A Passage to India
Gender Quotes Page 2
How we cite our quotes:
[Adela] was particularly vexed now because she was both in India and engaged to be married, which double event should have made every instant sublime. (2.14.2)
Adela's "attack" in the caves brings up the interesting question of what actually happened in there. This passage supports the view that her attack was a hallucination on her part. Why? Her encounter with India, this wonderful exotic place that's supposed to be utterly exciting, is closely linked to her thoughts about love and marriage, so closely as to be inseparable. She wants "sublime" experience, and because the actual fact of her engagement is boring, she needs to find sublime experiences – make them up, if necessary. This does bring up the question of whether the novel is portraying Adela as just another weak female, prone to hysterical flights of fancy.
Not to love the man one's going to marry! Not to find it out till this moment! Not even to have asked oneself the question until now! (2.15.4)
This passage links the equation between India and love for Adela that we saw in the previous quote. This passage occurs right before she walks into the cave and gets "attacked." The closeness of Adela's insight into her loveless marriage and her "attack" in the caves suggests that her attack is just a hallucination, something her over-wrought imagination thought up in the heat of disappointment at her own unromantic existence.
They had started speaking of "women and children" – that phrase that exempts the male from sanity when it has been repeated a few times. (2.20.21)
This passage really lays into the Anglo-Indians for losing their heads in the days leading up to the trial. The phrase "women and children" is viewed not as a noble cause, but as an excuse for persecuting Indians.