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A Passage to India - How Does Forster Show the Racial Tension Between the Indians and the British?

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How Does Forster Show the Racial Tension Between the Indians and the British? If we look closely at the words racial and tension, we can see that it is a difficult feeling or nervousness of fear or anger, between two groups of people who do not trust each other. Therefore it can now be closely analysed exactly what is being asked, as within A Passage to India there are several ways in which this subject is addressed. It can be shown from the way the British have been racist in the way that they have intruded upon India. This significantly corrupted the Indians style of life and conclusively caused the racial tension which I am investigating. Most fluidly racial tension can be identified from the snide comments which are repeatedly made by the British "You're superior...Aryan Brother". These racist comments made by the British show extreme hatred for the Indian culture, as "Aryan Brother" is a term made up by the British to call an Indian person. The suggestion that someone could call another human being by a term and not by a name is not only a severe sign of immaturity, but also creates tension as it secludes the British from the Indian's, it segregates them into a superior minority. ...read more.


This shows that he has discovered fear and nervousness from the British, as he has difficulty understanding why they feel so much anger toward the people of India. Therefore the confusion shown by Aziz would appear to demonstrate the way Forster has created the tension as it shows the other receiving side of this racial abuse. Contrastingly to the evidence I have given about the British it can be seen there are people who believe that this racial tension is insignificant. This can be seen by "she wished she was a member, so that she could have asked him in". Mrs Moore's naivety in the tension between the Indian people and the British is refreshing, as it shows a contrasting point of view. We later find out that Aziz would never actually be allowed into the club, as he is an Indian. This idea that Mrs Moore can ignore the fact people have such a problem with the natives creates a different perspective on the racial tension. In addition to this the ignorance of the British is shown by the "National Anthem" which is played at the beginning and end of an event. ...read more.


To draw all of these points together it is fair to say that there are several techniques as to how Forster expresses racial tension within A Passage to India. These include racist comments, the civil service, not understanding one another's culture and classes within India and Britain which make the tension increase further. I feel, however, the concluding point which sums up this racial tension is the way in which the British are simply ignorant of religions and how they are expressed within India. A perfect example of this is "stood with their backs to the company and their faces pressed into a bank of shrubs". This quote shows that the British are blindly not observing why these women cannot participate, within the party held for Mrs Moore and Miss Quested, as it is part of their religion not to. Religion and beliefs within India make up a significant part of the tradition within India; this ignorance leads me to believe that this is the main factor as to why the racial tension is portrayed so significantly by Forster. Had this additional factor not been included with A Passage to India the suggestion I feel that Forster may have wanted to make about the racial tension would have had a completely the different effect. Hannah West 12MRB CRF ...read more.

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