Death of Mrs. Moore in Her Way to England in A Passage To India

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      Mrs. Moore left India and could not reach England. She died on the Way. The ship carrying her was still near Arabia. It was pointing towards Europe. She died when the ship was still in Indian waters. Her spirit had become Indian as she had lost her Christian moorings. That is why she could not cross the Indian Ocean. Lady Mallenby wife of the Lt. Governor, did what she could when Mrs. Moore was taken ill on the ship. She could not be saved and after death her body was lowered down in the Indian Ocean. It was really a grief for her son and a bad name for the ship. It seemed the ghost followed the ship to the Red Sea, and the ship failed to enter the Mediterranean. The mishap occurred somewhere near Suez where the ties with Asia begin to weaken and those of Europe commence to be felt. It was during this transition that she was no more. At Port Syed, the grey blustery north wind began and the weather became cold; onwards it grew hotter.

      The news of her death roused various responses in the hearts of the people at Chandrapore. A rumor sprang up that an English, man, Ronny, had killed his mother to save his fiancee. It caused a lot of annoyance to the authorities, It was reported that there were two tombs containing the remains of 'Essmiss Essmoor’ — one closer to the tannery and the other up near the goods station. Mc-Bryde visited both of them and saw flowers on them as a mark of respect to the deceased person. Being an experienced person he did nothing to contradict the rumor which died out after a week or so.

      There was some truth in it. Those Europeans, who hundreds of years ago made their home in the countryside were regarded as demons after death.

       Mrs. Moore left India of her own accord but Ronny was not happy at it because he had misbehaved with her. He could have expiated by repentance but this would mean that he was wrong. He could not prepare himself to accept this view. Instead he commenced blaming her. He thought that her association with the Indians had almost been damaging to him and brought Adela into disrepute. His mother was constantly mixing up with the Indians against his wishes. He felt that he had already many problems to attend to the scorching heat, the local tension and the coming visit of the Lt. Governor. Instead of helping him to ease his tension, she was by her senility adding to his problems. He held her responsible for the trial scene, the ignoring of the British community and the undue favor to the natives. Ronny, because of his public school education, was firmly convinced of his correct stand. He tried to relieve his mind of the burden caused by her death. He thought of putting up a tablet to her in the North Hamptonshire church where she had worshipped, with a record of her birth and death dates and the fact that she had been buried in the sea. This much and no more was required to be done by him.

      Her death had caused deep grief to Aziz. He took it as a personal loss because he worshipped her and found her a lovable character. He gave up his claim of twenty thousand rupees from Miss Adela when he was told by Fielding that her soul would be at peace if Aziz desisted from demanding it. Aziz relented and after renouncing the claim he wrote an appreciable apology to her.

Her death changed the sense of revenge in Aziz into friendship.

      He tried to press Ralph hard while treating him for bee-sting because of his hatred towards the Britishers. The boy's remarks that his (Aziz's) hands were unkind reminded him at once of Mrs. Moore. He considered her like his mother-an oriental, and became kind to Ralph.

      Even Fielding was touched on hearing the news of her death. He could not conceal the news and the next day he told Aziz that Mrs. Moore was no longer living. Aziz, however, could not believe him and took it as a joke.

      Miss Adela suffered the worst because of Mrs. Moore's death. Ronny broke his engagement with her, caring more for his career. The poor soul had to leave for England.

      Even Fielding could not forget her. Rather he formed a permanent association with her by marrying her daughter, Stella.

      Mrs. Moore was influential while living but she became much more influential after her death. Her absence was felt everywhere, in the court and even outside the court. She became a legend.


Comment on Mrs. Moore's death on her way to England.

"The death of Mrs. Moore on her way back to England produced a psychological atmosphere in Chandrapore''. Do you agree with this statement?

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