A Passage to India

Orientalism as a Preventative Force Against Meaningful Relationships in A Passage to India College

Where there is a force, there is power, and if there is defiance, there is power. E.M. Forster epitomizes relationships of power in A Passage To India, a story about the British colonial occupation of Chandrapore, India. The novel presents a plethora of relationships between British occupiers and native Indians and explores the possibility of civility between the two entities. It asks the question: is a genuine relationship between colonizers and natives possible? Placing the novel in conjunction with Edward Said’s “Orientalism”, it becomes interesting to approach the friendship between Mr. Fielding and Dr. Aziz as Occident and Orient. An optimistic view of Forster’s novel would be to say that the relationship between Mr. Fielding and Dr. Aziz can transcend the bounds of hegemonic colonialism, as true human connection is ultimately what matters the most. Said’s “Orientalism” helps to inform the relationship between Fielding and Aziz in A Passage to India through a careful examination of the power that exists and circulates the two. The progression of the relationship ultimately shows that despite the arbitrariness of its discourse, Orientalism acts as a destructive force for any meaningful connection between the West and the...

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