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

Essay by epidemikHigh School, 11th gradeA, April 2003

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Essay talks about cultural misunderstandings in the book "A Passage to India" by E.M. Forster between the British and the Indians. Some sentences don't read well, but overall clear and easy to read.

Cultural Misunderstanding

In his novel A Passage to India, E.M. Forster uses a series of repeated misunderstandings between cultures, which become solidified into social stereotypes, to justify the meaningless attempts to bridge the cultural gaps. In many instances, the way in which language is used plays a great role in the miscommunication between the English and the Indians, as well as among people of the same culture. This is illustrated in the way of which people use the same words, but do not hear the same meaning. It is also displayed through the British characters Aziz meets, through invitations, time and mistakes.

Upon meeting the British, there are two notable instances of miscommunication which occur when Aziz meets the British characters in the novel that will end up being close, yet controversial friends.

Upon his confrontation with Mrs. Moore at the Mosque, he sees a British woman and right away, he develops a series of misconceptions about her. He believes that she is like all other British women, who are too good for the Indian's. "'Madam, this is a mosque, you have no right here at all; you should have taken off your shoes; this is a holy place for Moslems.' 'I have taken them off.' 'You have?' 'I left them at the entrance.' 'Then I ask your pardon. I am truly sorry for speaking.' 'Yes, I was right, was I not? If I remove my shoes, I am allowed?' 'Of course, but so few ladies take the trouble, especially if thinking no one is there to see'" (p.13-14). What Aziz finds is the...