Essay Questions A Passage To India

Part I, Chapters I – III
1. Compare and contrast the ways in which social cohesiveness is maintained among the Muslims and the Anglo-Indians. Include a description of their social habits, attitudes, and opinions.

2. Discuss the phenomenon of the outsider. Who are the actual and potential outsiders in the novel? In what way are the Muslims and the English outsiders to each other?

Part I, Chapters IV – VI
1. Religion can be either a matter of outward observance or deep inward feeling. Contrast the religious beliefs of Mr. Sorley and Mr. Graysford, Ronny Heaslop, Aziz, and Mrs. Moore.

2. Exclusion is a social mechanism that maintains the cohesiveness of a social group. Discuss ways in which exclusion is promoted in A Passage to India. Which characters attempt to work toward inclusion rather than exclusion? Give your opinion on whether exclusion is always undesirable or whether it is sometimes necessary.

Part I, Chapter VII
1. Do you think Fielding’s party was a success or a failure? Support your argument with examples.

2. Harmony is a quality not often depicted in A Passage to India. Professor Godbole seems to embody it. What are the signs by which we can tell that the Professor leads a harmonious life?

Part I, Chapter VIII
1. Trace the theme of identification, or labeling, in this chapter. Give examples, and show the different contexts in which it occurs. How does Miss Quested feel about labeling? Heaslop? In your opinion, is labeling desirable or undesirable?

2. Heaslop uses the term “show Indian.” Our term is “tokenism.” In what ways is the Nawab Bahadur a token Indian? Explain.

Part I, Chapters IX – XI
1. Discuss the following pairs of opposites: wisdom and honesty; intimacy and clarity. Why does Aziz think the first pair are opposites? Why does Fielding believe the second pair are incompatible? Present your own view, with examples.

2. Trace the way in which rumors arise in the societies of Chandrapore, giving examples of similarities and differences between this process and the way rumors are transmitted in our society. Include your conclusions about the origins and effects of rumors.

Part II, Chapters XII – XIV
1. Describe Aziz’s concept of hospitality and his hospitable behavior in this chapter. Forster tells us that hospitality is a capital virtue. He suggests it may also be a vice. Decide whether or not you agree and explain your reasons.

2. Analyze the character of Mrs. Moore as it is revealed in Chapter XIV. Are her reactions consistent with her behavior in previous chapters? If not, show how the change is indicated and explain why it happens....

(The entire section is 1141 words.)

Essay about Mysticism in A Passage to India

3921 Words16 Pages

Mysticism in Forester's A Passage to India

The figure of Mrs. Moore, and the problem of what happened to her in the extraordinary Marabar Caves, has fascinated critics for decades. The question has absorbed attention to a degree that does not correspond to the secondary role that Mrs. Moore plays in the plot of A Passage to India. On the surface, she is a supporting character, yet many of the unresolved issues of the novel seem to be concentrated in her experience. Mrs. Moore arrives in India a sympathetic figure, and departs unresponsive and uncaring, transformed beyond recognition by the mysterious voice of the Marabar. The deliberately unexplained matter of what spoke to her in the cave has intrigued virtually every scholar…show more content…

The echo in the Marabar Caves distorts the complicated mystery of India until it is little more than a muddle.

Before discussing the character of Mrs. Moore and her experience in the Caves, it is first necessary to outline a few of the basic tenets of Hinduism. Hinduism is an elusive, complicated religion, with no identifiable founder and origins in the ancient scriptures of the Vedas. There are numerous Hindu religious texts, and even more distinct branches that can be identified within the larger framework of the religion. However, the shared goal of all Hindus is to attain liberation from the cycle of rebirth, which is referred to as samsara. The release from samsara is known as moksa, which is the only path to being in the eternal presence of God.1

The Vedic school of Hindu philosophy is derived from the Upanishads, texts that relate dialogues exploring spiritual and philosophic questions. The principal idea contained within the Upanishads is that the world is deceptively cloaked by maya ("illusion"). The true force that orders all things is known as Brahman, a formless and invisible entity that can also be called "not-Self" or the Holy Power. The counterpart to Brahman is atman, the soul or the "Self." The atman is inseparable from the Brahman, and the two are in fact identical, since a oneness connects everything, though outward forms may change.2 Those forms are unreal and temporary; only the formless Brahman-Atman can be considered

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