Representing True Humanism in ‘A Passage to India’
In the twentieth century, humanism has been an essential philosophical stance, with many literary writers trying to represent it in their works. Humanism has been defined in a study named Liberal Humanism and the Concept of Race as “a set of presuppositions that assign to human being a special position in the scheme of things, On the one hand. it can be contrasted with the emphasis on the supernatural, transcendent domain, which considered humanity to be radically dependent on divine order. On the other hand, it resists the tendency to treat humanity scientifically as part of the natural order, on a par with other living organisms “. E.M Forster a British novelist who is considered as a liberal humanist. In a dissertation about Forster’s liberal humanism by Mr. Charef he said that Forster “believes in the absolute value of his individuality, freedom, and natural rights “. His humanist view of life was presented in his novels. He focuses on personal relationships between individuals from different cultures and communities. In his masterpiece A Passage to India, the theme of human relationships plays a major role.
A Passage to India is a story of two different races, the white British and the non-white Indian living with each other in Chandrapore. Forster wanted to bridge a gulf between the west and the east. He brought different religions together Islam, Christianity, and Hinduism. He believed in the unity and equality of human beings. He shows us the need for love and tolerance between different people from different cultures. the novel begins with questioning if it possible for an Englishman and Indian to be friends or not. Lone and Sayeed argued in A study named Personal Relations in E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India about the possibility of social harmony between different people “An intimate relationship between individuals is possible only, when men are able to cross the barriers of culture, religion, and national prejudices.”
One of the main ways Forster was able to examine his humanistic view is by the presentation of the relationship between Aziz and Fielding. “It is Fielding who tries to translate Forster’s ideal of goodwill, tolerance and sympathetic understanding into action and responds to Aziz’s longing for kindness and more kindness. “ Mr. Cyril Fielding one of the English characters. Intelligent, honest man and humanist. his humanism that makes him a recognizable character in A Passage to India. “No Englishman understands us except Mr. Fielding”. He respects Indians and is curious about their personalities and admires their culture . He meets Aziz and they become mutual friends and this is new to the history of humanity. He went to Aziz’s house to check about his health. When the police inspector praises fielding for having come to see Aziz: ”it is good of Mr. Fielding condescend to visit our friend”. ”we are touched by this great kindness”. Moreover, he stands with Aziz when Adela accused him, he supported him in his darkest time and did his best to save him from the unfair judgment and punishment and he has to pay a heavy price as he lost his community and he’s not sorry for that. He believes that Aziz is innocent “If he is guilty I resign from my service, and leave India. I resign from the club now”. After the trial, the misunderstanding between two friends happens when Aziz doubted his friend fielding and thought that he will marry Adela. However, after a while they got back together “there had been no more nonsense or bitterness, and they went back laughingly to their old relationship as if nothing had happened”.
Finally, Edward Morgan Forster an open-minded and humanist who believed in individualism and freedom. He’s interested in studying human relationships. In his novel Howards End, he argued that they “only connect”. Also, he did portray his view of humanism in his novel A Passage to India by his representation of two different races. And how they can live together as a group, as a family through the usage of tolerance, love, and sympathy. A strong friendship was presented between two different members from different cultures Aziz and Fielding. Their friendship was new to the history of humanity and opened the possibility for such a friendship to happen.
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