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Summary and Analysis of chapters xxv and xxvi from A Passage to India

Summary and Analysis of Chapters XXV and XXVI – E M Forster’s A Passage to India Part 2 Caves

Chapter XXV: Summary and Analysis

One drama was over and another followed. The English have left humiliated and were afraid of an attack of the civil station. Forster explores the passionate emotions of Aziz and other Muslims in this chapter. After the court proceedings were over, Adela was left alone. Fielding somehow pulled her out of the court ground and took her to his office in his carriage. Aziz was looking for him crying his first name and was taken to the Maidan in a procession. Mahmoud Ali was growing aggressive and passionate and shouting slogans. Nawab Bahadur feared an attack on the hospital and tried his best to keep the mob’s passion under  control. Anyhow, the disaster was averted upon Panna Lai’s pleading for forgiveness and Nuruddin’s safe return. Nawab Bahadur found it apt time to make a speech against the English and throw a party for all the friends.

Miss quested had abandoned her own people’s faith and now there was no reason that they would like to stay with her. She was swept in the crowd of the Indians moving out of the court.  The Indian scent filled her nostrils. It was a mixed scent of betels, cotton dipped in local perfume and all mixed with sweat.  The Indian crowd did not pay her any attention and when Indians ignore their rulers, they grow unaware of their presence. Surprisingly, she was thrown against Fielding who asked what she wanted. She continued to move out with the Indian crowd which made Fielding worry. He shouted to her to stop lest she was going to be caught in the rising frenzy.  There could be a riot and here she was all alone being careless. She was in no mood to join her own people but then were else did she have to go. Aziz shouted from behind him to stop but Fielding did not stop and shouted to him that he will be back. He pulled Adela behind him to where his carriage was waiting. The sais (charioteer) was gone with the horses. Fielding pushed Adela into the carriage.  He found time to ask her what she was doing – pursuing her intellectualism or playing some sort of game. Meanwhile his excited students came to him with garlands. They offered to be his victoria’s horses. They bundled him in with Adela and pulled the carriage like a procession into the market. People there loathed Adela and  thought that  some God had struck her in the middle of her lies.  However, they felt good to see her besides Fielding in the carriage. Fielding was afraid of an attack on her but none happened. Instead people garlanded her just like Fielding. None knew where the procession was going except some students thought of taking it to the government college. They took a shortcut to a mango orchard near Fielding’s office from where he got down and took Adela to his office. Since all his servants had left, he himself offered her ice, drinks and snacks. It was a weird victory they had registered.

Aziz was with Hamidullah, Nawab Bahadur and the others crying Fielding’s first name. He was not pleased with the victory but despaired not out of cowardice but because he was exhausted. He had known that  the word of an English woman was going to weigh more than his. However, he believed it was all fate. After being freed, the only thing that he felt was affection for Cyril Fielding. He was still looking for Fielding ad asked for the procession to turn back but it could not. Mahmoud Ali had grown too excited and was crying ‘down with the collector and the superintendent’. Nawab Bahadur was trying his best to keep the procession’s emotions under control. Nuruddin, his grandson was at the hospital after he had hurt himself in Nawab Bahdur’s car. Mahmoud Ali was still excited and started crying down with the civil surgeon. He was trying to make Nuruddin an excuse for an attack at the hospital but Nawab Bahadur again objected. Mahmoud Ali had grown too passionate and Nawab Bahadur was afraid its results could be poor. The crowd had reached the maidan and moved forward towards the Minot hospital. Mahmoud Ali’s cries had escalated its fury. Only Nawab Bahadur was under control and he could not believe any rumours about his grandson being ill-treated at the hospital ward. However, the presence of Dr Panna Lai averted the disaster. he could not escape. While he believed that Major Calendar would protect him after the negative outcome of the case, no-one was there to save him. he had slipped from the court before the final verdict to hide at the hospital but now there was no way out but to confront he mob and ask for forgiveness. So he did, creating a drama hitting and slapping himself in the face and   asking for everyone’s forgiveness. However, the crowd was looking for Nuruddin and so Panna Lai again slipped from there. Nuruddin emerged and the crowd sighed in relief. The mob’s passion was ,under control and it was suitable time for Nawab Bahadur to make a speech. He made an eloquent speech and spoke of his plan to relinquish the British conferred title of Nawab Bahadur and live as plain Mr Zulfikar.  He was throwing  party tonight and asked Mahmoud Ali to bring all the important people including Fielding and Amrit Rao. The heat was having its effect and Nawab Bahadur was having a headache. People at the civil station were fearing an attack but before long the entire town was asleep and entered a world of dreams.

Chapter XXVI: Summary and Analysis

The scene shifts from the court to the college in this chapter. Fielding brought the girl with her and got a chance to talk more openly to young Adela. Having talked at length he grew some sympathy and respect for her. Hamidullah came to invite him but could not like Adela’s presence there. His intolerance made the schoolmaster feel bad about natives’ childishness. Ronny arrives with the news of Mrs Moore’s death and Adela decides to stay at the college. Hamidullah objects but cannot stop Fielding who knows nowhere else is safer for the girl. As the two leave in a car for the party with Amrit Rao, he is shocked to hear that they have decided to ask for a fine of twenty thousand Rupees from Adela. While unveiling the British atrocities in the novel, Forster also gives readers a peep into the native mindset, their childishness and how difficult they find to pardon a sin; perhaps the biggest weakness due to which the British could hold India for so long by force.

No one had come to take away Adela and against Fielding’s expectations, the college had remained away from all the action going on in the rest of Chandrapore. Adela wanted to clarify her position but Fielding was still a bit confused about the girl. He was neither able to sympathise with her nor hate her. A conversation began between them and Adela spoke that her echo was gone. This was the only best relief that had come after her withdrawal. She said the event at the Marabars might have been a hallucination. Fielding agreed with her at this point. She had been feeling unwell since the tea party at the garden house. It was like living under half pressure. Fielding asked her if she was being honest. ‘I have been bred to be so’ was the reply. However, it was not helping her gain anything but Fielding thought it was good to be honest since it takes a person to the heaven if it exists.

He thought McBryde had practiced some sort of exorcism on her but that left her feeling confused because she could not recount anything. The talk shifted to ghosts and Mrs Moore. Then she asked of Aziz and how he felt. Fielding tried to hide the facts by telling her he was miserable. He could hardly dare tell her how he thought her to be physically unattractive. His own idea of feminine beauty was much different from that of Aziz.  Whenever it was mentioned he found that there was a barrier between him and Aziz. Perhaps it was to escape this snobbery rather than human lust the saints retire to the Himalayas. He changed the subject to start talking of a fourth possibility. It was neither her and nor Aziz, the culprit might be a third person – perhaps, the guide. Aziz had hit the guide and that had made Fielding think from that angle. There were other angles too. According to him, it could have been one from the pathan gangs or someone else.    

Hamidullah reached there and invited Fielding to the Dilkusha (party thrown to express joy at Aziz’s victory). He was still frustrated at Adela’s conduct and so tried his best to not to address her directly. Fielding tried to explain her conduct to Hamidullah, so this meeting did not see any kind of bad feelings. Hamidullah was trying to maintain his calm expression and still he could not help talking of how silly her conduct felt albeit in respectful words. He mentioned how her attitude towards Aziz and ignorance of their culture and religion had shocked them. Clearly, he was unable to digest any kind of explanation. However, Fielding’s presence had kept everyone’s emotions under control. At last, Hamidullah revealed the news that Nawab Bahadur had decided to relinquish the title and was to be called Mr Zulfikar now onwards.

Adela was ready to leave them but Fielding was worried how the disgusted British would treat her. She proposed to go to the Dak Bungalow. Hamiduallah was startled why she was not going to the Turtons because he thought she was their guest. Fielding was thinking along a different line and proposed that  she should stay at the college since he was going to be away for two days. This made Hamiddulah anxious since he thought the British were planning something rubbish and were might very well be an attack on the college. So, the liability would fall on innocent Fielding but then they could attack the Dak Bungalow too. However, the lady was not ready to become Fielding’s liability and said she could better leave for the Dak Bungalow. Hamidullah suggested that was fine because at least in case of an attack the liability would not fall on Fielding. He was afraid that McBryde was going to use his rough policemen for a secret attack on the college. Fielding ruled out she was not going anywhere. She had gathered some respect during the fresh conversation between the two. This worried Mahmoud Ali because despite her withdrawal her behavioural had chilled the natives and were was no way he could believe that she was sincere.

She was not cultured to show her kindness publicly and nothing else could have affected the oriental mind Forster notes. Her sacrifice was respectable but in return she had received just a few garlands from Indian people. The wrong she had committed could not be corrected fully. This is how Hamidullah felt and so asked where the lady would live and eat under such conditions. She proposed to go to the Turtons and if they did not take her in then Ronny would have to. Mrs Turton had already remarked she was not in a mood to see her anymore and Fielding found the woman preposterous to which Adela too agreed. While they were trying to find an option, there option came up. Ronny had arrived but Adela asked Fielding to ask him the reason of his arrival. Fielding left and behind him Hamidullah again grew curt to Adela for having exposed Fielding to so much discomfort. Despite her sacrifice she had not grown any more worthy in the eyes of the natives.

Forster explores the native outlook in this chapter and how difficult they find it to pardon others’ sins as is exposed again towards the end of this chapter. Sometimes, it seems, only Fielding is a man with a rational mind in the entire novel. Others are too bound by their emotions to keep them at check. Ronny brought some news and wanted Adela. Hamidullah again pressed her to leave. Fielding came back and told Adela to go and see Ronny. She thanked Fielding for his kindness during the day who escorted her to the verandah. Mrs Moore was dead and Hamiduallah felt sorry for her even if he had not met her. Forster highlights the difference in treatment of Mrs Moore and Adela by the natives and while one is an angel in their eyes, the other a worthless creature who did not deserve much sympathy. Fielding thought the heat had killed her and Hamidullah felt God had punished Ronny for his evil. According to Fielding she was no good as a witness but he was not in a mood to impede the growth of an Esmiss Esmoor legend that was bound to spread sooner or later at Chandrapore. The lady was so kind, an angel in the eyes of the natives; she was bound to be talked of for her love for India. The two were too occupied with the thoughts of the victory party and so none of the two felt much grief at the news of Mrs Moore’s death. besides that Fielding had had just a  few chances to meet her and Hamidullah had seen her from a distance. Miss Quested was back in and that bothered Hamidullah. She took a seat and seemed stiff as a monument. She asked if Fielding had heard the news.

The news of Mrs Moore’s death had affected her. She was her best friend and a good companion. Adela asked Fielding to let her stop which made Hamidullah swear loudly.  Fielding wanted to know what Ronny wanted and so asked her to bring him in. Ronny could have taken her but Adela could not remain there alone with a  bachelor and Turtons did not want her. Fielding asked him to let her remain at the college and send for her servants while the boy scouts will guard the college as regularly. Hamidullah was in no mood to let the enemy escape any pain he was able to inflict. So, he denied to prod Ronny over Mrs Moore’s death asking him where he had received the telegram from. Upon hearing Aden he shot back that Ronny was boasting his mother had reached Aden safely in the court. If not for Adela’s fast intervention, he would have continued. His conduct shocked Fielding but he was used to keeping his emotions at check. Hamidullah made it clear to Ronny that neither he nor Fielding were responsible for Adela’s safety to which Ronny could do nothing but agree. After that he watched the three English people talking and he thought Fielding was too silly and weak for having behaved with so much sympathy and respect with Adela and Ronny. As they left for the party he was discussing the fine Adela could be forced to pay. the sum of twenty thousand made Fielding feel horrible. The girl will lose a relationship and her money too. He felt very bad about human relationships and was reminded of one evening after the catastrophe when he was watching the Marabars from he verandah. The idea of harassing the young girl further for her mistake was not something he could like.

Written by Abhijeet Pratap

Abhijeet has been blogging on educational topics and business research since 2016. He graduated with a Hons. in English literature from BRABU and an MBA from the Asia-Pacific Institute of Management, New Delhi. He likes to blog and share his knowledge and research in business management, marketing, literature and other areas with his readers.

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