A Passage to India Summary and Analysis Part 2 Caves (Chapter XVIII – XX)

Chapter XVIII Summary and Analysis

Fielding had hoped McBryde would be able to help him but he was from the same herd and so bound to follow. The two saw Indians from two different angles and both have  along discussion in this chapter. Fielding still believed that Aziz was innocent and McBryde thought that  nothing could be done anymore. Evidence that  came in was enough to show Aziz in poor light but Fielding could see British were unable to see otherwise. If they had put anything aside it was rational thought.

Mr Mcbryde, the District Superintendent of Police held a rather calm disposition. he was among the most educated of the city officials. There were two reasons behind his being philosophical – he was well read and had an unhappy marriage. He was not someone to lose his temper easily. He received Aziz in a manner that seemed reassuring. He told Aziz he was going to be held till he got bail and that his friends will be applying for it. Mr McBryde felt shocked at Aziz’s downfall but the and his own theory of Indians. According to him the unfortunate natives were eat heart criminals and did not hold any chance of being otherwise. If you had to settle here, you needed to be like them. Another of them was just found out. Fielding’s arrival interrupted his thoughts. He told Fielding all he had known without keeping anything. Aziz had followed her in the cave and mad e insulting advances. When she hit on him with her field glasses the strap broke and later they were found in his pocket. Overall, the evidence said guilty. She had heard an echo in the caves. Fielding thought the echo must have worried her but Miss Quested had not been asked more questions. She would face them in the witness box. Lawyer Mahmoud Ali wanted to see the accused and was allowed to. Miss Derek had seen Miss Quested running down the hills afraid and exhausted. Her account made Miss Quested’s claims stronger. Fielding believed Miss Quested was delusional and that she was frightened by the echo. He said if Aziz was the culprit he would not keep the field glasses in his pocket as he did. However, the policeman thought otherwise of the Indians who he thought when they went wrong could go utterly wrong. Indians had the potential of every crime and Indian crime was different from English crime. Fielding was a  schoolmaster and so his angle of seeing things was different from that of  a policeman. He held out a letter found at Aziz’s residence that was from one of his brothers who apparently run a brothel. Fielding was not interested in any of his private letters but McBryde thought it could be produced in the court to shed light upon Aziz’s morality.  Fielding thought everyone is the same at that age.  He asked if there was any chance of seeing Miss Quested who was currently held song people who disbelieved Indians.  There was no way he could see the girl because according to Calendar she was not out of danger. The policeman did not allow him to visit Dr Aziz either. He was concerned why Fielding was trying to get himself mixed up in all this.  Innocent or guilty did not matter but Fielding should follow the line every British was following in Chandrapore. According to McBryde this country was poisonous and in the coming weeks the situation was going to be very nasty. Fielding had started losing hoper. McBryde was not going to be of any help. The person who could allow him to see Aziz was City Magistrate Ronny Heaslop and he was the last person that Fielding was going to bother. A corporal brought  drawer collected from Aziz’s bungalow. The drawer contained photographs of women or rather a woman. Fielding noted it was Aziz’s wife. However, McBryde’s mood did not change. His face and voice bore signs of the upcoming storm. He asked Fielding to trot off and that only Lord could help now. As if his prayer had been heard, a temple bell rang at a distance.

Chapter XIX: Summary and Analysis

As Fielding shot out of McBryde’s office he met Hamidullah and tried to console him saying it was all a mistake. Hamidullah asked if some evidence had come up and Fielding convinced something would definitely come up.  His attitude convinced Hamidullah but he was not convinced about the Superintendent of Police. So, he asked Fielding if McBryde was annoyed. Fielding replied it did not matter and he was not annoyed. Evidence was still needed because nothing else could convince the  Magistrate. Hamidullah knew that Aziz was framed but he could do very little unless he had some form of evidence. The way he talked of policy and evidence had made  Fielding sadder.  Fielding was also concerned but he shifted everything else to the fringes of his mind. the only thing ringing in his mind was that Aziz was innocent and all the rest action had to be directed along the same line. While he was pitting his fate with the Indians he also hoped they did not commit something disappointing or pessimistic. Aziz had left a bad impression by trying to run, Md Latif was also a disappointment and Hamidullah instead of denouncing was trying to conform to the norms. Even if they could to be called cowards they were poor starters. Fielding knew the  fear was everywhere. It was characteristic of the British Raaj and some of the respect he enjoyed was born of it.  He asked Hamidullah to cheer up and he did. Now, eh question of bail and an application and to be made soon. Hamidullah thought that Nawab Bahadur had to be approached. He was planning to rope in everyone. He also suggested that a Hindu Barrister be hired in order to make  wider appeal. However, Amrit Rao whose name he suggested was notoriously Anti British.

The case would smack of racism if he was hired and that  was not what Fielding wanted. He wanted minimum fuss. However, it was now difficult to avoid. Fielding wished Hamidullah was not going to complicate things and that he could let things happen they had to happen. He again stressed that they were bound to win and that Miss Quested would never be able to substantiate the charges. He bid Hamidullah GoodBye who asked again if he was really on their side against his own people.  While Fielding did not like taking sides he was afraid he would have to this time. he wanted to remain unlabelled . He was to be called Anti British and seditious and even if he was born free, he knew he was going to be affected by the muddle. This part of his day ended with a queer talk with Professor Godbole about Russel’s viper. the animal was found nosing around in one of the classes some days ago and people had come up with theories. They were asking the principal about the viper. He was concerned about other things and here he was facing questions  about a snake. His mind was thinking of composing a letter of appeal to Miss quested and Godbole’s words were lost on him. Godbole rose to take leave. he asked about the Marbar trip and hoped it was successful. Fielding was surprised. they did not know yet. He asked if Godbole was ignorant of the catastrophe.

However, the brahmin knew and everyone did but he acted indifferent. Godbole started talking of a school he was planning to open at his birthplace. the school will follow the norms of the government school. the brahmin had bored Fielding terribly. Only if Indians had a sense of occasion and knew what to talk of!  He wanted Fielding’s help on naming the school. He asked him if he too considered Aziz guilty and the Brahmin  gave a sly reply that  they could leave it to the court. Upon being prodded further the Brahmin became philosophical and replied that when evil happens it affects all. It was not just Aziz that  had committed the sin but it included everyone and even Miss Quested herself.  Fielding could not understand the Brahmin’s problem. hindus and especially Brahmins like to keep clear and so would explain everything in terms of good and evil. Right now, nothing was farther from the point.  Fielding was frustrated but the Brahmin continued to season with him about good and evil and that they were beyond control. Then he asked Fielding of the Marabar caves and the tank near them. He starts telling of a king who had murdered his sister’s son and  the dagger had remained attached to his hand.

One day the King arrived at the caves where he offered water to a thirsty cow. The danger fell from his hands and the humbled king built a tank there. Very frequently Godbole’s talks would conclude at a cow.  Fielding did nothing but to remain silent. At last he obtained a permit and went to see Aziz who was feeling miserable. His only remark that Fielding could understand was that he felt deserted by him.  So, he returned to write his letter to Miss Quested which he thought was never going to reach her because McBryde will withhold it. However, she was a simple and innocent girl who would not choose to accuse naIndian wrongfully.

Chapter XX: Summary and Analysis

Forster notes in this chapter how the English fuss over every small thing.  The air at the club had changed and some people were thinking army was to be called. Amid all this motion and chaos Fielding was trying to remains till but the things that followed made him feel isolated and angry. Forster shows how the herd mentality works the British circles. How evil is expanding and everyone has joined.

Miss Quested was not a popular and well known figure among the Britishers.   Still, sympathy overflowed when the english car to know of the incident. An entire drama was underway. Mrs Turton was crying for the poor girl. She had called her not pukka but now resented it and said they must have cared better for her. Miss Derek too thought why people did not care more for others. It had become a moment to show solidarity. The emotions lasted for some hours and then changed. As the evening drew, people flocked to the club. The Club was filled with more people than usual. the air was different and some people had brought their children to the rooms reserved for the children. A young mother whose husband was away from home held her kid and was not returning to her bungalow fearing the niggers might attack. The worried lady was the  wife of a small railway official and the men tried to console telling her it was just hate drums of Muharram. However, she was not to be convinced. Mrs Turton told her she was to sleep at Burra Sahib’s bungalow and the natives were never going to come there. the collector clapped his hands and announced that there was no cause for alarm and that  the ladies must not talk before their servants and not to go into the city. His wife asked if there was any news from etc city and he sandal was normal. Mrs Lesley asked about Aziz and was told he was in jail and his bail had been refused. Fielding asked if there was any report about Miss Quested’s health. However, most people found the thing poor. Addressing Aziz and Adela by their names was forbidden. Turton suggested that all ladies behave like normal and that would help. All the ladies confirmed because his words made them feel like they were just an outpost. The collector was feeling tormented and wanted to punish Fielding and avenge Adela. he was angry at the natives but wanted to do nothing that could call for military intervention. If he called the military they would set one thing right and hundred others wrong. Moreover, they would like to humiliate the civilian administration. while he felt good about the bail plea being rejected, he knew Nawab Bahadur would be angry and then there were the Government of India and the British parliament.  People around were getting anxious and the second lieutenant talked of army getting involved sooner or later. The mischief would not have happened if there was army at the Marabars.  The collector nodded pleasantly at his remark but suggested things must go on as usual.  It was the attempt of one isolated Indian and that other Indians must be treated as angels. The civil surgeon entered and brought the god news that the victim was alright. However, no-one was safe in the country according to him. he was followed by young Heaslop and while Adela was a victim, Heaslop was a martyr.  Major Calendar was blaming himself for having granted Aziz a leave. The collector said that there was no personal blame attached to him. They even felt sad for Fielding who had landed himself into trouble by mixing himself up with the natives. It always resulted in some indignity. Major Calendar was talking to the subaltern about how they got hold of Heaslop’s servant and bribed him to get rid of him. His remarks were enow growing offensive. He said that Godbole was also bribed to make Fielding late. According to him Aziz had brined a bunch of natives to suffocate Heaslop’s mother in one of the caves. Major was slinging mud at everyone. He even tried to draw in Fielding by making remarks at him but fielding was determined not to be dragged into the mud. Heaslop and entered and they were getting angry at Fielding for trying to defend poor Aziz. Major Calendar was adding fuel to fire and they cried at Fielding to stand up for he had not when Ronny arrived.  The second Lieutenant had decided to get ugly and addressed him as a swine. Fielding was however, adamant at his point and was not going to change it. Things got even sour and the collector asked him to get out in a  moment. The subaltern (second lieutenant) was in his way and collector asks him to let Fielding go. Fielding felt a bit angry because never before had his colleagues acted like that. He wished he had not been so.

Fielding got to the upper verandah from where he could again see the beauty of the Marabar hills.    hey were looking even beautiful at this time like the tower of a cathedral. He thought of the echo that had bothered Miss Quested. The Marabars seemed to be coming to him and soon their beauty melted into the sky. However, he soon felt discontented at heart and started pondering over whether he had been successful as being.  He had learnt a lot in his lofty years of life. his passions were under control and he had managed himself along advanced european lines. However, now it seemed like he had been working at something else the entire time.