Fielding is believed to be an important character in the novel due to the fact that despite he is British he takes a position in favor of the Indians, betraying his English friends. In the following essay I am going to discuss this idea.
Mr. Fielding has always been in the middle, between the British and the Indians. He is the only friendly Englishmen with Indians that appears in the novel. He is definitely not a typical British. Although he has English friends he does not like to socialize much with them. In order to strengthen this neutral but firm position he has shown throughout the novel, he declares himself atheist. There were a lot of clashes between people of different religions in India at that time; religion was a major subject, and Fielding being atheist is something that strikes the attention of the readers.
After Aziz got arrested and controversy was unleashed, it was clear and necessary for Fielding to take a position. From the very first moment he believed in Aziz’s innocence, and he defended him as much as he could. ”The news gave me a great shock, I cannot believe that Dr Aziz is guilty” He has never doubted of him, and sooner or later he had to make clearer in which side he was going to stand. Fielding resigned the Chandrapore club, he lost many British friends, he put his career and his job
in risk. He has also lost his identity and tradition; everything is now quite unstable to him. “He would miss his billiards and occasional tennis, and cracks with McBryde” Supporting the Indian had a great cost in his life and he was not even sure if it was a wise decision. “Later at night, he had an inclination to tell Professor Godbole of the tactical and moral error he had made in being rude to Heaslop” He has many doubts, and feels as he has made a mistake, a huge sacrifice.
I conclusion, I believe that Fielding’s character is very crucial in the development of the novel as he is the only
britishman who “betrays” the English society in Chandrapore and chooses to be in the side of the Indians.