Notes on A Passage to India Themes

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A Passage to India Topic Tracking: West vs. East

Chapter 2

West vs. East 1: English people are civil, or even friendly, towards natives when they first arrive in India. However, the longer they stay in India, the greater the gulf grows between them and the Indians. Though the English and Indians are both physically in the East, there is a clear separation between Eastern and Western culture in colonized India.

Chapter 3

West vs. East 2: Adela confronts Ronny about his treatment of Indians. Still fresh in India, she feels the bridge between East and West can be crossed with pleasant and equal behavior. Ronny advises her that her naïve perspective will change the longer she stays in the country.

Chapter 4

West vs. East 3: Many Indians are skeptical about the sincerity of Turton's invitation to his Bridge Party. Nawab Bahadur, a person who is respected by British and Indians, convinces his countrymen to attend the party.

Chapter 5

West vs. East 4: Adela and Mrs. Moore are sad that there is no interaction between the British hosts and the Indian guests. The Bridge Party does not create a bridge between the people.

Chapter 7

West vs. East 5: Fielding and Aziz forge an instant friendship despite their racial differences.

Chapter 8

West vs. East 6: Aziz tells Nawab Bahadur's grandson that believing in superstition and evil spirits is a defect of the East. The West has advanced, he believes, because they believe in reason and logic.

Chapter 16

West vs. East 7: Fielding tries to tell Aziz that he should not think about the picnic in terms of East and West, but simply in terms of friendship.

Chapter 17

West vs. East 8: Turton, who believes his years of experience in India have made him wise and knowledgeable, says that Indians and English are incapable of interacting on an intimate basis. That is why he feels there should exist a great distance between them.

Chapter 27

West vs. East 9: Aziz tries to explain to Fielding that Mrs. Moore, though an old British woman, was an Oriental at heart. She had an Eastern way of relating to people. Aziz considers measuring emotion, as Fielding does, to be a Western trait.

Chapter 37

West vs. East 10: Aziz and Fielding part ways, knowing they will never see each other again. The notion that Indians and British can never be intimate friends while the British control India seems to hold true.

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