A House for Mr Biswas

Dehuti Character Analysis

Dehuti is Mr Biswas’s sister. Throughout their childhood, Dehuti and Mr Biswas play together frequently while their brothers, Prasad and Pratap, are busy working in the cane fields. After Raghu’s death, Bipti sends Dehuti to live with Tara as a servant in the hopes of teaching her upper-class etiquette and eventually marrying her off to a wealthy family. However, she instead elopes with Tara’s yard boy, Ramchand, and moves to a well-built hut and then a shanty in Port of Spain. Eventually, she becomes an honorary Tulsi sister, joining the others at Hanuman House on important occasions.

Dehuti Quotes in A House for Mr Biswas

The A House for Mr Biswas quotes below are all either spoken by Dehuti or refer to Dehuti. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of A House for Mr Biswas published in 2001.
Part 1, Chapter 1 Quotes

And so Mr Biswas came to leave the only house to which he had some right. For the next thirty-five years he was to be a wanderer with no place he could call his own, with no family except that which he was to attempt to create out of the engulfing world of the Tulsis. For with his mother’s parents dead, his father dead, his brothers on the estate at Felicity, Dehuti as a servant in Tara’s house, and himself rapidly growing away from Bipti who, broken, became increasingly useless and impenetrable, it seemed to him that he was really quite alone.

Related Characters: Mr Biswas, Bipti, Raghu, Dehuti
Related Symbols: Houses
Page Number: 39
Explanation and Analysis:
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Part 2, Chapter 1 Quotes

“This education is a helluva thing,” Ramchand said. “Any little child could pick up. And yet the blasted thing does turn out to be so damn important later on.”

Related Characters: Mr Biswas, Dehuti
Page Number: 298
Explanation and Analysis:
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Part 2, Chapter 4 Quotes

Mr Biswas went past Dehuti to look at the body. Then he did not wish to see it again. But always, as he wandered about the yard among the mourners, he was aware of the body. He was oppressed by a sense of loss: not of present loss, but of something missed in the past. He would have liked to be alone, to commune with this feeling. But time was short, and always there was the sight of Shama and the children, alien growths, alien affections, which fed on him and called him away from that part of him which yet remained purely himself, that part which had for long been submerged and was now to disappear.

Related Characters: Mr Biswas, Shama, Savi, Anand, Bipti, Dehuti
Page Number: 461
Explanation and Analysis:
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Dehuti Character Timeline in A House for Mr Biswas

The timeline below shows where the character Dehuti appears in A House for Mr Biswas. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 1: Pastoral
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Education, Work, and Language Theme Icon
...and Prasad (whom his father taught to swim) but enjoyed his baths and played with Dehuti, his sister. At nine and eleven, Prasad and Pratap were already acting like adults, caring... (full context)
Education, Work, and Language Theme Icon
Colonialism, Oppression, and Escape Theme Icon
...walking it to feed one day he came across the shallow stream where Bipti and Dehuti washed the family’s clothes. He returned to the stream periodically, disturbing its fish and watching... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
...and go, and then finally left his hiding place at night to find his sister Dehuti crying over his clothing. When she saw him, she began to scream, but an elderly... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
...together for the last time,” as they split up shortly after the funeral. Bipti sent Dehuti to Tara, where she would learn etiquette and find odds of marrying well but have... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 2: Before the Tulsis
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Education, Work, and Language Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
...of depression and lack of affection. His fully-grown, boring brothers visited at Christmastime, and although Dehuti lived nearby, he almost never saw her, except when Tara’s husband “held a religious ceremony... (full context)
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
Bipti was also irritated because she was forced to defend Dehuti, who eloped with the yard boy at Tara’s house. Upon visiting Tara’s house, Ajodha implored... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
...can treat me how they want,” which won Tara’s sympathy. However, he blamed her for Dehuti’s departure, which pushed her over the edge: she left and Bipti told Mr Biswas he... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Colonialism, Oppression, and Escape Theme Icon
...road for miles, till he had long left town. Ramchand, Tara’s former yard boy and Dehuti’s husband, tapped him on the shoulder and greeted him amicably. Ramchand said that he was... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Education, Work, and Language Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
In fact, Dehuti barely spoke or interacted with either of them; she brought out her baby but seemed... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
Colonialism, Oppression, and Escape Theme Icon
...and suggested that he might be able to stay there, which depressed him even more. Dehuti claimed to lack “modern ambitions” and thought herself hideous, in response to which Ramchand smiled. (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
...and promised to return, although he knew that he never would because his ties to Dehuti had been broken. He resolved to stop looking for a job and just ask Tara. (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 6: A Departure
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
...patients, listen to music on a gramophone. He also suggested Mr Biswas join him and Dehuti in Port of Spain; on his way out, Sushila and Chinta commented on his evident... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 1: “Amazing Scenes”
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Colonialism, Oppression, and Escape Theme Icon
...turn at the junction—to the north were Pagotes and Port of Spain (where Ramchand and Dehuti lived), and to the south his brothers—but a bus came by and its conductor grabbed... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
...lot with two old unpainted wooden houses and many makeshift sheds.” He found his sister, Dehuti, cooking—she and Ramchand were surprised that he planned to pass some time there and were... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Education, Work, and Language Theme Icon
Colonialism, Oppression, and Escape Theme Icon
...“stay here and rest as long as you want,” listening to music on the gramophone. Dehuti was not even sullen. When her younger son returned from school, she asked him to... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
Colonialism, Oppression, and Escape Theme Icon
Mr Biswas shared one of Dehuti and Ramchand’s two rooms with their son. The house’s interior was much cleaner than the... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
...Spain’s newest and best districts, and Mr Biswas felt extraordinarily lucky. So did Ramchand and Dehuti, who were tiring of Mr Biswas’s imposition on their space. Since they also felt responsible... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 4: Among the Readers and Learners
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
...crowd of relatives he had never met. He felt jealousy, not grief. Shama dutifully wept, Dehuti grasped at the other mourners’ clothes in a sort of penance for her illegitimate marriage,... (full context)