A Passage to India

A Passage to India

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A Passage to India Part 2, Chapter 25 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Adela is seen as having “renounced her own people,” and she is pulled into a mass of Indians and carried to the courtroom’s exit. She finds herself next to Fielding, who asks where she is going. She says she doesn’t know, and Fielding warns her of riots, advising her to “keep to her own people.” Adela feels stunned and apathetic, and lets herself be carried along by the crowds.
Adela is now totally alone, as the English have rejected her for what they see as betrayal. The Indians saw her as an enemy, but now in their joy the crowd starts to carry her along like a hero. Fielding feels himself totally divided from the English by now.
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Concerned with her safety, Fielding reluctantly takes Adela to his carriage. He intends for her to ride off and return it later, but there are no horses. Fielding’s students surround the carriage, draping him in flowers, and they convince him to get inside with Adela. The students ignore Fielding’s protests and act as the “horses,” pulling the carriage through town as a victorious procession. As they pass through the streets the crowds drape Adela with flowers, though some people criticize the two English people for sticking together.
Simply by being unwilling to sacrifice Adela to the crowds, Fielding finds himself linked to her in the confusion. He wants her to “keep to her own people” while he celebrates with Aziz, but somehow the two English end up sticking together even when they are essentially enemies—showing just how strong the forces of race and culture can be despite an individual’s intentions.
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The procession winds through town, unsure where to go. The students eventually take Fielding’s carriage to the college, where everything is quiet, but the servants are gone and the phone lines have been cut. Fielding longs to leave Adela and go celebrate with Aziz, but his conscience won’t let him leave her helpless. Fielding gives Adela a room, encourages her to lie down and rest, and then lies down himself.
This is another kind of nonevent in place of a climax—even after Aziz’s seemingly miraculous rescue we don’t get to see him, but instead follow Fielding as he ends up carried away from all the action. Like the non-attack at the cave and the trial that never concluded, these anticlimaxes add to the sense of emptiness and hollowness at the heart of the book.
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Meanwhile Aziz calls out for Fielding, whom he feels has abandoned him. He takes no joy in his victory, as ever since he was arrested he has felt crushed by fate and the knowledge that “an Englishwoman’s word would always outweigh his own.” He tries to stop his victory procession to look for Fielding, but Mahmoud Ali urges them all on, calling out for rebellion and violence.
Aziz has been deeply changed by his experience, particularly in his feelings towards the English. Before this they were merely an annoyance or an amusement to him, but now he has experienced the existential crisis of realizing that another human has total power over his fate simply because of their race and nationality.
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Mahmoud Ali leads the procession to the hospital, saying that they must rescue Nureddin, the Nawab Bahadur’s grandson. Mahmoud Ali says that he heard Callendar boasting about torturing Nureddin. The Nawab Bahadur unsuccessfully tries to restrain the crowd, hoping that the rumors of torture are untrue. The crowd marches on the hospital intending to do harm to Callendar, but disaster is diverted by the appearance of Dr. Panna Lal.
The crowd now seems poised to actually take action against the English. The tensions between the two cultures reach their peak here, and the dramatic Mahmoud Ali finds an opportunity to stir up a riot. The Nawab Bahadur is now conflicted about his position as a Loyalist, but he still tries to keep the peace.
Themes
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Panna Lal had offered to help the prosecution, as he hates Aziz and wanted to please the English, and he thinks the crowd has come to the hospital to punish him. Lal plays the buffoon to try and diffuse the crowd’s anger, acting pathetic and making the other men feel superior. He then learns that they are looking for Nureddin, and so hurries to fetch him. Nureddin emerges with a bandaged face, and the Nawab Bahadur controls the situation by giving a grandiose speech renouncing his British-conferred title.
The angry crowd’s march on the hospital only ends in yet another anticlimax, however. The Indians are appeased by Panna Lal’s groveling, and no action is really taken. The Nawab Bahadur renounces his position as a Loyalist, but all the tension and conflict of the Marabar incident ultimately leads to no real changes.
Themes
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The Nawab Bahadur announces that there will be a celebration at his house that night, and he recruits Hamidullah to find Fielding and Amritrao and invite them. Now that the crowd’s rage has died out, the heat of the sun starts to stupefy everyone in Chandrapore, and almost everyone (even the frightened English) eventually falls asleep.
Once again the Indian landscape itself smothers any attempts at positive change or even affirmations of individuality. Indians and English alike find their passions swallowed up by the all-encompassing sun, and instead of a riot everyone goes home to take a nap—a special “muddle” of tragedy.
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