A Passage to India - Hindu Influence
Several different literary elements work in tandem to produce the magic seen in E. M. Forster's A Passage to India. Because this novel was presented to the world less than a decade after World War I, the fantastic and exotic stories of India seized the attention of the relatively provincial society of the day, and the novel's detailed presentation of Hinduism certainly excited the imaginations of thousands of readers. Benita Parry supports this assertion when saying, "Hinduism takes its place at the core of the novel just as it lies at the heart of India" (164).
How powerful was Hinduism in India? Historians have pointed out that the Indian masses united with strength only when Gandhi appealed to them through Hinduism (Parry 164). With this in mind, it seems reasonable for Forster to devote much energy to portraying the Hindu religion.
Furthermore, Forster himself expressed that he viewed himself as on "nearer nodding terms with Krishna (the Hindu god of literature, art, music, and dance) than with any other god" (McDowell 105).
The clash between Hinduism and Christianity in A Passage to India parallels the conflict between the Indians and the English. Hinduism is best represented in the novel by Professor Godbole, and Christianity is epitomized in Mrs. Moore. Mrs. Moore comes to India with the kindness and understanding heart of a devout Christian but leaves morose and peevish. Perhaps she is haunted into this state by Professor Godbole's strange song:
"At times there seemed rhythm, at times there was the illusion of a Western melody. But the ear, baffled repeatedly, soon lost any clue, and wandered in a maze of noises, none harsh or unpleasant, none intelligible.... The sounds continued and ceased after a few moments as casually as they...