in the shawl of night together with earth and all other stars. A sudden sense of unity, of kinship with the heavenly bodies, passed into the old woman and out, like water through a tank, leaving a strange freshness behind." Chapter 3, pg. 28

Topic Tracking: Earth 3

As she awakens, she tells the story of her encounter with Aziz at the Mosque. Ronny was upset when he heard that she encountered a Muslim in the Mosque, believing that Muslims were not to be trusted. Adela, on the other hand, was interested and fascinated by Mrs. Moore's encounter. Mrs. Moore is disappointed in Ronny's negative reaction and rude behavior.

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