By John Beer (eds.)
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Madam! ' (p. 42) yet from that rebuke their friendship grows, suggesting that the rift between the religions might be healed. Later Mrs Moore tells her son that what India needs is 'Good will and more good will and more good will' (v, 7~1) and some pages later Aziz echoes that sentiment in the sacramental chant: 'Kindness, more kindness, and even after that more kindness' (ix, 128). But anger as well as 26 A Passage to India lofty sentiments are expressed in trinitarian form. Mrs Turton says to the men in the club, 'You're weak, weak, weak' (xxiv, 220), and Mrs Moore in her distraught state bitterly attacks love and marriage: 'Say, say, say' (xxii, 205), she said; 'Why all this marriage, marriage?
But for both- the tired old lady and the 'queer, cautious girl' - the transforming experience reached a climax in the caves, and for both it came in the form of an 'echo'. 'The echo in a Marabar cave,' writes Forster, ... is entirely devoid of distinction. Whatever is said, the same monotonous noise replies, and quivers up and down the walls until it is absorbed into the roof. 'Bourn' is the sound as far as the human alphabet can express it, or 'bou-oum', or 'ou-boum' - utterly dull. Hope, politeness, the blowing of a nose, the squeak of a boot, all produce 'bourn'.
1921 as transforming experiences. For a small but significant number of 32 A Passage to India English writers, brought through circumstance or choice into contact with the colonised world, the encounter exposed their consciousness to rival conceptions of civilisation, culture and community, to cosmologies postulating variant orderings to the universe, other definitions of the human condition and alternative versions of personality structure. In negotiating the contrary modes of awareness, the divergent precepts and goals devised by the West and by India, Forster produced a novel which neither fully accepts nor entirely repudiates the standards and usages of either.
A Passage to India: Essays in Interpretation by John Beer (eds.)