A Passage to India

The Three Phases of a Journey

Forster's story in A Passage to India exists outside the physical experiences of his characters. The novel is less a tale about Indian life under British rule than an endeavor to map religious and interpersonal journeys of people. British colonial rule over India is, literally, the reason why the British and Indians interact, but their interactions with each other create personal changes. The structure of the novel demands attention to some characters more than others, particularly those whose thoughts concerning God and religion are most manipulated. Furthermore, the pertinent passages for these changes are not necessarily found in the most outstanding events, such as Aziz's trial. The changes to be studied affect how the characters respect each other, the land, and God. The tripartite structure chronicles the transformative process when everything, particularly religious outlooks, are questioned and then reformed.

In Forster's Aspects of the Novel, the author calls on his readers to appreciate "hour-glass" (134) novels. A Passage to India is one such book, and we pay particular attention to the middle section; Part II disrupts the characters until they are released into Part III--the bottom of the...

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