A Passage to India is one of the most amazing novels written by E.M Forster in 1924. It is rich and precise in symbolism and it works on several levels. Moreover it focuses on political and social issues between the East and the West. A Passage To India is a classic example of how different cultures, misunderstand each other when they were forced to deal with one another, and what consequences came from those misunderstandings. All of Forster’s greatest works deal with the failure of humans being able to communicate, and their failure to eliminate prejudice to establish possible relationships.
There are several levels as mentioned before; these are a surface level ,showing how the novel is about India at the time of colonial possession of Britain and about the relations between British and Indian people in that country and a symbolic level when the novel delivers to the audience questions of faith ,faith in social conventions and faith in religion. When a passage to India appeared in 1924, it was admired by reviewers in a number of important British and American journals. On of those reviewers was Edward Said , who was a professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. When in 1978 Edward W. Said published his book Orientalism, it presented a turning point in post-colonial criticism . He talked about the way the West sees the Orient and the way the West controls the Orient. Said’s concept on Orientalism helps define the idea that provide a political, economical , moral and social cultural justification for imperialist actions by more dominant countries. His essay on orientalism is in relation to E.M Forester’s novel A Passage to India , in that he disagrees about what they said that the Orient is not only adjacent to Europe but it is also the place of Europe’s greatest, richest and oldest colonies , the source of civilizations and languages ,its cultural contestant and one of its deepest and most recurring images of the Other. He demonstrated Orientalism as primarily about power and a feeling of superiority.
By that time , the English empire was highly dominant to and with the start of the European civilization they came in contact with the lesser developed countries of the East. They found their civilization and culture very exotic. He argued that the European divided the world into East and West .Said explained how that European in their perspective considered that they define the orient as lazy , irrational ,uncivilized and crudeness unlike what the European are.
Although Forster has stated that the novel is not really about politics and that it is less concerned with the incompatibility of East and West than it is with the difficulty of living in the universe, the novel does address issues . This vision of the universe appears to offer redemption to India through mysticism, as individual differences disappear into a peaceful collectivity that does not acknowledges hierarchies. Individual blame and intrigue is declined in favor of attention to higher, spiritual matters es such as colonialism, racism, nationalism and rape. Because the occident has superior people with a superior culture, the orient deserves to be in control .
Passage to India is written in the third person, with an impersonal narrative voice. This technique show how the narrative seem traditional and straightforward, especially when compared to the obviously experimental narrative techniques that were being used at the time by such novelists as James Joyce and Virginia Woolf. The narrator here is apparently omniscient, telling the audience much about India as describing the situations in which the various characters find themselves. At the same time, the narrative refuses to give a full explanation of certain events, most notably the misadventures that befall Mrs. Moore and Adela Quested at the Marabar Caves. Indeed, in recounting these details, the narrator is ambiguous rather than omniscient.