Gothic landscapes, imperial collapse and the queering of Adela Quested in E. M. Forster’s A Passage to India
in Queering the Gothic
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A British modernist historian, Peter Stansky, posits that E. M. Forster's 'continuing affectionate friendship with Syed Ross Masood set him on the course that led ultimately to his writing A Passage to India'. Forster utilizes the word 'queer' to describe not only the scene but also his characters, and then, when he does, he most often refers to Adela Quested or Mrs Moore. The chapter focuses on Quested, an oversimplified character who, within hours of her arrival to Chandrapore, sets herself apart as 'queer' compared to the Anglo-Indians. She does so because she does not understand the rules of the colonised land; both she and Mrs Moore actually want to talk to and become friends with the natives. Both women underestimate the power that the Gothic landscape will have to permanently change their lives.


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