A Passage to India

The Marabar Tragedy: A Disaster Foreseen

In the first fifteen chapters of A Passage to India, E.M. Forster prepares for the tragedy of the Marabar visit rather successfully. The tragedy is perceived as the failure of the Marabar expedition and its aftermath: Adela Quested's accusation of Aziz's improprieties, and Mrs. Moore's loss of sanity. From Forster's portrayal of symbolic issues to his description of the Marabar Hills to the experiences of the women in the caves, he has implanted various connections that allude to the tragedy of the Marabar visit. The use of foreshadowing gives readers a sense of impending disaster: Forster implies that the English and Indians can never be friends. This pessimistic view as well as the inter-racial tension accounts for the underlying cause of the tragedy in the Marabar caves.

The main issue Forster addresses in A Passage to India is the possibility of friendship between the English and the Indians. The controversy is first brought up in the conversation between Hamidullah and Mahmoud Ali, and again through the Bridge Party. Hamidullah contends that the cross-cultural friendship is only possible in England. The men agree that it is impossible for them to live harmoniously in India, for the structure of the...

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