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MonkeyNotes-A Passage to India by E. M. Forster
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Notes

This chapter marks the climax of A Passage to India. Forster leads up to the moment of truth in the trial with great tension and suspense. Everyone waiting for the trial to begin is anxious, with tempers running high; their tension is heightened by the stifling heat. The Indians have been rebellious about the trial. The men have gone on strike in support of Aziz; the women declare that they will observe a fast until the prisoner is freed.

As the trial begin, the English officials try to maintain their superior airs, shuffling around and moving their chairs into the "proper" positions. Mr. Das, the Magistrate in charge, demands that all of them settle down, an order that humiliates the British. Mr. McBryde begins his testimony with a series of inflammatory charges against Aziz that he presents as fact. He is the first of several farcical English witnesses. When Adela is called to testify, her nerves are calm and her mind is clear. She is determined to do what is right, putting aside her concern for Ronny. When she is asked if Aziz followed her into the cave, she pictures the day clearly in her mind. She reflects on what has happened and says with confidence that Aziz did not follow her into the cave, exonerating the accused. The courtroom breaks into pandemonium. The British try to stop the proceeding, but Das forces them to withdraw the case.


Ironically, the English, particularly the woman, lash out at Adela mercilessly for telling the truth. She is unaffected, for she has developed a new, almost mystical understanding of life; she accepts what is happening around her without question. Fielding is sure she is going to have a nervous break down; ironically, Adela feels perfectly clear-headed.

The reactions to the verdict in the courtroom are strong and immediate. Aziz faints, the British bemoan their loss, and the Indians celebrate Aziz's release and their victory with glee.

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