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A Passage to India | Study Guide

E. M. Forster

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A Passage to India | Part 3, Chapter 34 ((Temple)) | Summary



Godbole alerts Aziz to Fielding's arrival at the European Guest House. Aziz hopes the rain will prevent a visit by Fielding, who is on an inspection tour of schools in the remote states of central India. Aziz knows Fielding is married, presumably to Adela. Aziz, who got his job through Godbole, has given up some of the practices of Western medicine here out of respect for the desires of his employers. When Aziz received a letter from Fielding announcing his marriage "to someone you know," he stopped reading there. He deputed Mahmoud Ali to answer the letter for him, and he destroys all subsequent letters from Fielding without reading them. With no attachments to the British, he feels now entirely Indian. His children live with him, he has a mistress, and he writes poetry on Oriental womanhood, calling for the end of purdah. Because of the old accusation against him, Aziz is under the scrutiny of a British agent. A note from Fielding to Godbole awaits Aziz at his house. In it, Fielding says that he is here with his wife and her brother, and that he has certain needs and questions. Aziz tears the note up but fears he may not be able to avoid seeing them.


Employed in this Indian state, and more serious about his poetry than his practice of Western medicine, Aziz has no interest in meeting or pleasing any English people and for once feels truly Indian. Still affected by Adela's accusation against him, he has fended off all of Fielding's attempts to renew their friendship. Fielding, it should be noted, is no longer directly involved in education, but is fulfilling an administrative role for the British; he is now more of an official, like Ronny and Turton in Chandrapore. But Aziz has no desire to once again help some English people "see India."

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