Friendship Dilemma In E. M. Forster's A Passage To India

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The Indian-English-Friendship Dilemma in E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India begins with a description of the Indian landscape and a debate between Muslim Indians whether an Englishman can be friends with an Indian. This question is mirrored in the conclusion of the novel. The debate includes Dr. Aziz and his Muslim-Indian comrades. Mahmoud Ali agrees that is not possible for an Englishman to be friends with an Indian and Hamidullah claims it is possible to be for the English and Indian to be friends; albeit, in a place other than India. Hamidullah’s opinion is significant because it sets the tone for this section of the novel. The novel focuses on Aziz who has a negative outlook on the English from the outset. Aziz’s states during the debate: “Why talk about the English? Brrr.. Why be either friends with the fellows or not friends? Let us shut them out and be…show more content…
Prior to the trial Fielding and Aziz’s friendship is seen as a symbol of successful humanism. This implies that the English and the Indian can be friends if both men can treat each other with kindness and open-mindedness. Fielding proves to be rare among the English with an “Indian” quality of recognizing the intention behind words as much as the words themselves. Aziz shares this quality. This commonality between them and their eagerness to be friends also contributes to the idea that they are capable of a true friendship. However, this changes drastically once Fielding allows Adela to seek refuge in his home following the trial. This shift in their friendship is due to an increased bitterness towards the English on Aziz’s part and the social circumstances that Fielding cannot completely escape while in India. As well, they cannot avoid that Aziz is an Indian and Fielding, though liberal and humanistic, has the intrinsic traits of the

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