A Passage To India: Part 1 Chapter 3 - Summary & Analysis

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      On coming back to the club, Mrs. Moore found that the play 'Cousin Kate' was still in the third act. Not interested in the play, she went to the Billiard Room and there she met Miss Adela Quested, who had accompanied her to India from England. After the end of the play, the other ladies also gathered in the Billiard Room. They offered drinks to Mrs. Moore and Miss Adela Quested but the two ladies refused as they had enough of drinks. Miss Adela Quested expressed her eagerness to meet the Indians. All the ladies who were present there were shocked at the proposal. Miss Derek who had served in an Indian state declared that she had enough experience of meeting the natives and they should be avoided at any cost Mrs. Callendar announced that the kindest thing to do to a native was to let him die in peace. However, Mr. Turton intervened and proposed to arrange a Bridge Party to enable Mrs. Moore and Miss Adela Quested to meet the Indians.

      Ronny felt happy that the Collector had been so helpful and civil to his mother. He said that he could have arranged a party himself but he was afraid that others might take advantage of his inexperience. He disclosed that he had once invited an Indian pleader (lawyer) to smoke with him. The clever pleader sent out touts to spread the news that he was very thick with the magistrate. In this way the leader managed to get more clients. Since then he had kept aloof from the Indians.

      On the way back home, Mrs. Moore pointed toward the mosque where she had met a Moslem (Dr. Aziz). Ronny was annoyed to learn that his mother had been meeting the natives. He was enraged at the impudence of the Moslem who had shouted at his mother to take off her shoes. Mrs. Moore argued that it was natural for a Moslem to do so, as it is natural for a Christian to demand of a Moslem to take off his hat before entering a church. Finding no answer to the argument, Ronny tried to divert her attention to the river Ganges. Miss Quested, however, was delighted at Mrs. Moore's romantic adventure.

      On reaching home, the mother and the son had another round of talk and Ronny was satisfied to learn that it was Dr. Aziz, a respectable native, whom his mother had met. All the same, he wanted to pass on to Callendar, Aziz's disrespectful remark about him. But Mrs. Moore disapproved of it and made him promise that he would not report against Aziz. He agreed to this on the condition that she could not talk of Aziz to Miss Quested who might think that the Indians were not being properly treated by the English.

Critical Analysis

      This chapter highlights the deep seated prejudice among the Britishers against the Indians. The Britishers were convinced that they belonged to a superior race and must not mix with the Indians who came from an inferior race. Only the two newly arrived ladies seemed to have an open mind.

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