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A Passage to India
     

A Passage to India

3.1 45
by E. M. Forster
 

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E. M. Forster's 1924 masterpiece, A Passage to India, is a novel that tackles the thorny notions of preconceptions and misconceptions through characters' desire to overcome the barrier that divides East and West in colonial India. Here we see the limits of liberal tolerance, good intentions, and good will as we try to sort through the common problems that exist

Overview

E. M. Forster's 1924 masterpiece, A Passage to India, is a novel that tackles the thorny notions of preconceptions and misconceptions through characters' desire to overcome the barrier that divides East and West in colonial India. Here we see the limits of liberal tolerance, good intentions, and good will as we try to sort through the common problems that exist between two very different cultures. But Forster's India is a country where the English and Indians stare at each other across a cultural divide and a history of imbalanced power relations, mutual suspicion, and ill will. A fresh reader must wonder whether connection is possible at all.

A Passage to India begins simply enough: with people genuinely desiring to connect and to overcome the stereotypes and biases that have divided the two cultures. Mrs. Moore accompanies her future daughter-in-law, Adela Quested, to India where both are to meet Mrs. Moore's son Ronny, the City Magistrate. From the outset, Adela makes it clear that she wishes to see the "real India" and Mrs. Moore soon befriends and Indian doctor named Aziz. Cyril Fielding, an Englishman and the principal of a local government college, soon becomes acquainted with everyone and it is his tenuous friendship with the Indian Dr. Aziz that really constitutes the backbone of this novel.

While it is true that the primary characters take great pains to accept and embrace difference, their misunderstanding, fear and ignorance made that connection far more difficult than they expected. Getting to know the "real" India proves to be a daunting and challenging task. The bulk of this perhaps falls to Dr. Aziz, who soon learns that the indignities of life under British rule and the insults--unintentional and intentional--of his English acquaintances make him suspect that although genuine friendship may be desired, the two cultures are not yet ready.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

E. M. Forster published his first novel, Where Angels Fear to Tread, in 1905, which was quickly followed in 1907 by The Longest Journey and then in 1908 with A Room with a View. However, Forster's major breakthrough came in 1910 with the book Howard's End, which is often still regarded as his greatest work. Forster was associated with the Bloomsbury Group: a collective of intellectuals and peers, among them Virginia Woolf, Benjamin Britten, Roger Fry, and John Maynard Keynes. The 1924 publication of A Passage to India firmly cemented Forster in the literary firmament as one of the most important writers of the twentieth century with this being one of the most important novels of the twentieth century. It was, however, the last novel Forster ever completed.

Forster seems to have harbored a growing disillusionment with traditional liberalism and instead turned his attention to teaching and criticism, beginning with the Clark Lectures he delivered at Cambridge in 1927, which were gathered into a much-admired collection of essays published as Aspects of the Novel. In 1946, Forster accepted a fellowship at Cambridge where he remained until his death in 1970.

SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

From classic book to classic film, RosettaBooks has gathered some of most memorable books into film available. The selection is broad ranging and far reaching, with books from classic genre to cult classic to science fiction and horror and a blend of the two creating whole new genres like Richard Matheson's The Shrinking Man. Classic works from Vonnegut, one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, meet with E.M. Forster's A Passage to India. Whether the work is centered in the here and now, in the past, or in some distant and almost unimaginable future, each work is lasting and memorable and award-winning.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940013992061
Publisher:
RosettaBooks
Publication date:
07/01/2010
Series:
RosettaBooks into Film , #15
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
97,309
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

E. M. Forster published his first novel, Where Angels Fear to Tread, in 1905, which was quickly followed in 1907 by The Longest Journey and then in 1908 with A Room with a View. However, Forster's major breakthrough came in 1910 with the book Howard's End, which is often still regarded as his greatest work. Forster was associated with the Bloomsbury Group: a collective of intellectuals and peers, among them Virginia Woolf, Benjamin Britten, Roger Fry, and John Maynard Keynes. The 1924 publication of A Passage to India firmly cemented Forster in the literary firmament as one of the most important writers of the twentieth century with this being one of the most important novels of the twentieth century. It was, however, the last novel Forster ever completed.

Forster seems to have harbored a growing disillusionment with traditional liberalism and instead turned his attention to teaching and criticism, beginning with the Clark Lectures he delivered at Cambridge in 1927, which were gathered into a much-admired collection of essays published as Aspects of the Novel. In 1946, Forster accepted a fellowship at Cambridge where he remained until his death in 1970.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
January 1, 1879
Date of Death:
June 7, 1970
Place of Birth:
London
Place of Death:
Coventry, England
Education:
B. A. in classics, King's College, Cambridge, 1900; B. A. in history, 1901; M.A., 1910

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A Passage To India 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a great example of how the injection of western influences and domination throw the equilbruim of societies into a state of disarray. The europeans took over rule in many countries trying to force the native cultures into adopting their rules and laws. The domination of western peoples also created its own class structures with them on top. This initiated racism and a hierarchy of social classes. The perceptions of the native peoples even caused them to turn on their own at times. Due to their discontent from the structural conditions of the subjunation of their culture by the British, the Indians used the incident this book centers around to spark a rebellion against western intervention on their way of life. The clashing of cultures due to the integration of western ideologies with the basic belief systems of India caused immense stress on the native people of India. A must for anyone studying the emergence of western ideals in other non-western nations.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'A Passage to India' is not only a story, it is a glimpse of the prejudices that have haunted British India since its addition to the British Empire. The story is well-written, and its message is Forster's most profound to date.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Written in 1924, this book offers an excellent presentation of social constructs in Colonial India from both the British and Indian perspectives. It was fascinating to see how various actions and situations were interpreted by members of the two different civilisations. When one reads this book keeping in mind the period in which it appeared, it is amazing to note just how ahead of its time it was. Ideas presented, such as the notion that India might one day be a nation instead of several very different groups of people¿Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, are really quite revolutionary. While events did not transpire quite as the book may have alluded to (Colonial India was made of up the present-day nations of India and Pakistan, which came about after a very bloody war- hence two nations not one), they are nonetheless far ahead of their times. While I encourage everyone to read this book for the very candid insights into the mindsets of British Colonials and Indians of the time period, I did not give this book a 5 for several reasons. Firstly, the use of many foreign words (of Urdu origin I presume), while adding flavour to the story also made reading a bit difficult as I was unfamiliar with many of them, and could not find them in and English dictionary. It was a bit confusing as many of the words were not explained. Secondly, in my opinion there were large passages where nothing of import was said. This, unfortunately, did not add to the reading experience for me. This aside, I do think it is a book worth reading, especially for its status as a modern classic and the unique point of view from which it is written.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel, is not one to criticize and detest to the utmost degree...but more a book that has tremendous potential. I had to do a project on this one, and as much as some parts 'did drag on' it was an interesting read. You definitly get a first hand look at the racial tensions that go on between the British and the Indians. You see different religious perspectives from muslims, christians, and hindus. You get to experience something a bit different. The language really wasn't that confusing. If you had background knowledge upon British India it might have helped a bit more...but really, it wasn't that bad. The characters were all very well developed and you begin to sense the conflicting view points among all the characters. The characters are not flawless, but very believable. All in all...it has tremedous potential...the symbols, setting, and plot show that human nature no matter how sweet it intends to be...always has its drawbacks due to social pressures and such. good book...though it seems people usually tend to expect more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great book ruined by too many typos
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Hard to read but seems to be corrected but have had odd copies before including poetry in prose paragraphs and scrambled with symbols almost unreadable and a few all. Usually under five dollars. Beware any book whose blurb has any scrambles or symbols or number in text
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