Chad's Reviews > A Passage to India

A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
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's review
May 17, 2010

liked it
Read in May, 2010

The writing is fine and the plot interesting, but I enjoyed this more as an illustration of life in a colonial, apartheidic regime than as a novel. I am always amazed when I realize how recently institutionalized discrimination has been the norm, both in the United States and abroad. While most of Forster’s British characters are unabashedly prejudiced against native Indians, even the author reveals what I presume to be his own less offensive stereotypes in expository sections. Most characters in the book are one-dimensional, which is a shame. Surely it could have better pointed the reader toward his own biases if we could see any Anglo-Indians other than Miss Quested, Mrs. Moore, and Mr. Fielding as sympathetic. I do appreciate the fact that no perspectives of Indian women are given, nor are any even named. Perhaps this was not intentional, but it nicely symbolizes the purdah system. I had much difficulty understanding what actually happened in the story’s climactic moment. Apparently critics see it as a symbol for the shock of Western minds understanding Hindu philosophy, but I do not see that at all in the text.

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