A Passage to India

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A Passage to India Part 1, Chapter 10 Summary & Analysis

The heat of the day grows oppressive. The narrator notes that the “inarticulate” animal world of India cares nothing about the lives of humans. There is this same animal world in England as well, but in India it seems closer at hand. The men emerge from Aziz’s bungalow and feel that the heat is almost a physical burden that they must bear. They each return to their own homes, “to recover their self-esteem and the qualities that distinguished them from each other.” All over India people begin to retreat into their homes, as the sun becomes like a cruel tyrant ruling over the land, and the hot season approaches.
Forster often presents the Indian natural environment as an oppressive force, swallowing up human attempts at meaning or justice. The “muddle” of undifferentiated reality suffocates everything with the heat, and people are forced to retreat inside to reassert their individuality. It is not only divisive politics working against India’s development, but also this wild and unfriendly environment.
“Muddles” and Mysteries Theme Icon
Division vs. Unity Theme Icon