A Passage to India
How we cite our quotes:
A mosque by winning his approval let loose his imagination […] Here was Islam, his own country, more than a Faith, more than a battle-cry, much, much more … Islam, an attitude towards life both exquisite and durable, where his body and his thoughts find their home. (1.2.61)
This passage shows Aziz's personal relationship with Islam. In contrast to Hinduism (exemplified by the character Godbole), Aziz associates Islam with a distinct "country" and "home," a reference to his nostalgia for the Mughal Empire (see "Setting" for more on Aziz's relationship to the Mughal Empire).
And the wasps? [Mr. Sorley] became uneasy during the descent to wasps, and was apt to change the conversation. And oranges, cactuses, crystals and mud? And the bacteria inside Mr. Sorley? No, no, that is going too far. We must exclude someone from our gathering, or we shall be left with nothing. (1.4.13)
This passage is ironic toward the missionaries. They advocate a Christianity that embraces all regardless of creed. How about species, the narrator asks? Sorley is willing to accept monkeys, but wasps, oranges, mud, bacteria? The reference to mud in this passage is a comment on the fact that Christianity is a religion that seeks to reject the general "muddle" of existence (see our discussion of "muddle" in "Life, Consciousness, and Existence").
"Because India is a part of the earth, and God has put us on the earth to be pleasant to each other. God …is…love […] God has put us on earth to love our neighbors and to show it, and He is omnipresent, even in India, to see how we are succeeding […] The sincere if impotent desire wins His blessing. I think everyone fails, but there are so many kinds of failure. Good will and more good will and more good will." (1.5.97-99)
Like the missionaries in Quote #2, Mrs. Moore is Christian. But unlike the missionaries, she seems to embrace a God who loves all things – even the humble wasp that made Sorley so uncomfortable in Quote #2.