What role do Aziz, Fielding and Godbole play in a Passage to India?


A Passage to India is a novel by Edward Morgan Forster published in 1924. Passage to India novel set against on the backdrop of British Raj and Indian Independence movement during 20th century. It is selected as one of the 100 great work of 20th century in English Literature. The novel Passage to India also is an experience of E.M Forster. The novel depicts majorly few characters like; Aziz, a Muslim physician in British hospital, Fielding, a 45 year- old unmarried British headmaster, Godbole, a Hindu- Brahmin professor, Adela a young British headmistress and Mrs. Moore and so on.

The Passage to India involves on understanding of how socio- economic factors of race, gender, class creates differences among the friendship of Aziz- Fielding, Aziz- Adela, Fielding- Mrs. Moore. The novel Passage to India hence deals with human relationships and determines the plot that IS IT POSIBLE FOR THE INDIAN AND ENGLISHMAN TO BE FRIENDS. It is majorly base on human psychology.

In the Passage to India, Aziz, fielding and Godbole are influenced by the colonialism which is nationalism and liberalism.

The role played by Aziz, Fielding and Godbole are:

Aziz: – Aziz is a young Indian Muslim physician, who works in a British hospital in Chanderpore. Aziz is the first character introduced to the audience by Forster, who deals with racism. In Passage to India Aziz is concerned as the most eminent character. Aziz as a Muslim young physician has some certain qualities which makes his character interesting. His character as devoted Muslim and a doctor in British hospital makes him happy. Also, Azizi doesn’t find English interesting so he avoids and treat them as guest.

Although he doesn’t find English friendly but he is really concerned about his friendship with Fielding Adela and Mrs. Moore. He meets Mrs. Moore at the Mosque and establish a bond and sympathy. Aziz`s character is kind of emotional and warm regarding his friendships. But after the incident of Marabar Aziz`s character gets down by Britishers as they think that Aziz has misbehaved with Adela. This side of Britishers teaches him a lesson to never trust them. His frustration gets high like other Muslims of his time who used to be against British rule.

Being an emotional character, he finds difficult to control his anger so he escapes to Mau a backward place. Character like Aziz sending him in such place is now a matter of argument for critics. What is the purpose behind such a portrayal? In Passage to India Forster represents various sides of Indians and their culture being sensitive about them. Aziz `s character now developed patriotism for India and thinking India as his motherland. After two years, Aziz meets his friend Fielding but avoids him because he thinks that he is married to Adela but actually proves wrong. Fielding is married to Stella. It seems that Forster has tried to provide deep insights on personnel level.

According to Nirad Chaudhary a critic, Aziz`s character lacks dignity and credibility and hence the portrayal is unacceptable. Eventually Aziz develops the feeling of patriotism and dreams to see India as a freedom country.

Cyril Fielding: – Cyril Fielding, character is a 45 year- old unmarried British headmaster of the small government college in India. Fielding is a rational man in compare to Aziz who is an emotional person. Fielding being a rational character represents western point of view in the novel Passage to India. He plays a suspicious role who compatriots India and educates Indians. The profession of teaching is supposed to based on free thoughts and ideas, so being a college headmaster Fielding implies the same. In the tea party Fielding seems to determine with racism. Fielding has a friendship bond with Aziz which makes him remain with Indian guest also to proves his loyalty he avoids western snacks and filled his mouth with gram. This role of Fielding shows being consistent towards his thinking about racism.

Fielding`s character believes that people are more important than system. Even on incident of Marabar he befriends with Aziz which shows he asides racism, at the same Forster explores the limitations of the liberal humanism, philosophy all these come in his portrayal of Fielding as well. When Fielding attempts to make friendship with Aziz, he behaves as if the racial divides simply, doesn’t exist for him. This thought implies that Fileding as a teacher keeps racism aside when it comes to friendship. While on the other side he also thinks that Indian lacks dignity which disappoints him as well. Fielding`s character does believe in humanitarian but in Forster`s point of view it seems that Fielding is considerate and believes more towards western European culture, thus India for him is formless and inartistic.

Godbole: – Godbole is a Hindu Brahmin, a government college Professor who views the world with equanimity. Godbole wears a turban that looked like a pale purple macaroni also waistcoat, coat dhoti and socks with clocks makes his character laughable. Godbole as a fun character represents In the Passage to India as harmony. He is very much like slapstick and laughingstock. Forster makes fun of his clothing style which depicts Indian culture. According to Forster Godbole is greedy and lousy person who misses the Marabar picnic with Fielding and Aziz because he has to dance foolishly on the occasion of Janmashtmai. There is a situation when Fielding asks his feeling about Aziz` arrest Godbole expands a point on existence of God and aspects good over evil. Godbole says that it is not a matter of being despair instead it is a matter of reason to ask God`s presence. This side of Godbole shows that he is an enigmatic person. Forster portrays Godbole as religious devotee who believes in mystery and has mystical experience. Godbole is an ancient night according to Forster as his entire term depends on his religion. Godbole is a religious character, in Passage to India he is mentally and physically comprising Indian religion in ecstatic way. Forster`s characterization of Godbole represents two sides, one is comic and the other is cosmic who truly a devotee.

In Passage to India novel, Forster shows the consideration of all the characters about their own culture and nation, whether its Aziz as Muslim or Godbole as Hindu- Brahmin and Fielding as British headmaster. The novel Passage to India, Forster relied on Intelligence, culture, racism, gender discrimination and awakening of their heart.

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