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Home » , » What is the symbolic significance of the 'Mosque' in A Passage to India?

Friendship Between Dr. Aziz and Mrs. Moore  

The meeting between Dr. Aziz and Mrs. Moore at the Mosque is the most important scene of Part I of the novel, A Passage to India. It defines the preoccupation of the first section and has important and lasting consequences for the whole story. In the scene, two widely different human beings come together, and through "the secret understanding of the heart" establish a friendship which in spite of everything that happens to negate it, lasts long enough to serve as a standard to the other relationship in novel.

Symbolic significant of Mosque  

This understanding of the heart is the dominant urge that expresses the most general meaning of the Mosque symbol in the novel. The Mosque with its serene beauty, its combination of light and shade, represents a belief in the oneness of God, oneness of India, and, therefore, comes to symbolize friendship and understanding between people of different races and cultures.

Aziz, the Muslim doctor, enters the mosque to get the peace and happiness denied to him in the Anglo-Indian world. Mrs. Moore, the elderly English woman has just escaped from the British Club, bored by its state entertainments and has come to the mosque to seek relief from the heat and sultriness of the club. Thus, both of them have entered the mosque to seek shelter from the oppressive surroundings. Mrs. Moore is a kindly old woman who wants to "see the real India". She is full of sympathy and love towards the Indians. She is different from her fellow Britishers who consider Indians belonging to an inferior race. Doctor Aziz who has been feeling hurt and miserable by the behaviour of two English ladies, is soothed by the understanding that Mrs. Moore shows towards him.

As they start talking of their children, of other people of India and religion, Aziz slowly becomes aware of the fact that here is no ordinary British visitor but an exceptionally kind woman whose broad sympathies cut across barriers of race and age. Mrs. Moore on her part, finds that Aziz is a warm and sensitive human being who, it seems to her, stands for the goodness and meaning of life she wishes to find in India. Thus, a young Indian and an old British woman meet in a mosque and reach an instinctive understanding about each other which is never afterwards broken.

To sum up, the crucial importance of the mosque scene is suggested by the fact that the 'Mosque' is the title of the first section, and therefore, a symbolic expression which defines the meaning for entire section. This mosque scene foreshadows other successful relationship achieved between Aziz and Fielding. This relationship again strengthens the possibility of human affection as one of the positive themes in the complex symphony of Affiliation, Negation and Reaffirmation that we fine in the novel as a whole.
Symbolic significant of Mosque


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