Examine The Presentation Of Aziz And Fielding In Part I Of "A Passage To India"

1244 words - 5 pages

One of the main themes Forster is concerned with in this novel is friendship, and the presentation of the relationship between Aziz and Fielding is the main way he explores this. This friendship is the corner stone to much of what happens, and it is clear he sees this cross-racial relationship as the way forward - in Part I it seems that if there is any hope in the novel it will come through them. Also, the relationship between the two men gives a greater insight into their characters and the different sensibilities of the English and Indian communities. Having said this, Fielding is most definitely not what Forster perceives as a typical Anglo-Indian. He is first described as a man who ...view middle of the document...

He appears to resent his characteristically English cold, analytical approach to life, longing to be "carried away on the waves of emotion" like his friend Aziz. It could be said that he is the only British character who did well out of India as, rather than bringing out the worst in him, contact with the country and its people has awakened his emotions - by the end of the novel he has married, where as this seemed entirely unlikely in the early stages. His discussions with Aziz sometimes seem to leave Fielding feeling rather inadequate and emotionally stunted; in one of his internal monologues he reflects on his life so far in terms of "What a poor crop of secrets it had produced!"However, despite the low opinion Fielding has of himself with regard to his emotional capacity, several remarks he makes in internal monologues show this not to be the case; for example, the simile of flowers he uses to describe his reaction when Aziz shows him the photograph of his wife "The flowers have been there all the time, but suddenly he sees them". In this way Forster ensures he is presented as a man who despite appearing very rational and almost devoid of emotional response, does in fact feel things just as deeply as more overt, flamboyant characters.In contrast with Fielding, Aziz is presented as an unrepressed and emotionally fulfilled man who has passion and feeling and is therefore is far less detached with lots of friends (although these friendships are less meaningful and short-lived). Like any character so strongly governed by his feelings, Aziz is definitely charming - he even has compassion for guilty convicts "his face grew very tender" - yet this also means he is very capricious and inconsistent, and could be said to be slightly superficial and lacking in substance. Also, his reliance on his emotions can make him very petulant and childish at times, as feelings have an irrational component and living by them in the way he does often means immaturity and a failure to understand an intellectual perspective. Another symptom of Aziz's childlike character is his need to be the centre of attention and impress people "his wings were failing but he refused to fall without a struggle". The introduction of more learned characters like Godbole makes him insecure as he loses his audience; although he knows nothing about the Marabar caves, Aziz thrives on commanding attention in this way and will resort...


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