Examine the presentation of Aziz and Fielding in part I of "A Passage to India"

Essay by VerresCollege, UndergraduateA, May 2004

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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 had been "caught by India late".

As well as blatantly lacking the prejudice and arrogance of members of the club like the Burtons, Fielding's attitude towards the Indians is also strikingly different (and perhaps more appealing) than that of Adela, as unlike her he wants to be friends with the Indians for who they are rather than because of their race.

He comes across as remarkably unpretentious; a man with no guiding principal or moral reason why he feels he should associate with Indians, but simply likes talking to lots of people. This approach makes Fielding unpopular with the Anglo-Indians; the fact that he recognises "he must pay the price" for liking to associate with Indians emphasises it is not a view many others share and therefore not an easy one to stand by. He is constantly presented as something of an outsider who is somewhat detached from all the other prejudices of India, having "no racial feeling" and one of the few characters in the novel with whom the "herd instinct does not flourish".

Fielding is...