Chapter 8 Notes from A Passage to India

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A Passage to India Chapter 8

The purpose of Adela's visit to see Ronny in India is to see if she likes him at work as much as she had liked him socially. She wants to be sure she wants to marry him. Adela realizes that India has changed Ronny for the worse. He becomes exasperating to her. She especially hates the way he took her away in the middle of Godbole's spiritual song at Fielding's tea. Ronny asks Adela about Aziz's trip to the caves and Adela replies that he took her away before she made any concrete plans with the doctor. He tries to explain to Adela that like all other Indians, Aziz is slack and won't come through:

"Aziz was exquisitely dressed, from tie-pin to spats, but he had forgotten his back-collar stud, and there you have the Indian all over; inattention to detail, the fundamental slackness that reveals the race." Chapter 8, pg. 87

The missing stud is the one Aziz gave to Fielding when he stepped on his own. Ronny tells the women that he does not want his mother and friend to go on Aziz's excursion to the caves unless British people escort them. Mrs. Moore is annoyed and refuses to go to the polo match with the couple. On the way to the match, Adela thinks about her behavior at the party and regrets revealing to the guests that she had no intention of staying in India and marrying Ronny. She finally decides she needs to have a talk with Ronny. Ronny has already heard about the decision through Aziz and diplomatically tells Adela that she never really committed to him in the first place and therefore should not feel upset about her decision. Adela feels ashamed since Ronny has reacted so decently. The two decide to remain friends. After their talk, they run into Nawab Bahadur. He offers Ronny and Adela a ride in his new car. The ride is very bumpy and dark, forcing the couple to jolt around and into each other. The car hits an animal and Adela's falls onto Ronny's, renewing their attraction to each other:

"Her hand touched his, owing to a jolt, and one of the thrills so frequent in the animal kingdom passed between them, and announced that their difficulties were only a lovers' quarrel." Chapter 8, pg. 95

Topic Tracking: Love 1

Following the accident, Miss Derek pulls up in a car she borrowed from her boss, the maharajah. In Miss Derek's car, Ronny and Adela hold hands; both silently acknowledging it meant something. Adela takes back what she said to Ronny and the two become engaged. Arriving home, Ronny recounts the tale of the car accident to his mother, explaining how the car hit an animal. Mrs. Moore says immediately in passing that it was a ghost.

Back in Chandrapore, Aziz is visiting the grandson of Nawab Bahadur, Nureddin. They have a discussion about evil spirits and Aziz tells the grandson not to believe in them in order for him to advance in the world. Aziz believes that the belief in spirits is a defect of the Indian people.

Topic Tracking: West vs. East 6

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