A Passage to India
E. M. Forster
Contributed by Pearl Vahle
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Chapters 30-32

One of the consequences of the trial is that relations between Hindus and Moslems improve. Das the Hindu and Aziz the Moslem have a friendly exchange. Aziz tells Hamidullah he wants to leave British India and go to a Moslem province. Hamidullah tells him of a rumor going round that Adela and Fielding were lovers. After a few days have gone by, Aziz believes the rumor. There is also another local scandal, which Aziz informs Fielding of when they next meet: Mr. McBryde has been having an affair with Miss Derek, and is divorcing his wife. Fielding is not interested, and nor does he care much when Aziz tells him of the rumor about himself and Adela, although he does tell Aziz that the rumor is untrue. The friendship between Fielding and Aziz has cooled.

Fielding goes back to the club, where there are some new members with whom he talks. Later, at dinner, he tells Aziz he will never return to the club, and that he intends shortly to return to England. Aziz talks about how he wants to be a poet. Their conversation is affectionate, but the friendship has not recovered fully. Aziz is suspicious of his friend, and thinks that Fielding intends to marry Adela for her money. By the time Fielding departs for England, Aziz has convinced himself that the wedding had actually taken place.

Fielding returns home by way of Egypt, Crete and Venice.


The breakdown in the relationship between Aziz and Fielding, which had started so brightly, suggests the incompatibility of two cultures, the English and the Indian, West and East. This is further emphasized when Fielding returns home via Venice, where he admires the beauty of the Italian churches, contrasting them with what he believes is the lack of proper form in Indian architecture.

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