Adela Quested – A Character Analysis
Adela Quested is betrothed to Ronny and has come to India for her marriage. A curious and immature girl, Adela wants to seen and know India. She is with Mrs Moore who is worried about her son’s marriage. However, Adela’s curiosity gives rise to difficulties for both her and others. She is an immature girl caught in an illusion between intellectualism and God. She brings her confusion with herself to India where she meets Aziz and Fielding. Like Mrs Moore, Aziz has grown dear to Adela as well. However, her love for India is not as real as Mrs Moore’s. This makes her create a double impression on others. On one side, she starts looking a meek and vulnerable girl and on the other cunning and difficult. She is trying her best to manage herself and always ends up getting in a worse tangle. Confusion after confusion follows her and like Mrs Moore, the echo in the Marabar caves chases her making her feel empty and unloved. She realizes the error when it is too late and tries to mend her mistake but not without being through her fair share of trauma.
India marks a difficult but extraordinary turn in three English people’s lives – Fielding, Mrs Moore and Adela Quested. For Mrs Moore, it is the turning point from where she starts on her last journey. In case of Fielding, he leaves India to bring back a more stable life and his beautiful wife Stella receives the love Adela could not find here. For Adela, it marks a realization and purification of soul that takes her on a better path in her life where she finds freedom from confusion and more satisfaction. She is at last glad that despite being through an episode of difficulties she has brought herself back on the right path. Had she married Ronny and become an accomplish in his sins, she too would have become lifeless and comic like others at the club. In her immaturity she accused Aziz of having molested her at the caves. Nobody knows what happened inside the caves and Fielding feels the girl has made a mistake. Mrs Moore helps her realize her mistake and in the court she realises it at the right point of time. Aziz is released and freed from every allegation. However, he has seen too much humiliation which has changed him forever.
Adela has lost her image before the Indian community and the British community has rejected her. In such a time, she finds help from Fielding who helps her find some of her mental calm back. She stays at the college for some days and it leads to rumors against her and the schoolmaster. Neither of the two mind those rumors but it becomes a cause of drift between Fielding and Aziz. However, once she has found support from Fielding, the echo stops chasing her and she returns safely to England. Aziz is anguished and cannot relieve himself from tension and as a result he wishes that she pays twenty thousands in fine. This would have spelt a real disaster for the girl who comes out to be an innocent and harmless creature when Fielding inspects the issue. He persuades Aziz to not be overburdened by grievance and let Adela make her way to England so she can find a new and happy life. Aziz agrees because Mrs Moore’s name somewhere makes him see things from a different angle. However, frustration remains in him making him think of Adela as a villain and Fielding as an accomplice. The girl does not want to earn a poor reputation in India and feels disappointed at her own behavior. Before leaving she has broken her marriage with Ronny and returns to England where she can find a new husband and be back among her friends.
While she and Aziz are not able to reconstruct their friendship while she is in India, they do so later through Fielding. Meanwhile Aziz keeps believing that she and Fielding have gotten married and it makes him think ill of the two. Fielding returns and Aziz gets to know that he has married Stella and even if it does not change him much he thinks a bit differently of Adela and sees her as Mrs Moore’s companion. Feeling reminded of Mrs Moore, Aziz is willing to shake hands again with Adela and writes her a respectful letter clearing the misunderstanding between the two. The air has cleared and Adela’s reputation is restored. By the end she has left a satisfactory impression on the readers and one important confusion that gets cleared through her character is that to win India whether by love or by force is not possible and nor in any other manner. Mrs Moore who loves India truly is remembered by Indians with respect but readers see that the echo chases her too. Adela strikes a poor connection while trying to create a better impression than others. She gets to understand India better when she has left India and feels lighter. In this way, Adela is also one of those English characters that finds fulfillment in India, what if partial, still it leads her in a new direction in life.