Study Guide

Mrs. Turton in A Passage to India

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Mrs. Turton

Mrs. Turton, in contrast with her husband the Collector, is viciously racist. It's hard to find another character more racist than Mrs. Turton in the novel – even the subaltern that shows up at the club in the meeting before Adela's trial at least acknowledges the possibility of friendship with Indians. Mrs. Turton is constantly berating her husband and his subordinates for not cracking down on the Indians more ferociously. She exemplifies the unfortunate irony that while Englishwomen are regarded as the weaker, fairer, helpless sex in India, they can be fiercely racist because they don't have the education or the professional experience to keep them from entertaining their cruelest fantasies.

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