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

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A Passage to India, by E.M. Forster, concludes with Cyril Fielding and Aziz agreeing that they both desire to be friends with each other. The collective voices of India, however, say, “‘No, not yet,’ and the sky said, ‘No, not there” (A Passage to India). Why is it that Fielding and Aziz cannot be friends? Despite the myriad of problems revealed within the novel between the English and Anglo-Indian populations, the novel does not explicitly explain why they cannot be friends. The reason for this is that Forster’s theme of identity supersedes the theme of friendship, thereby precluding the two constituent populations of the British Raj from any semblance of friendship outside of formality. Close examination of these two thematic elements within the novel will illustrate why friendship is foiled by the necessity of social, as well as, self-identification. The first chapter of the novel illustrates a view of Chandrapore that is macroscopic, ordinary, except for the scenic Marabar caves that loom over the city from a distance. This is followed by the microscopic view of a dinner party where the characters discuss the possibility of…show more content…
The difficulty of those muddled gray areas in life are too often dictated by the ideology of cultural, social, and national identities. All of those elements present themselves within the novel, however, it is the obligation to those identities; the difficult reckoning of public and private life when the other side is always watching; and the gulf between the cultures that eventually causes them to violently clash together. These aforementioned elements are the reasons that: Aziz and Fielding could not be friends, India and the British Raj could not be reconciled, and A Passage to India remains a reminder of many core social issues that continue to underlie much of world’s
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