Understanding Difference.

Essay by montanadevilUniversity, Bachelor'sA, October 2003

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Understanding Differences

Understanding a country, a culture or even a person, who is different from us, without a question, is a challenge. Different people use different methods to get to know other cultures better. Some read, some travel, some make friends with people from other cultures and some merely use their own stereotypes and generalizations about a particular culture. In the end some people do get a good understanding about another culture that they are trying to understand while some don't. So what is the best way to get to know another culture? Is it reading, traveling, making friends or the generalizations? I personally believe that it is through making friends. Knowing people from a different culture will eventually make one understand that culture. Strong, positive personal relationships with people who are different can give one the best and the most genuine understanding about differences. In his novel, A Passage to India, E.M.Forster

introduces us to several characters that are trying to understand a different culture in many different ways. In understanding cultural differences some characters such as Fielding, Ralph and Mrs. Moore become considerably successful because they made friends with a native (Aziz). But the other characters like Adela, Ronny, Callender and McBryde uses other methods like traveling or cultural generalizations and make mistakes that lead to terrible misunderstandings.

Adela's character represents the type of people who try to understand a culture by traveling as tourists. She wanted to see the "real India"(P22). So she goes to the Marabar Caves and face the unexpected. Then she makes the terrible mistake of accusing Aziz of "insulting" her (P180). She and many people around her get trapped in a web of misunderstandings because she did not see the real India. She did not have the proper understanding about the people who...