Today, for the most part, women are seen as equal to men. Women are given the same opportunities as men and an equal chance at getting a job as men. In today’s society, women do not just have one role and that role and that being to have kids, but they can pursue any career they wish. However, it was not always this way. According to feminist theorists, western civilizations were patriarchal which means that the society is dominated by males. The society is set up so that the male is above the female in all cultural aspects including family, religion, politics, economics, art, and the social and legal realms. The patriarchal biases of gender between male and female say that a male must be active, dominating, adventurous, rational, and creative. In the novel, A Passage to India, Forster expresses this male dominance by writing, “He took no notice of them, and with this, which would have passed without comment in feminist England, did harm in a community where the male is expected to be lively and helpful” (Forster 52). They say that to be female is to be passive, agreeable, timid, emotional, and conventional. The feminist theorists’ argument of a male centered society is definitely present in the novel A Passage to India. E.M. Forster reveals cultural, economic, and educational factors within the patriarchal society of India that limit women. In E.M. Forster’s novel A Passage to India, Forster exposes derogatory stereotypes of women and portrays women as inferior to men to uphold the view of women during the time period.
In the novel A Passage to India, written by Forster, he is bias towards the women in the novel. The society when Forster wrote the novel in the 1920’s had different views on women than it has today and is for that reason why he uses derogatory stereotypes to describe the women in the novel. One of the derogatory stereotypes Forster uses in the novel is stupidity. While reading the novel, Forster gives the reader the impression that the women characters are not smart in society. The male characters in the novel treat the women like they are stupid and the female characters admit that they are not smart.
The first female character who is described in the text as stupid is Adela Quested. Forster says in the novel, “The dialogue remained light and friendly and Adela had no conception of its underdrift. She did not know that the comparatively simple mind of the Mohammedan was encountering Ancient Night” (Forster 64). By just reading what Forster wrote down on the page, the reader can see that Adela is not that bright and cannot follow a conversation. Another example of Adela’s stupidity noted by Forster is:
She made the remark without thinking what it meant. To her, as to the three men, it seemed in key with the rest of the conversation and not for several minutes – indeed, not for half an hour – did she realize that it was an important remark, and ought to have been made in the first place to Ronny. (62)...