The tone of A Passage to India changes in each section. It ranges from sympathetic to melancholy to sharp and critical. For example, the narrator clearly sympathizes with Aziz and other victims of English prejudice. Aziz's early friendship with Mrs. Moore, as well as the narrator's focus on his life, make him a central protagonist of the story. In turn, each aspect of his emotional and psychological life is described in a sympathetic tone.
Later in the story, the narrator speaks in a melancholic tone about the social divisions in India. In Part 3, Chapter 34, the narrator describes Aziz's revelation about the social, political, and geographic "fissures" in India:
The fissures in the Indian soil are infinite: Hinduism, so solid from a distance, is riven into sects and clans, which radiate and join, and change their names according to the aspect from which they are approached. Study it for years with the best teachers, and when you raise your head, nothing they have told you quite fits.
Words like "fissures" and "riven" evoke a sense of brokenness. The fact that "nothing [...] quite fits" makes it very difficult to learn about a place like India. Aziz learns how to navigate the religious complexities of life in Mau, but he remains able to do so only because he does not seriously subscribe to any particular religion. Readers might wonder why the narrator speaks sadly about these social and religious issues. One potential answer could be that Forster uses a third-person omniscient narrator as a sort of philosophical mouthpiece through which to convey approval or disapproval of certain practices and characters. The religious division represents yet another force keeping humans from connecting with one another, and that is cause for sadness.
Most notably, the narrator takes a sharp, critical tone toward English prejudice, as well as the British mismanagement of institutions in India. The narrator's identity is never revealed, but the opinionated shifts in tone show his strong presence throughout the novel. From sympathy to melancholy to mocking disapproval, each tonal shift suits a different topic, scene, or character and reveals the dynamic opinions of the narrator.