Summary: Chapter XXV

Adela is pushed along in the tide of Indians toward the exit. Fielding asks her where she is going. She responds listlessly, so he reluctantly takes her to his carriage for her safety. Fielding’s students are gathered around the carriage. They convince Fielding and Adela to get inside and they then pull the two through town. Indians drape flowers around Adela, though some are critical of the two English sticking together.

The roads in Chandrapore are blocked with crowds, and the Eng-lish are cut off on the way back to the civil station. Adela and Fielding are pulled back to the college. The phone lines are cut, and the servants gone. Fielding encourages Adela to rest and lies down himself.

Meanwhile, Aziz, in his victory procession, cries out for Fielding, who has abandoned him. Mahmoud Ali orders the procession to the hospital to rescue the Nawab Bahadur’s grandson, as word has circulated that Mahmoud Ali overheard Callendar bragging about torturing the young man. The Nawab Bahadur urges restraint, but the crowd proceeds to the hospital.

Disaster is averted only by Panna Lal, who mistakenly believes the crowd has come to the hospital to punish him for offering to testify for the English. Lal acts the buffoon to honor the vengeful men, and he retrieves the Nawab Bahadur’s grandson for them. The Nawab Bahadur averts further disaster by making a long-winded speech in which he renounces his loyalist title. He invites Aziz and friends to his house for a celebration that night. The baking heat of the hot season bears down on the city, and nearly everyone retreats indoors to sleep.

Analysis: Chapters XXIV–XXV

By the time of the trial, it becomes clear that the English value the sense of conflict that Adela’s alleged assault has triggered much more than the welfare of Adela herself. The English solely focus on the vengeance to be had through Aziz’s trial, ignoring the true trauma that Adela still suffers—the trauma of the echo. The less sympathetic English essentially ignore Adela, even on the morning of the trial, and instead engage in gossip about Fielding and inflated stories about Indian dissent and rebellion. Even the sympathetic, chivalrous Mr. Turton, who is attentive to Adela, thinks to himself that the general presence of Englishwomen in India is the cause of all English-Indian tension.

In the chapters that deal with Aziz’s trial, we begin to see clearly the differences between Ronny’s character and the character of the majority of the English. Though Ronny does not focus on Adela’s personal pain more than any of the others, he does become somewhat more gracious in the aftermath of her ordeal. Adela’s assault makes Ronny into a sort of martyr figure for the English, as his fiancée has been wronged; this status seems to release him from the English community’s vengeance-seeking. During the trial, Ronny almost exclusively focuses on his subordinate, Mr. Das, who is trying the case. Ronny feels condescendingly confident in Das and looks forward to Das’s successful performance as a good reflection on Ronny himself. Here, like Turton, Ronny is a character who feels confident in the British Empire and in the process of justice that the Empire brings to India. Though Ronny does not share the cross-culturally sympathetic character of his mother, Mrs. Moore, neither does he seek disproportionate revenge against the Indians, as many of the other English do.