A House for Mr. Biswas | Study Guide

V.S. Naipaul

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Course Hero. "A House for Mr. Biswas Study Guide." December 6, 2019. Accessed January 22, 2022. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-House-for-Mr-Biswas/.

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Course Hero, "A House for Mr. Biswas Study Guide," December 6, 2019, accessed January 22, 2022, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-House-for-Mr-Biswas/.

A House for Mr. Biswas | Symbols

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The House

The house is both literal and symbolic. Mr. Biswas seeks a house of his own as a literal structure but also as a means by which to get away from the Tulsis. The house represents his own household and his own nuclear family without the meddling of the Tulsis. When he finally gets the house, even though he is no longer living, the house lives on as a symbol of life post-Tulsi, and his children and Shama return to it after his funeral instead of returning to Hanuman House.

The Prefect

The Prefect was a British-made Ford, which might today be described as a compact car. Though it is a small car without much "pizazz" that is criticized by Govind, who is a livery driver, it is still a significant symbol that speaks to Mr. Biswas's increased economic prosperity. His immediate family is clearly impressed with it, especially since it is brand new, and they too see it as a symbol of how Mr. Biswas has finally arrived.

The Children

Mr. Biswas's children (Savi and Anand in particular) are not only individuals in their own right, but they are an extension of and manifestation of Mr. Biswas's successes. Mr. Biswas sees Anand's academic success, in particular, as a testament to his own intelligence and success. This extension is probably the reason why he is so elated at Anand's third place finish and outshining of Govind and Chinta's son.

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