|About the Book|
Most studies of E.M. Forsters work have been written from a Western viewpoint. Those who have approached A Passage to India have done so assuming that the central questions concern the English characters who appear in the novel. The stance of the person telling the story is assumed to be that of a sceptical and amused Englishman, with a penchant for occasional passages of local colour. Yet the first character to appear, Aziz, is an Indian and the scene is presented through his eyes. Much of the novel, indeed, is written not from an English, or any particular national viewpoint but from a more complicated stance, out of which Forster tries to present a sympathetic view of the Indians, while not losing an objective view. The poetic passages are not there to simply add emotional colour but to shift the viewpoint so that the reader may begin to enter into a different world of discourse - one in which questions about the nature of the world are considered not from a sceptical standpoint, but from the very centre of ones being. This was not an easy aim- indeed the difficulty of achieving it may provide one reason why Forster had a sense of failure as he concluded his novel. Beginning from the Indian questions that haunt the novel, this book shows what happens if one reads the novel with them at its centre.