Skip over navigation

A Passage to India

E. M. Forster

Part I, Chapters IV–VI

Part I, Chapters I–III

Part I, Chapters IV–VI, page 2

page 1 of 3

Summary: Chapter IV

Mr. Turton invites several Indian gentlemen to the proposed Bridge Party at the club. The Indians are surprised by the invitation. Mahmoud Ali suspects that the lieutenant general has ordered Turton to hold the party. The Nawab Bahadur, one of the most important Indian landowners in the area, announces that he appreciates the invitation and will attend. Some accuse the Nawab Bahadur of cheapening himself, but most Indians highly respect him and decide to attend also.

The narrator describes the room in which the Indian gentlemen meet. Outside remain the lowlier Indians who received no invitation. The narrator describes Mr. Grayford and Mr. Sorley, missionaries on the outskirts of the city. Mr. Sorley feels that all men go to heaven, but not lowly wasps, bacteria, or mud, because something must be excluded to leave enough for those who are included. Mr. Sorley’s Hindu friends disagree, however, as they feel that God includes every living thing.

Summary: Chapter V

At the Bridge Party, the Indian guests stand idly at one side of the tennis lawn while the English stand at the other. The clear segregation dismays Adela Quested and Mrs. Moore. Ronny and Mrs. Turton disdainfully discuss the Indians’ clothing, which mixes Eastern and Western styles. Several Englishwomen arrive and discuss the earlier production of Cousin Kate. Mrs. Moore is surprised to note how intolerant and conventional Ronny’s opinions have become.

Mr. Turton arrives, cynically noting to himself that each guest has come for a self-serving reason. Reluctantly, Mrs. Turton takes Adela and Mrs. Moore to visit a group of Indian ladies. Mrs. Turton addresses the Indian women in crude Urdu, and then asks Mrs. Moore and Adela if they are satisfied. One of the Indian women speaks, and Mrs. Turton is surprised to learn that the women know English. Mrs. Moore and Adela unsuccessfully try to draw the Indian women out into more substantial conversation. Mrs. Moore asks one of them, Mrs. Bhattacharya, if she and Adela can visit her at home. Mrs. Bhattacharya agrees to host the Englishwomen the upcoming Thursday, and her husband promises to send his carriage for them.

Mr. Fielding, who is also at the party, socializes freely with the Indians and even eats on the Indian side of the lawn. He is pleased to learn that Adela and Mrs. Moore have been friendly to the Indians. Fielding locates Adela and invites her and Mrs. Moore to tea. Adela complains about how rude the English are acting toward their guests, but Fielding suspects her complaints are intellectual, not emotional. Adela mentions Dr. Aziz, and Fielding promises to invite the doctor to tea as well.

That evening, Adela and Ronny dine with the McBrydes and Miss Derek. The dinner consists of standard English fare. During the meal, Adela begins to dread the prospect of a drab married life among the insensitive English. She fears she will never get to know the true spirit of India.

More Help

Previous Next

by UGLYHASSNAA69, November 12, 2012



55 out of 90 people found this helpful


by apassageto1233india, February 16, 2013



1 out of 2 people found this helpful


by apassageto1233india, February 16, 2013

I personally think that the english are quite racist to the indians, I mean its their country!


2 out of 8 people found this helpful

See all 10 readers' notes   →

Follow Us