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

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      The novel opens with a description of the imaginary city of Chandrapore. It was an uninteresting city situated on the banks of the Ganges. This river was not considered to be holy since there was no ghat for bathing. Inside the city one could find an oval ground, a hospital and unattractive temples. The railway line divided the European locality from the Indian locality. The Eurasians (mixed stock born of Europeans and Asians) lived on the rise near the railway line. The Europeans lived on the rise further up near the little civilization. From this place, the city of Chandrapore looked like a garden. The Marabar hills were at twenty miles away towards the south.

Critical Analysis

      The small city of Chandrapore was like a mini India. It symbolized the estranged relations between the ruling class (Britishers) and the subjects (Indians). The Britishers, as masters, enjoyed life but their arrogance and contempt for the Indians had alienated them. The Marabar Caves, which play an important role in the unfolding of the story have been mentioned twice in this chapter.

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