Symbolism In A Passage To India

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Encounter gives birth to the idea of nationalism and Forster could very well grasp this conception during his developing period in India. While writing A Passage to India Forster’s intention was ‘philosophic and poetic’. For this reason, he had borrowed the title of this novel from a poem by Walt Whitman, the American poet whose major themes include political, spiritual and sexual freedom. These are the universal themes but the novel develops on the specific ground of Indian racial problems and cultural intersection. Since race and color problems can never produce good literature, implied universal themes provide material for great literary works. The manifestation of universal theme of human values, has embraced A Passage to India with the exploration of British imperial exploitation.…show more content…
Though the bitterness of relationship reminds us of the political turmoil of colonial India the novel appears to be a study of characters, their tastes, attitudes, sentiment and way of thinking and it is not his crude consciousness of the time. In this connection Hemenway says, “Even though A Passage to India started certain waves which joined with the big currents of national freedom in India, there is little evidence that Forster intended this as a major goal of his novel”(Hemenway, 95). Forster himself disclaims the political motivations of the literary work. In an interview of 1962 Forster said, “The influence [political] was not intended; I was interested in the story and the characters. But I welcomed it” (Hemenway, 95). A thorough reading of the novel vividly shows that “If Forster had wanted to write a more inflammatory political novel; the seeds were present in the burgeoning Indian nationalist movement which is scarcely mentioned in the novel” (Hemenway, 95). But Hemenway misses to apprehend the undercurrent of intertextual historicity of this text and the textuality of history. It may be easily traced in the attitude of Aziz,
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