â€œThe key to understanding the novel lies in the role of Mrs Moore. She is both a character and a symbol.â€ Analyse her role in the novel in light of this statement.
Mrs. Moore is the symbol of spiritual growth and discovery in â€œA Passage To Indiaâ€. Conflict with original beliefs, overcoming a drastic change in culture and religious discovery are major themes that run throughout the entire novel, not only for Mrs. Moore but also for the other characters. Forster represents these themes in dialogue and imagery through Mrs. Mooreâ€™s interaction with the other characters and with India itself.
When Aziz meets Mrs. Moore for the first time at the Mosque we notice how different her character is from most other English, or (as Forster names them in the novel) â€œAnglo-Indianâ€ women. Aziz immediately develops a misconception of Mrs. Moore, clearly based on his previous experiences of the English, chiding her for entering the Mosque and not removing her shoes. And yet we are intrigued and impressed by her when we discover that she has in fact removed her shoes, and also by her knowledge of the Muslim faith:.
â€œYes, I was right, was I not? If I remove my shoes, I am allowed?â€.
â€œOf course, but so few ladies take the trouble, especially if thinking no one is there to see.â€.
This scene is an important one because it allows us to see Mrs. Moore through an Indianâ€™s eyes and therefore the effect that her character has upon the Indian people:.
â€œI donâ€™t think I understand people very well. I only know whether I like or dislike them.â€.
Subsequently, Aziz is astonished to discover that Mrs. Moore is similar to himself in many ways. He names her an â€œOrientalâ€ for her unprejudiced outlook upon society, which although seems unintelligent to her, is wise in the eyes of the Hindu Indians, who look at the Universe as a whole, and at every living creature as important enough to be taken into consideration.