A Passage To India: Part 1 Chapter 8 - Summary & Analysis

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      Miss Adela Quested was angry with Ronny for his rudeness at Fielding's party. She found that Ronny had developed certain qualities after coming to India which she did not approve of. After leaving the college, Ronny questioned the ladies about the picnic at the Marabar Caves. Adela took this opportunity to give him a piece of her mind. She told him that she and Mrs. Moore had been invited by Aziz to the Marabar Caves. Ronny criticized them for mixing with the Indians and they quarreled for some time. Mrs. Moore got tired of their quarrel and asked them to drop her at the bungalow.

      After dropping Mrs. Moore at the bungalow, Miss Adela Quested and Ronny proceeded to the polo ground. Miss Adela Quested got a chance to discuss the matter thoroughly with him. She finally told him that she had decided not to marry him. Ronny was badly hurt but he took it like a sportsman.

      Nawab Bahadur happened to see Miss Adela Quested and Ronny at the maidan. He offered them a lift in his car. On the way, the car jolted and Miss Adela Quested and Ronny came closer. Their hands touched each others and a passion was aroused in them. Adela felt that their earlier quarrel was the quarrel between two lovers and felt relaxed.

      Suddenly, the car bumped into a tree and was damaged, but no one was hurt. Harrison, the Eurasian driver got busy with the repair. Later on, a car belonging to the Mudgal state was sighted. Miss Derek was driving it. Again, the young couple experienced the thrill of animal passion and forgot their differences. Miss Adela Quested was oblivious of what Miss Derek was saying. Miss Derek had been narrating how she had stolen the car and how she was being sought after by different states. Miss Adela Quested was interested only in Ronny. She withdrew her offensive remarks which she had made earlier.

      Mrs. Moore was in a dismal state. She remembered her other children in England and wanted to go back to England. She looked upon the day as a bad day. Ronny, however, thought that the day was auspicious as his quarrel with Adela Quested had been amicably settled. Mrs. Moore was told of the accident. She at once inferred that the accident might have been caused by a ghost.

      Nawab Bahadur, who was waiting in Chandrapore for his car, was disturbed over the accident. He too believed that the ghost of a person whom he had killed some years ago by accident, had been haunting him and the animal that crossed the way had been no other than the ghost. The Nawab was not worried about himself, he was worried about the two Britishers who might have been killed. Aziz remarked that the Moslems could not make any progress if they kept on believing in ghosts.

Critical Analysis

      This chapter brings to the surface some more traits of the main characters. Ronny is a decent man. He was keen to become a 'pucca sahib’ and was in no mood to deviate from the commonly accepted norms of the Sahibs. But Miss Adela Quested, his beloved, did not like Ronny following in the footsteps of the 'pucca sahibs'. She had a mind of her own and could think logically. Miss Derek, on the other hand, is a braggart. Nawab Bahadur, of course, is a very considerate man. And Mrs. Moore does not-approve of the ways of the British officials.

      She is fed up with the ideas of segregation between the Britishers and the Indians. This chapter maintains the tempo of the novel.

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