A Passage to India

A Comparative Analysis of Heart of Darkness and A Passage to India College

At a glimpse, it might seem quite uncanny to compare two such seemingly dissimilar works as Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and A Passage to India by E.M. Forster. Apart from disparity in their length and structure (Heart of Darkness: a novella, A Passage to India: a fully developed novel), the two narratives are separated by a generation and were produced in differing periods of each writer’s career. Each of the two novelists emerged from a very different background and had a very unique upbringing. In the case of Conrad, the novella is the direct outcome of his experiences as in charge of a small river steamboat in the African Congo in 1890. For his part, E.M. Forster, after having traveled so often through India, seems to have produced A Passage to India as a result of his own ‘passages’ there.

Regardless of all these factual differences, the two novels have much in common. Both works deal with the issues of colonialism and not only ‘fall’ into the category of post-colonial literature, but doubtlessly trigger a lot of debatable problems related to colonialism that otherwise lay hidden under the feigned integrity of the British rule. Just as Heart of Darkness, though apparently dealing with an ordinary seaman’s journey, is...

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