A Passage to India: Imperialism

1677 Words Jan 5th, 2012 7 Pages
Discuss Forster’s portrayal of Imperialism in the novel a passage to India
A passage to India by E.M.Forster is a novel which deals largely with the political, economic and social takeover of India by the British Crown. The novel deals widely with colonialism and more specifically, imperialism. Forster presents the theme in question through the lives and minds of the characters from both the Indians and the English people. There is no subjective undertone to the novel and we see clearly how each character feels, politically correct or not. Forster successfully presents different scenarios and relationships with the assistance of symbolism and imagery, for us to imagine and determine a path to where it may lead; based on the concerns the
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It is evident now that he feels all Englishmen are hopeless, in the end they all conform to the Imperialistic movement and behaviours which encourage racism and a general bad attitude to the Indians. Hamidullah notably gives English women a much shorter tether probably being that they only communicate on a personal or sociable level and have no need for professional pleasantries before adopting the imperialistic traits. Forster himself having lived in India is divulging an exaggerated experience of his time there, he is magnifying issues which are completely evident in the force of Imperialism but had never been acknowledged in this way before. There will always, like with any topic be novels which contribute mere nods to the opposition with a main focus on the protagonists encounters, this is not what Forster set out to do. His approach, although himself anti-imperialist is very liberal in that he highlights and presents the Englishman, his “undeveloped heart” and narrow-mindedness to an unknown world to which he must adapt, or mustn’t as the story goes.

An issue what can also be questioned in the novel is if Imperialism itself is the problem, or the way in which the British conduct themselves when India, under Imperialistic ruling. The behaviour of the British can be summoned on many different tangents from Imperialism. The topic of race and
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