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"house of Mr. Biswas" as a Diasporic Novel

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Examine a "House of Mr. Biswas" as a diasporic novel.

Ans. : V. S. Naipaul is an Indo-Trinidadian-British writer who is known for his novels focusing on the legacy of the British Empire's colonialism. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001. He has also written works of non-fiction, such as travel writing and essays. "A House for Mr Biswas" is a 1961 novel by Naipaul and significant as his first work to achieve acclaim worldwide. It is the story of Mohun Biswas, an Indo-Trinidadian who continually strives for success and mostly fails, who marries into the Tulsi family only to find himself dominated by it, and who finally sets the goal of owning his own house. Drawing some elements from the life of Naipaul's father, the work is primarily a sharply-drawn look at life that uses postcolonial perspectives to view a vanished colonial world. It is necessarily a diasporic writing.

The diasporic writings which are also known as 'expatriate writings' or 'immigrant writings' give voice to the traumatic experiences of the writers owing to the clash of two cultures or the racial discrimination they undergo. Immigration proves a pleasant experience only to a few immigrants who succeed in assimilating themselves with the new geographical, cultural, social and psychological environment. To most of the diasporic writers, immigration is not a delectable experience. They often find themselves sandwiched between two cultures. The feeling of nostalgia, a sense of loss and anxiety to reinvent home obsess them, which finds an expression, consciously or unconsciously in their writings.The relationship between entrapment and freedom remains an open question.

The modern man is suffocated by the intellectual scenario of the past and therefore he is unable to see the present clearly or step towards the future. Naipaul being a diasporic and exploratory writer of contemporary thoughts presents complex contents in a simple existential way. Naipaul insists on need of a tradition, a myth and history as the external starting points for the 'self' to become real. Naipaul feels the necessity to define a personal identity in one's own life. He adopts determined characters in his fiction who expose their loss of identity in various ways.

In A House for Mr.Biswas (HMB) Mr.Mohun Biswas associates the highest achievement of his life with owning a house. Biswas's life is a series of minor disasters, each of which can be seen as his angry rebuttal of an uncongenial society. Born with six fingers in the wrong way, at the inauspicious hour of midnight in the family of a labourer of Indian origin in Trinidad, Mr. Biswas is not likely to have a bright future. Mr. Biswas's father dies in trying to retrieve his supposedly drowned body from the village pond while he is hiding under the bed at home. The untimely death



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