Symbolism in A Passage To India • What do the three parts of the novel A passage to India symbolize? Do you think it is suitable that final part of the novel, at the end which Aziz voiced his opinion of east and west meeting, takes place in the chapter named "Temple"?
The three parts are Mosque, Caves, and Temple. You might have noticed that the novel is not only divided up into chapters, but it is also divided into three parts entitled "Mosque," "Cave," and "Temple." The parts are also organized by the three seasons in India: "Mosque" takes place during the cool weather, "Cave" during the hot weather, and "Temple" during the rainy season.
These part divisions set the tone for the events described in each part. In "Mosque," the first part of the novel, Aziz's reference to the architecture of the mosque as that of "call and response" harmonizes with the general tenor of this part of the novel, where people are meeting each other at various social functions. Like the cool weather, people are generally calm and friendly.
In contrast, the "Cave" section of the novel contains the climax of the novel. Taking place during the hot weather, emotions are inflamed, and nobody seems to be able to think coolly and rationally. Just as Mrs. Moore's hold on life was threatened by her experience of meaninglessness within the cave, the entire community of Chandrapore is turned upside down as riots and unrest surround the trial.
Finally, the "Temple" section attempts to wash away the chaos of the "Cave" section with its pouring rains. In keeping with the Hindu motif of the temple, the chapter celebrates the Hindu principle of the oneness of all things with Godbole at the GokulAshtami festival, and provides us with a reconciliation, though a tenuous one, between Fielding and Aziz. • ,
The Bridge Party • The Bridge Party turns out to be unsuccessful by Adela and Mrs. Moore's standards. A large group of Indian guests arrives early and must wait carelessly for the British hosts. Mrs. Turton and Ronny laugh ironically about the party's audience. Meanwhile, Adela and Mrs. Moore gaze sadly at the Indians:
Mrs. Turton reluctantly hosts a group of Indian women. She addresses them in Urdu using lingo she learned to address her servants. She does not know any polite expressions, only commands. Adela is very interested in conversing with the Indians and tells them she regrets not speaking their language. One woman in the crowd says she speaks English. This delights Adela but makes Mrs. Turton act coldly because she now knows someone in the group is westernized and might apply her own standards to her. Adela and Mrs. Moore befriend one woman, Mrs. Bhattacharya. They ask to call on her for a social visit. Mrs. Bhattacharya and her husband invite them despite the fact they were due to be away at the time.
The exchange is awkward and Mrs. Moore and Adela feel badly that they have imposed on the Bhattacharyas. Mr. Fielding is the most successful Englishman of the party, comfortably mingling with the Indian guests. He hears about the graciousness of the ladies and wishes to meet them. When he meets them, he complains to them about the way the English treat the Indians. He invites them to meet some Indian people that he knows. Adela suggests to Fielding that he should invite Dr. Aziz. Later, when Ronny is alone with his mother, Mrs. Moore tells Ronny that he should spend more private time with Adela. He tells his mother that he worries about how people will talk about them. Mrs.
Moore tells Ronny Adela is too much of an individual to care about what other people say. They also talk about the issue of treatment of the Indians. Ronny treats this as a "side issue." Mrs. Moore is annoyed by his behavior and tells him that Englishmen behave as Gods in India. • He replies he has no time to be pleasant to Indians because he is there on a duty for England. Mrs. Moore still believes that they should be pleasant to the Indians "[b]ecause India is part of the earth. And God has put us on the earth in order to be pleasant to each other. God is love.
There are several ways to read the theme of separation in Forster's work. In my mind, the most evident theme of separation is that of cultural distance between the Indians and the British. Due to colonization and the notion that Indian was occupied by the British, there is a natural separation between both cultures. Forster spends a great deal of time and text explaining that there is a fundamental difference or chasm between both cultures. It is not Kipling's "East vs. West" idea as much as it is that there is a separation of worlds between them. There are individuals who try to bridge this gulf, but it is a separation of worlds.