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A Passage to India

A Passage to India

by E.M. Forster

A Passage to India Part 1, Chapter 7 Summary

  • The story shifts to the day of Mr. Fielding's tea party at his home on the college grounds.
  • Aziz arrives early as Mr. Fielding is getting dressed. Mr. Fielding notices that he's missing a collar stud, and Aziz generously offers him his own.
  • Mrs. Moore and Adela Quested arrive, and the tea party begins. Aziz remembers Mrs. Moore, and thinks Adela unattractive.
  • Adela and Mrs. Moore mention that they had called on the Bhattacharyas as they had promised they would at the Bridge Party. But when they arrived at the Bhattacharyas, the Bhattacharyas were not in.
  • Aziz impulsively invites them to visit his home. To his dismay, they accept. He doesn't want them to see his rather humble circumstances. So he tries to change the subject by pointing out the architectural details in Fielding's home. Adela is enchanted and impressed.
  • Professor Godbole shows up. He quietly munches away as everyone talks.
  • Aziz asks Adela to consider staying in India. Adela replies that she can't.
  • Half an hour passes before she realizes that she's made a significant remark. Not staying in India would mean that she didn't intend to marry Ronny.
  • Mr. Fielding offers to take Mrs. Moore on a tour around the grounds. Adela stays behind with Aziz and Godbole.
  • Adela reminds Aziz that he's invited them over, and Aziz quickly suggests that they go to the Marabar Caves instead. She asks Aziz to describe the caves, but he can't because he's never been there. They ask Godbole to describe the caves, but he's curiously evasive.
  • Just then, Ronny shows up. Aziz sasses Ronny, but Ronny ignores Aziz.
  • Ronny's quite miffed that Adela's all alone with these Indian guys. Ronny says he's taking Adela and Mrs. Moore to a polo match.
  • Fielding returns with Mrs. Moore, and Ronny pushes everyone to say their good-byes. Adela expresses her regret that she never got a chance to hear Godbole sing.
  • Godbole sings a song. No one really understands the song because no one speaks Hindu. The servants, however, do understand the song. Godbole explains that it's the song of a milkmaid who asks the Hindu god Krishna to "come," but the god neglects to come (1.7.168). A moment of silence follows as everyone listens to Ronny's footsteps fade away.

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