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Adela, Aziz, and the others continue to visit the caves. As they climb higher, it grows hotter. Aziz does not communicate much to Adela. He never liked her as much as Mrs. Moore, and he is uncomfortable that she is going to become the wife of a British official. Adela does not even notice his silence. Her mind is preoccupied with thoughts of marriage and Ronny. Near one of the caves, Adela has a sudden revelation; she does not love Ronny after all. She then tries to convince herself that love is not necessary for a successful marriage. Contemplating the subject of marriage, Adela absent-mindedly asks Aziz if he has a wife. He says yes, not wanting to bother telling her the details. "Have you one wife, or more than one?" she rudely asks. Aziz is shocked and angry at such an impertinent question. The naive Adela does not even realize that she has said anything wrong. When she casually wanders into a cave alone, Aziz does not follow.
The Marabar expedition is not turning out well. In addition to Mrs. Moore being frightened and feeling ill, the caves are not interesting, and the weather is miserably hot. Aziz feels uncomfortable and grows silent, for he does not particularly like Adela. She is so bored that she occupies herself with thoughts of marriage and Ronny. Suddenly she realizes that the does not really love her fiancé.
Twice during the chapter, Adela shows her foolishness. First she tries to talk herself into marrying Ronny, even though she does not love him; she thinks, perhaps, that a marriage can be successful without love. Secondly, she openly offends Aziz by asking him if he has more than one wife. Aziz is upset and angry over the insensitivity of the question. He becomes even more silent and allows Adela to wander into a cave alone. Once again a "party" mixed with British and Indians is not going well. Ironically, Aziz had hoped that the Marabar outing would not be much like the tea party; instead, it is turning out like the bridge party.