A Passage to India

Character list

Dr. Aziz 
A young Muslim Indian physician who works at the British hospital in Chandrapore, which is said to have been based on the city of Bankipur, a suburb of Patna in the state of Bihar. He relies heavily on intuition over logic, and he is more emotional than his best friend, Fielding. He makes friends easily and seems quite garrulous at times. His chief drawback is an inability to view a situation without emotion, which Forster suggests is a typical Indian difficulty. Aziz seems to possess a profound love for his late wife but only thinks of her intermittently. Initially he is somewhat indifferent to the British colonists, but comes to resent them after his treatment during the trial.
Cyril Fielding 
The 45-year-old, unmarried British headmaster of the small government-run college for Indians. Fielding's logical Western mind cannot comprehend the muddle (or mystery) of India, but he is highly tolerant and respectful toward Indians. He befriends Dr. Aziz, but cultural and racial differences, and personal misunderstandings, separate them.
Adela Quested 
A young British schoolmistress who is visiting India with the vague intention of marrying Ronny Heaslop. Intelligent, brave, honest, but slightly prudish, she is what Fielding calls a "prig." She arrives with the intention of seeing the real India. But after a frightening trip to the Marabar Caves, she falsely accuses Aziz of sexually assaulting her.
Mrs. Moore 
The elderly, thoughtful mother of Ronny Heaslop. She is visiting Chandrapore to oversee her son's engagement to Adela Quested. She respects Indians and their customs, and the Indians in the novel appreciate her more than they do any other Briton. After undergoing an experience similar to Adela's, she becomes apathetic and bitter.
Ronny Heaslop 
The British city magistrate of Chandrapore. Though not a bad man, he shares many of his colonial colleagues' racist view of Indians. He breaks off his engagement to Adela after she retracts her accusation against Aziz. He considers it a betrayal of their race.
Professor Narayan Godbole 
An elderly, courteous, contemplative Brahmin who views the world with equanimity. He remains totally aloof from the novel's conflicts.
Mr. Turton 
The British city collector of Chandrapore. He does not hate Indians, for that would be to negate his life's work. Nevertheless, he is fiercely loyal to his race, reviles less bigoted people like Fielding, and regards natives with thinly veiled contempt.
Mrs. Turton 
Mr. Turton's wife. Openly racist, snobbish, and rude toward Indians and those Europeans who are different, she screams at Adela in the courtroom when the latter retracts her accusation against Aziz.
Maj. Callendar 
The British head doctor and Aziz's superior at the hospital. He is more openly racist than any other male character. Rumors circulate among Indians that Callendar actually tortured an injured Indian by putting pepper instead of antiseptic on his wounds.
Mr. McBryde 
The British superintendent of police in Chandrapore. Like Mr. Turton, he considers dark-skinned races inferior to light-skinned ones. During Aziz's trial, he publicly asserts that it is a scientific fact that dark men lust after white women. Nevertheless, he is more tolerant of Indians than most Britons, and he is on friendly terms with Fielding.
Miss Derek 
An Englishwoman employed by a Hindu royal family. She frequently borrows their car—and does not trouble to ask their permission or return it in time. She is too boisterous and easygoing for most of her compatriots' tastes. She has an affair with McBryde.
Nawab Bahadur 
The chief Indian gentleman in Chandrapore, a Muslim. Wealthy (he owns a car) and generous, he is loyal to the British (he lends his car to Ronny Heaslop). But after the trial, he gives up his title of "nawab," which the British bestowed on him, in favour of plain "Mr. Zulfiqar."
Hamidullah 
Aziz's uncle and friend. Educated in law at Cambridge University, he declares at the beginning of the novel that it is easier to be a friend of an Englishman in England than in India. Aziz comes to agree with him.
Amritrao 
A prominent Indian lawyer from Calcutta, called in to defend Aziz. He is known for his strong anti-British sentiment. He takes the case for political reasons and becomes disgusted when the case evaporates in court.
Mahmoud Ali 
A Muslim Indian barrister who openly hates the British.
Dr. Panna Lal 
A low-born Hindu doctor and Aziz's rival at the hospital.
Ralph Moore 
A timid, sensitive and discerning youth, the second son of Mrs. Moore.
Stella Moore 
Mrs. Moore's daughter and, later, Fielding's beautiful younger wife.

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