Study Guide

A Passage to India Part 1, Chapter 5

By E.M. Forster

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Part 1, Chapter 5

  • There's very little bridging between cultures going on at the Turtons' Bridge Party. The Indians and the English are grouped on opposite sides of the lawn.
  • Adela feels disappointed. Ronny lectures Adela about why Indians don't matter. Adela notices that Ronny is getting annoyingly conventional about things.
  • Mrs. Turton introduces Adela and Mrs. Moore over to the Indian women. She speaks some Urdu to the Indian women, who reply in English. This is an unpleasant surprise to her because it makes it less easy for her to act superior.
  • The two English-speaking Indian women, Mrs. Bhattacharya and Mrs. Das, have a polite conversation with Adela and Mrs. Moore.
  • As they leave, Mrs. Moore asks whether it would be all right for Adela and herself to call on the Indian women. After some confusing banter between Mr. and Mrs. Bhattacharya, they agree to a visit on Thursday.
  • Adela then meets Mr. Fielding, the principal of the local government college. After some friendly chitchat, Mr. Fielding invites her and Mrs. Moore over to tea. On hearing that Mrs. Moore has met Aziz, he agrees to invite Aziz over as well.
  • Adela, Ronny, and Mrs. Moore all head home from the party.
  • The McBrydes and Miss Derek join them for dinner. Miss Derek views the Bridge Party, and her overall experience in India, as pure comedy.
  • After their dinner guests leave, Ronny is alone with his mother. His mother chides him for his attitude toward Indians, but Ronny retorts that he is in India to govern, not to "behave pleasantly" (1.5.86). Mrs. Moore disagrees and argues that they are in India to behave pleasantly. When she invokes religion – "God…is…love" (1.5.97), Ronny gets uncomfortable and decides to leave his mother alone.

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