Tag Archives: history

A Passage to India

 Because I found this book flawless, I didn’t know where to being when providing my review. Remembering back to school book reports for inspiration, I began…

I read A Passage to India, by EM Forster. It is a fiction book, based in India during the early British Empire…

At this point I became nauseated about how children are taught to think about a book so I deviated…

 

E M Forster

 

The main themes of this book are around prejudices and bigotry. However, A Passage to India doesn’t say “Look how bad these racist people are”. Instead it exposes deeper, instinctual feelings, and investigates the causes of such intolerance. I feel To Kill a Mockingbird is superficial, underdeveloped and obvious, compared to this masterpiece.

A Passage to India reveals that there are no true victims, because each societal group is both the perpetrator and the receiver of discrimination, and narrow-mindedness. Everyone, save perhaps the Dalai Lama, stereotypes.

In case you have not noticed from my other reviews, I like books that ask questions and pose problems, not ones which prescribe answers. Forster allows the reader to develop their own view of the characters.

The plot is fantastic. When I thought I knew what was going to happen, I was surprised. Forster knows just when to provide long, vivid descriptions, dialogue, action, and when to change the course of the story.

British India

His language is beautiful, but not too fanciful. It is intelligent, but not patronising, and doesn’t have the average reader reaching for the dictionary every few pages. He uses a set of metaphors, idioms and linguistic tools, which are not common in today’s language, but which are easily relatable and provide for interesting reading.

I could go on and on but I dislike blogs which require scrolling, and don’t wish to be a hypocrite. Happy reading!

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Scouting for Books

Being in between my post-grad semesters, I am able to read without the guilt that I should be reading a text book. I calculated that in order to read the recommended 1001 books to read before you die, I will have to read a book every 3 weeks between now and when I am eighty. Of course, the book I am reading when making this discovery is not on this list. Though it probably should be considering it inspired a movement of which millions of people around the world are members.

 

I am reading ‘Scouting for Boys’. It’s not so ‘outdoorsy’ as I expected, and not irrelevant to modern Scouting or Guiding either. I enjoy the emphasis on service for one’s community and country, bravery and kind-heartedness.

Yes, he uses several un-PC terms to describe the many cultures he encountered across the globe, but his admiration for their skills and honour outweigh any negative associations his language may conger from modern readers.

In addition, while this is clearly aimed at turning boys into men, he does make mention of women and their ability to better themselves and serve their country in the same way (think Girl Guides). Any tenderfoot, girl or boy, can work to become an independent and valuable citizen. As my plans for camping this January have been drowned in the Queensland floods, I will have to pioneer from the couch this week, and this guide will certainly take me on another adventure or two.

Also worth a note is a current Vanity Fair article on Prince Charles – I’d rather he be my leader over any of those larrikins in Canberra.

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