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Significance of the Ending of A Passage to India

Open Ending of the last chapter of A Passage to India

Forster has left the ending of A Passage to India open. The last chapter looks like the beginning of a new story. All cards have been laid and at the end everyone has to go his own way. Aziz and Fielding are friends but do not fit together anymore. Fielding tries his best to bring his friendship with Aziz back on track but neither he and nor Aziz can return to the point from where they drifted apart. Aziz was the best gift India had given Fielding, but he could not keep it.

Aziz was a memento, a trophy, they were proud of each other, yet they must inevitably part.”

Fielding has married Stella and he would have loved to keep his friend too. However, he belongs to Stella now and Aziz belongs to India. The Marabar incident had turned Aziz into a vehement nationalist. Some questions remain open as the two part. Their directions and destinations are different and their purpose too. Fielding will continue to serve the British Raj and Aziz will fight against it and his next generations. The two will have to part for now because the time is not right for their meeting.

But the horses didn’t want it— they swerved apart; the earth didn’t want it, sending up rocks … saw Mau beneath: they didn’t want it, they said in their hundred voices, “No, not yet,” and the sky said, ,“No, not there.”

Nature too does not want their union. Each will have to take his own path.

Fielding would have loved to keep his friend’s company but for Aziz, every moment with a British feels like a scorpion’s sting and even if he says he will forget everything, what British did on that unlucky day has changed him forever. Nothing is now the same in his life. Like you turn a bag inside out, he is feeling like the British have emptied his soul. The open ending is like an abrupt halt and the author indicates that India will have to set a new destination for itself. British rule is not its destiny.

Chandrapore was a beginning of the drama that saw its end in Mau. Aziz has received the answers he wanted and now he cannot change what is his fate. He cannot turn back to be with his British friends and let the humiliation repeat even for a moment. His conscience would not allow him to step back and Fielding’s fate is now bound with Stella and British rule which is short lived in India. The ending of A Passage to India looks abrupt but signifies a new beginning for both Indian and British characters.