Fosters novel A Passage To India, Foster starts out with a short, brief description and introduction about the setting, tell us exactly where the story is going to take place. By Foster opening up his novel this way, it helps us to appreciate the Indians as the natives of the land of India. Through out the story E.M. Foster uses many different geographical aspects as symbols to represent different things that are going to occur through the plot of the story.
In chapter one, Foster opens up his story by describing Chandrapore, a city along the Ganges. Chandrapore is a prototypical Indian town, neither distinguished nor exceptionally troubled, therefore this town can be taken symbolic of the rest of India rather than an exceptional case. In Chandrapore, the streets are mean, the temples ineffective, and though a few fine houses exist they are hidden away in gardens or down alleys whose filth deters all but the invited guest. Chandrapore was never large or beautiful, except for the Marabar Caves, that are twenty miles away from the city. When looking from the Bazaar in Chandrapore, the low lying area is where the Indians lived, which is not much more than mud huts. Right in the middle of the mountains between where the low lying area sits and the higher side of the mountain sits is called the civil station. This is where the people who do not belong to either the English or the Indian group live at. Then Foster describes the higher side of the mountain where the English people live. A city of gardens, which is not really a city, but a forest sparsely scattered with huts, toddy palms, palm trees, and mangoes. It is a beautiful place with branches and beckoning leaves and even a place for the birds to visit. (Chapter 1) By setting up this description of the city of Chandrapore, it shows us that the English people are the ones that are living on the nicer side of the bazaare and that the English men think that the Indians and themselves can not be friends.