A Passage To India


Dear Mr. Forster:
It is that time of year again, you know back to school and
all, and like the changing of the seasons, eternal and
unrelenting, I am once again being forced to write to you
regarding one of your works. This banal assignment has been
so played out, that at this point I believe it is safe to
say that any imaginative essence it might have once had,
has been expunged. However, some good has come out of this
ridiculous assignment, as I had the great privilege to read
one of your best works, " A Passage to India". Its lengthy
descriptions of the backdrop to the story mirrored the
drawn out works of Dickens, however, its message redeemed
the work and even interested me. The dramatic tension
between the British and Indian cultures and society was
gripping and. I felt the fundamental question "can two
distinct people live in harmony with one another?" to be
both thought provoking and chilling. It is very ironic that
after only twenty some odd years, the answer to your
question was answered. No! 

The way you developed the chasm between the two people was
almost as keen as the question itself. Through descriptions
and allusions to the three conflicting religions,
Christianity, Islam and Hinduism, you clearly outlined the
stark differences which existed between the Indians and
their rulers, the British. The stereotypical British
arrogance, characterized by Ronny Heaslop, clearly points
out the potential for conflict. Ronny is offensively class
distinctive, looking down upon people of lesser social and
political influence. Even Mrs. Moore, a semi-hero of the
people of India, fails to defend Aziz and Adela in their
time of need. Your contempt for people such as Ronny and
the Turtons is justifiable when compared to the merit-based
views of the pivotal character Cyril Fielding. 

Fielding, a very intelligent and understanding, individual
is sharply contrasted with Ronny and the rest of the
British establishment. Cyril evaluates people based on
their merit and self-worth, not on their class ranking.
Fielding married to the daughter of the kind Mrs. Moore has
much in common with his mother-in-law. They both were able
to look past the different clothing and customs the Indian
people represent and see them as fellow humans. Your grand
portrayal of Fielding is a clear statement in support of
Fielding's character and beliefs. Fielding as well as Aziz
in some ways have an "understanding heart," which sees past
the polarity of the two people. 

The friendship which develops between Aziz and Fielding at
the conclusion of the novel, is symbolic of the potential
harmony which could exist between the two fractions.
However, as the novel comes to an end, the two parties are
split by a fork in the road, signifying the impenetrable
rift which would eventually bring the two societies to the
brink of all out war. Sadly Mr. Foster, history has once
again shown us that humans are not able to look past the
differences which separate them, be they skin color,
religion, dialects or social mannerisms. Myself being a
religious Jew I know too well about the groundless hatred
and animosity which exists when people differ from one
another. Only twenty years after you wrote 
 " A Passage to India", a war, spread across the entire
globe, was fought because people could not resolve their
differences. Why can't we all just get along? 


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