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Old 11-24-2008, 12:30 PM   #12
Sparrow
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trono View Post
...Anyhow, I "got into it" in a hole different way, and suddenly found it amusing at times. I found it timely that the author introduced some "action" when he did - the incident in the caves. A much needed boost in my opinion, but not really enough to last to end of the story. And after things had settled, the main point was yet again the difficulties regarding Anglo-Indian relations...
I think the book dealt with all sorts of divisions, and attempts at overcoming them - Indians/English, Men/Women, Orient/Occident, earth/sky, divisions between religions and cultures, young/old, etc. etc.
One intriguing division in the novel is that between the living and the dead. Mrs. Moore believes in ghosts, she prompts thoughts of ghosts in Dr Aziz when she appears in the mosque, Godbole says she is an old soul, she suggests it was a ghost that collided with the car, and she is a ghostly presence through the last section of the novel.

So there are all these divisions everywhere you look - but the heart of the novel centres on whether they can be transcended; or even if it desirable to do so. There are obvious attempts at this throughout - but subtle ones too. In the first section, Mrs Moore 'connects' with a wasp that has perched on a coat peg; Godbole also 'connects' with a wasp in the last section. They have achieved a momentary transcendence that reveals that everything is connected - Godbole's point that whatever happened in the cave was committed by everybody (the whole universe in fact). The Christian missionaries, however, think admitting wasps to the circle of the blessed is going a step too far - they can't transcend this difference.

I'm sure there are many aspects of the novel I've missed; and to reread it would be an entirely fresh experience - this is what makes it a great work of literature imho (although also a flawed one - Forster tends to explain and justify the characters behaviour in a sometimes clunky manner).

All in all - a truly great read!
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