|Plot Summary of A House for Mr. Biswas|
Mr. Mohun Biswas, a journalist working with a newspaper in the Port of Spain, is sacked just before his death. The novel begins with this description and then goes on to unravel the life of Mr. Mohun Biswas bit by bit. Mr. Biswas feels very much alienated with the society in which he is living. He has no feeling of being a part of that society. His father was a farmer in the sugarcane fields of Trinidad and Tobago, who had come from India as a contracted labourer. Mr. Biswas is totally against the traditions of his family. He neither identifies with India nor with the people of Port of Spain. This lack of identity makes him miserably rebellious....he struggles whole of his life for an identity....
This synopsis report prepared by DHAWAL KUMAR
"A House for Mr. Biswas" portrays through a series of homes he had and fairly brief life of a poor journalist turned civil servant in Port of Sapin, Trinidad, in the years before and after World War II.
Born into an Indian family whose father worked in the sugar cane estates, Mr.
Biswas, as he is called by the author from infancy on, becomes a sigh painter, and at the age of sixteen, is tricked into marrying Shama, the daughter of the large and poweerful Tulsi family.
From one room in the Tulsi House, he moves into a home he is building
in"the chase", an area near he fields where he becomes an overseer. But Mr. Biswas does not have enough money to complete the house.
He loses his mind temporarily, and moves back with the Tulsis. Shama is now expecting their fourth child.
When his madness abates,Mr. Biswas decides to move into the city of port of Spain, and gets a job with a newspaper,"The Sentinal". as a sign painter again. From this position, he is promoted to a journalist.
Because of a series of stories he writes about the "Deserving Destitute", he secures a position in the civil service as a Community Outreach person, complete with a company car.
His mother=in-law persuades him to move with the family into a palatial estate she buys in Shorhills, an hour from the city.
From one room here, he moves back into Port of Spain where he buys a two=storey home that is falling to pieces.
Mr. Biswas's life, always begun, in his abortive attempts to write,"At the age of thirty-three, when he was already the father of four children, never allowed him to complet a short story, or live in a well build house. But the insouciant attitude with which he endures his adventures allows him to transcend the indignaties he suffers.
This synopsis report prepared by Betty-Jeanne Korson
|Chapter Analysis of A House for Mr. Biswas|
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Tone of book?
Time/era of story
Life of a profession:
Inside culture (main char)
- Indian (Ghandi, not Sitting Bull)
- story of the poor
- immigrant story
Kind of living:
- general poverty story
Strong "rags to riches" component?
Family, struggle with
- midlife crisis
- vague finding self/purpose in life (i.e. no plot to book)
- family young v. old guard
Is this an adult or child's book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Outside culture (society)
- African Black
If story of urban/rural...
- Small town life
- mental illness
Pearls of wisdom from homeless?
- Indian Indian
- Super sensitive soggy jelly muffin
How much descriptions of surroundings?
- 9 ()
Kind of Africa:
- Black Africa
The Americas (not US):
- The Caribbean
- food/shelter preoccupation
- Caribbean Islands
- fancy mansion
Sex in book?
What kind of sex:
- vague references only
- touching of anatomy
- actual description of hetero sex
Amount of dialog
- roughly even amounts of descript and dialog
- significantly more descript than dialog
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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