A Passage to India is a Modernist novel. It is also a psychological novel.


Forster uses an unnamed third-person narrator in the novel.

Point of View

The novel’s third-person narrator is omniscient and is attuned both to the physical world and the inner states of the characters.


Forster’s tone is in A Passage to India often poetic and sometimes ironic or philosophical.


The novel is told in the immediate past tense.


A Passage to India set in India—specifically the cities of Chandrapore and Mau—and takes place in the 1910s or 1920s.


The protagonist of the novel is Dr. Aziz.


Foreshadowing includes Adela’s concern about breaking down during the trial and Fielding’s interest in Hinduism at the end of Part 2.

Major Conflict

The major conflict is Adela Quested accusation of Dr. Aziz attempting to sexually assault her in one of the Marabar Caves. Aziz suspects Fielding has plotted against him with the English.

Rising Action

Rising action in the novel includes Adela Quested and Mrs. Moore’s arrival in India; the women befriending of Dr. Aziz; Adela’s reluctant engagement to Ronny Heaslop; Ronny and the other Englishmen’s disapproval of the women’s interaction with Indians; Dr. Aziz’s organization of an outing to the Marabar Caves for his English friends; Adela’s and Mrs. Moore’s harrowing experiences in the caves; Adela’s public insinuation that Dr. Aziz assaulted her in the caves; and the inflammation of racial tensions between the Indians and English in Chandrapore.


The climax occurs during Aziz’s trial; Adela’s final admission that she is mistaken in her accusations and that Aziz is innocent; the courtroom’s subsequent eruption; Dr. Aziz’s release; and the English community’s rejection of Adela.

Falling Action

Falling actions include Fielding’s conversations with Adela; Fielding and Dr. Aziz’s bickering over Dr. Aziz’s desire for reparations from Adela; Dr. Aziz’s assumption that Fielding has betrayed him and will marry Adela; Dr. Aziz’s increasingly anti-British sentiment; Fielding’s visit to Aziz with his new wife, Stella; and Dr. Aziz’s befriending of Ralph and forgiveness of Fielding.