The Negative Representation of the East in E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India

836 Words Jan 30th, 2018 3 Pages
Forster’s A Passage to India has represented the East in a negative way. This is a traditional novel for exploring themes of racism and the effects of colonialism. It deals with the tensions between India and the Britain during the British Raj in India.
The theme which determines the plot-line of this novel is introduced in the beginning through the conversation of Hamidullah, Mahmoud Ali and Aziz as” They were discussing as to whether or no it is possible to be friends with an Englishman.” (5) It is this question which is the focal point of the plot of A Passage to India. Can the East meet the West on a plane where each not only tolerates but also appreciates the other? E.K. Brown is his essay Rhythm in E.M. Forster’s a Passage to India concludes that such a friendship is virtually impossible especially in India.
Apart from quoting Brown’s point of view I have quoted various other critics including Edward Said and Benita Parry to substantiate my claim. The racist attitude of the British toward the native population and the oppression of Indians can be seen through the cruelty of Major Callendar, who brags of torturing an Indian by putting pepper on his wounds is the most outrageous example. But there are many others from McBryde’s views on Indian’s lust for white women, to Mrs. Turton’s foul ranting, to Mr. Turton’s arrogance and Ronny Heaslop’s ignorance. All of them except Fielding assume that Aziz was guilty even before his…