A House for Mr Biswas

A House for Mr Biswas

Basdai Character Analysis

A widow who moves into the Port of Spain house with Mr Biswas and W.C. Tuttle’s families after they return from Shorthills. She lives in the servant’s quarters, cares for the boarders who stay in the home, and watches the “readers and learners” while they study. She eventually moves “under the house” when Govind and Chinta take over her room.
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Basdai Character Timeline in A House for Mr Biswas

The timeline below shows where the character Basdai appears in A House for Mr Biswas. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2, Chapter 4: Among the Readers and Learners
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
...sign outside the Shorthills house. The Tuttles, Govind and Chinta’s family, and a widow named Basdai also came to Port of Spain; the Tuttles took most of the house, Govind and... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
...Spain, W.C. Tuttle played a gramophone incessantly and quarreled silently with Govind over parking space; Basdai started mediating the family’s arguments. Despite his brahmanic ways, “W.C. Tuttle was all for modernity,”... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Education, Work, and Language Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
...less on the Tulsis, the widows at Shorthills started sending their children to live with Basdai. The overpopulated house and quarreling children quickly infuriated Mr Biswas and his children, leading them... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 5: The Void
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
...their new lifestyle, he “with one stroke wiped out all Mr Biswas’s advantages” by having Basdai inform them that he bought his own house in Port of Spain. Mr Biswas became... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 7: The House
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
...discovered the house.” They had to hire painters and sanitary engineers—borrowing money from the widow Basdai to pay for them—but finally the house was ready and they brought in their furniture,... (full context)