A Passage to India
A Passage to India
by E.M. Forster

A Passage to India Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Power

Set in India at a time when the country was a British colony, Forster's novel is an obvious critique of the British Empire. (For more on the historical context of the novel, check out "Setting.") T...

Justice and Judgment

While the novel is certainly a critique of the British Empire (see our discussion of "Power"), it is not a wholesale rejection of everything British, European, and "Western." Why? Well, Western civ...

Race

In A Passage to India, life in Chandrapore, and indeed throughout the British Empire, is deeply fissured along racial lines, with the white Europeans on one side, and everyone else on the other. In...

Gender

In addition to race, gender also divides colonial society . British colonial society in India, made up as it is of administrators and their wives, is not exactly English society in miniature –...

Friendship

Before the Beatles traveled to India to tootle with Ravi Shankar, Forster had already been, loving up the subcontinent. Faced with the machinery of the British Empire and the daunting task of India...

Religion

Religion plays a major role in A Passage to India, dividing not only the primarily Christian British from the Indians, but also dividing Indian society from within. While Hinduism is the majority r...

Life, Consciousness, Existence

A novel that keeps digging at the way human beings draw lines to separate themselves from each other, lines of race and culture and nationality, inevitably has to ask well, what else is out there?...

Contrasting Regions

A Passage to India turns again and again to India as a country so vast, so diverse, and so exotic that it cannot be fathomed by the puny human mind. India is contrasted with England, which is prese...

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