A House for Mr Biswas

A House for Mr Biswas

Shama Character Analysis

Shama is Mr Biswas’s wife, one of Mrs Tulsi’s fourteen daughters, and the mother of Savi, Anand, Myna, and Kamla. Mr Biswas first meets Shama when she is sixteen and working at the Tulsi store; after writing her a love note that Mrs Tulsi discovers, he is pressured into marrying her, and she has no say in the matter. He quickly begins resenting her and everything she represents: namely, his own poor decision-making, as well as the Tulsis’ class status, orthodoxy, and network of support and friendship. Despite Mr Biswas’s extensive abuse, both physical and verbal (in response to which she usually argues back but often breaks down in tears), Shama remains loyal and keeps his household running by raising the children, cooking and cleaning, and keeping track of the family’s finances. She often goes back to Hanuman House, where she is particularly close to her sister Chinta, when living with her husband becomes unbearable. Although she is well-educated and much smarter than Mr Biswas recognizes, her aspirations center around raising her children successfully and ensuring that her family avoids financial ruin due to her bumbling husband. Indeed, Mr Biswas does not respect her or recognize her as the silent voice of reason until the very end of his life.

Shama Quotes in A House for Mr Biswas

The A House for Mr Biswas quotes below are all either spoken by Shama or refer to Shama. 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.
Prologue Quotes

How terrible it would have been, at this time, to be without it: to have died among the Tulsis, amid the squalor of that large, disintegrating and indifferent family; to have left Shama and the children among them, in one room; worse, to have lived without even attempting to lay claim to one’s portion of the earth; to have lived and died as one had been born, unnecessary and unaccommodated.

Related Characters: Mr Biswas, Shama
Related Symbols: Houses
Page Number: 11
Explanation and Analysis:
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Part 1, Chapter 3 Quotes

How often did Mr Biswas regret his weakness, his inarticulateness, that evening! How often did he try to make events appear grander, more planned and less absurd than they were!

And the most absurd feature of that evening was to come. When he had left Hanuman House and was cycling back to Pagotes, he actually felt elated! In the large, musty hall with the sooty kitchen at one end, the furniture-choked landing on one side, and the dark, cobwebbed loft on the other, he had been overpowered and frightened by Seth and Mrs Tulsi and all the Tulsi women and children; they were strange and had appeared too strong; he wanted nothing so much then as to be free of that house. But now the elation he felt was not that of relief. He felt he had been involved in large events. He felt he had achieved status.

Related Characters: Mr Biswas, Shama, Mrs Tulsi, Seth
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Part 1, Chapter 4 Quotes

When her feet began to swell, Mr Biswas wanted to say, “Well, you are complete and normal now. Everything is going as it should. You are just like your sisters.” For there was no doubt that this was what Shama expected from life: to be taken through every stage, to fulfill every function, to have her share of the established emotions: joy at birth or marriage, distress during illness and hardship, grief at a death. Life, to be full, had to be this established pattern of sensation. Grief and joy, both equally awaited, were one. For Shama and her sisters and women like them, ambition, if the word could be used, was a series of negatives: not to be unmarried, not to be childless, not to be an undutiful daughter, sister, wife, mother, widow.

Related Characters: Mr Biswas, Shama
Page Number: 153
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

Real calling name: Lakshmi. Signed by Mohun Biswas, father.

Related Characters: Mr Biswas, Shama, Savi, Seth, Hari
Page Number: 156
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Part 2, Chapter 5 Quotes

It sickened him that he had fallen into Mrs Tulsi’s trap and shown himself grateful to her. She was keeping him, like her daughters, within her reach. And he was in her power, as he had been ever since he had gone to the Tulsi Store and seen Shama behind the counter.

Related Characters: Mr Biswas, Shama, Mrs Tulsi
Page Number: 506
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

[Mr Biswas] turned the long room into an office. In this room, where the lotuses still bloomed on the wall, he had lived with Shama. Through the Demerara window he had tried to spit on Owad and flung the plateful of food on him. In this room he had been beaten by Govind, had kicked Bell’s Standard Elocutionist and given it the dent on the cover. Here, claimed by no one, he had reflected on the unreality of his life, and had wished to make a mark on the wall as proof of his existence. Now he needed no such proof. Relationships had been created where none existed; he stood at their centre. In that very unreality had lain freedom. Now he was encumbered, and it was at Hanuman House that he tried to forget the encumbrance: the children, the scattered furniture, the dark tenement room, and Shama, as helpless as he was and now, what he had longed for, dependent on him.

Related Characters: Mr Biswas, Shama, Mrs Tulsi, Owad, Govind
Related Symbols: Houses
Page Number: 509
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Part 2, Chapter 7 Quotes

And it was astonishing how the furniture, to which they had grown accustomed, suddenly, exposed on the tray of the lorry in the street, became unfamiliar and shabby and shameful. About to be moved for the last time: the gatherings of a life-time: the kitchen safe (encrusted with varnish, layer after layer of it, and paint of various colours, the wire-netting broken and clogged), the yellow kitchen table, the hatrack with the futile glass and broken hooks, the rockingchair, the fourposter (dismantled and unnoticeable), Shama’s dressingtable (standing against the cab, without its mirror, with all the drawers taken out, showing the unstained, unpolished wood inside, still, after all these years, so raw, so new), the bookcase and desk, Théophile’s bookcase, the Slumberking (a pink, intimate rose on the headrest), the glass cabinet (rescued from Mrs Tulsi’s drawingroom), the destitute’s diningtable (on its back, its legs roped around, loaded with drawers and boxes), the typewriter (still a brilliant yellow, on which Mr Biswas was going to write articles for the English and American Press, on which he had written his articles for the Ideal School, the letter to the doctor): the gatherings of a lifetime for so long scattered and even unnoticed, now all together on the tray of the lorry.

Related Characters: Mr Biswas, Shama, Mrs Tulsi
Related Symbols: Houses
Page Number: 551-2
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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Shama Character Timeline in A House for Mr Biswas

The timeline below shows where the character Shama appears in A House for Mr Biswas. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Prologue
Gender and Family Theme Icon
Mr Biswas’s wife, Shama, would have previously asked her family, the Tulsis, for help. Instead, she proposed that they... (full context)
Gender and Family Theme Icon
...to leave the house, but had to because his mother could not climb the steps. Shama never visited the house and refused to opine on it—Mr Biswas thought this was because... (full context)
Education, Work, and Language Theme Icon
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Indeed, the Tulsis gossiped to no end about Mr Biswas’s plans. Shama’s niece Sunti “didn’t hide her amusement,” and Biswas, who always had contempt for her, shouted... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 2: Before the Tulsis
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
...waited and yearned “for the world to yield its sweetness and romance,” and first saw Shama at Hanuman House in Arwacas “in this mood of expectation.” (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 3: The Tulsis
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
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...secretly watched the unmarried Tulsi girls who worked in the store, and especially the beautiful Shama, who was about sixteen. Because her relatives were all over the store, he felt uncomfortable... (full context)
Colonialism, Oppression, and Escape Theme Icon
...day, when the Tulsi Store closed down for lunch, Mr Biswas slipped a note to Shama, who smiled mockingly at him before turning to a client, “a fat Negro woman” looking... (full context)
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
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...talk to you”—Mr Biswas was convinced that she had found it. She shouted obscenities at Shama in Hindi and gave the woman a free pair of stockings; Shama’s tears made Mr... (full context)
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...ashamed about.” This astonished the boy, who expected to be kicked out forever, and then Shama’s sisters brought him food, which he was reluctant to eat. (full context)
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...was Ajodha’s nephew, and Seth said he remembered selling Ajodha some land. C, one of Shama’s sisters, brought Mr Biswas some tea with “a frank, unimpressed stare,” and her smiling, sunburnt... (full context)
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Education, Work, and Language Theme Icon
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...and he affirmed that he did. Seth offered to speak to Ajodha and insisted that Shama was “a good child” with “a little bit of reading and writing even.” Dodging the... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
...small, the Tulsi family too large.” (For years, at night when he slept alone and Shama with the children, he regretted “his weakness, his inarticulateness, that evening!”) And the most absurd... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
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...was he who had acted,” and that he must have done so in good conscience. Shama was beautiful and her dowry would be significant, but Mr Biswas still felt “he would... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
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...that he was to marry. He felt unacknowledged and invisible at Hanuman House, as even Shama “ostentatiously ignored him.” Despite this, he never considered reneging on his plans, for he felt... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
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After the marriage ceremony, Mr Biswas moved with Shama into an upstairs room in Hanuman House and began plotting his escape. He did not... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
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After finishing the signs in the Tulsi Store, as Shama began to cry about being neglected in front of her family, Mr Biswas packed his... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
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...primarily blamed for his marriage. Tara and Ajodha encouraged Mr Biswas to head back to Shama, and he was disappointed when Tara claimed that his wife was “none of her business.” (full context)
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Surprised that Mr Biswas had returned so fast, Shama asked whether he was “tired catching crab in Pagotes”—that occupation was “the lowest of the... (full context)
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Mr Biswas always stayed in his small corner of the long room; Shama even brought his food there, and despite his insistent silence she gradually realized that “she... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Education, Work, and Language Theme Icon
...“alliances.” The sisters talked about their husbands’ ailments and took care of each other’s children; Shama and C were close, so Mr Biswas approached C’s handsome and jovial husband, Govind, a... (full context)
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Colonialism, Oppression, and Escape Theme Icon
One day, Shama reported that Seth wanted to talk to Mr Biswas, who refused to go downstairs until... (full context)
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Mr Biswas packed his things as he argued with Shama and finally asked her to tell Seth he was never paid for the signs he... (full context)
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...conflicts many times before. Mr Biswas admitted that he would not go—Chinta stopped crying but Shama started to, and her body seemed to melt. (full context)
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Upon returning home, Mr Biswas mocked Shama for what Pankaj Rai would do to her high-caste family members—Seth would become a leather-worker... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
...and turned around to greet Hari again on the verandah: “Hello, Mr God.” He told Shama he had a new nickname for Hari: “the constipated holy man.” She had started playing... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
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The newspaper notice mentioned Mr Biswas’s name, and Shama insisted that he talk to Seth, who complained that he threatened to “disgrace the family”... (full context)
Education, Work, and Language Theme Icon
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Colonialism, Oppression, and Escape Theme Icon
...wore a crucifix, the weekend before he left for his examinations for the Catholic college. Shama began taking Mr Biswas upstairs, and Chinta ran to make sure she did not faint... (full context)
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Colonialism, Oppression, and Escape Theme Icon
Shama cried out and Owad’s eyes welled up with “tears of anger;” even the Catholic Miss... (full context)
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Shama brought Mr Biswas’s food upstairs, and he complained again about “those blasted brass plates” and... (full context)
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Everyone but Shama and Mr Biswas left, and as dinner began downstairs, Mr Biswas noticed “a new bond”... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
...Biswas out of the house. He went to the shop in The Chase along with Shama, who was pregnant (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 4: The Chase
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The move out of Hanuman House was easy for Mr Biswas but arduous for Shama, who owned much more and bought kitchen supplies from the family store with Mr Biswas’s... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
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Shama began crying loudly, complaining of her shame and lamenting that Mr Biswas’s desire to “paddle... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
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...an iron bed that smelled of bedbugs (which never died out as Mr Biswas and Shama carried it from place to place), as well as a small, sturdy kitchen table. Mr... (full context)
Education, Work, and Language Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
Colonialism, Oppression, and Escape Theme Icon
...buy things. In the first month, he “made the vast profit of thirty-seven dollars,” and Shama quickly turned out to be an apt bookkeeper. They became accustomed to their solitude and... (full context)
Gender and Family Theme Icon
One day, Shama proposed a house-blessing ceremony and Mr Biswas flew into a rage. She sighed, and he... (full context)
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After three days, Mr Biswas finally pointed out Shama’s nagging—mostly, she sighed and blew her nose in bed, and she did so even louder... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
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...had nowhere to go, so he stood out front and planned his coming argument with Shama. Sushila caught some of the older children playing in the dark, and Mr Biswas found... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
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Since her family’s arrival, “Shama had become a Tulsi and a stranger again.” The ceremony was about to begin, but... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
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...on his bed, resuscitating his old romantic fantasies of leaving everything and everyone. He heard Shama rattling the door hook and pretended to be asleep; she came inside and said, “you... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
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Education, Work, and Language Theme Icon
Colonialism, Oppression, and Escape Theme Icon
...took a turn for the worse—a new shopkeeper came into town and started making money. Shama complained that he let too many people buy on credit, reminding him that “ought oughts... (full context)
Gender and Family Theme Icon
Shama was a puzzle,” composed of various selves: the girl from Hanuman House but also “the... (full context)
Education, Work, and Language Theme Icon
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Shama’s sisters helped her make diapers out of Mr Biswas’s floursacks and brought her to Hanuman... (full context)
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Education, Work, and Language Theme Icon
Colonialism, Oppression, and Escape Theme Icon
...certificate, Mr Biswas wrote, “Real calling name: Lakshmi. Signed by Mohun Biswas, father.” He and Shama both felt like he violated the sanctity of a government document. He complained that Seth... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
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After three lonely weeks, Shama and Savi returned; Mr Biswas delightedly resumed living “without having to assert his rights or... (full context)
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Education, Work, and Language Theme Icon
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...to tell Seebaran, who would have “a lot of work here.” He went to tell Shama, exclaiming, “you don’t know Seebaran?” before she revealed she heard his entire conversation with Moti.... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
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Shama mockingly suggested Mr Biswas “empty the drawer and run after” Moti, then left for the... (full context)
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
Colonialism, Oppression, and Escape Theme Icon
...hundred dollars for damages and a hundred for legal fees. Mr Biswas went to bring Shama back from Arwacas, but did not tell her about the debt—instead, he borrowed the needed... (full context)
Education, Work, and Language Theme Icon
...and “perfect flowers” on his shop’s wall and floor, and even “attempted a portrait of Shama” before she gave up on posing for him after he focused endlessly on her clothes... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
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...for weeks on end, like growing out his fingernails or picking at his face, whenever Shama had gone home. She had a son, whom Mr Biswas agreed to name Anand at... (full context)
Gender and Family Theme Icon
...multiplying, with new children born and the family of a recently deceased son-in-law moving in. Shama complained about their lack of manners and tendency to “theft and obscene practices,” but was... (full context)
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...governed not by chaos but by a strict hierarchy: Padma ruled above Chinta, who superseded Shama, Savi, and then himself at the bottom. He realized that the adults valued the children... (full context)
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...House and, in time, he again grew resentful of the Tulsis. He began to blame Shama for his sense that The Chase was a temporary home; Hanuman House would always be... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
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Eventually, Shama declared her intention to give up The Chase and go back to Hanuman House, which... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
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...that she had not seen her father “for a long time,” as well as that Shama had a new baby and reported that Mr Biswas beat her. (full context)
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Shama was busy massaging her new daughter, Myna, upstairs on the bridge and barely acknowledged Mr... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
...past the children, including Savi, playing their new card and board games on the verandah. Shama said that Mrs Tulsi was sick, gave Mr Biswas cold leftovers, and asked whether he... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
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...their children for school, and Mr Biswas suddenly realized that Savi had started going, too. Shama made Savi tie her shoes and Mr Biswas offered to help, but Savi needed to... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
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Mr Biswas ate breakfast before Shama took him upstairs to see Mrs Tulsi, who was “barely recognizable” laying in her forehead... (full context)
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Mrs Tulsi and Shama both cried as Shama massaged her mother with more rum. Seth entered and asked Mrs... (full context)
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Colonialism, Oppression, and Escape Theme Icon
...in the fields” and proposed he work as an estate driver in Green Vale, which Shama begged him to try. Mr Biswas explained that he knew nothing about estate work while... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 5: Green Vale
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Mr Biswas’s family brought all their furniture: the safe, table, hatrack, bed, rocking chair, and Shama’s dressing table, in which Mr Biswas only had one drawer. The other drawers contained birth... (full context)
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Education, Work, and Language Theme Icon
Mr Biswas blamed Shama for throwing him into such physical and uncomfortable work, and the barracks’ filthy yard made... (full context)
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Shama did not like listening to him talk about the house and spent most of her... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
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...The sisters beat their children for playing with the dollhouse that was not theirs, and Shama told Savi to put it upstairs. She stared dreadfully at Mr Biswas, who said he... (full context)
Gender and Family Theme Icon
...The dollhouse was not only beaten up, but also completely disassembled, turned to firewood, by Shama. (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
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Mr Biswas called for Shama; the family retrieved his “frightened yet determined” wife before scattering upstairs. Shama confessed that she... (full context)
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Colonialism, Oppression, and Escape Theme Icon
That Saturday, Shama, Anand, and Myna came with Seth to fetch Savi. While doing his usual work with... (full context)
Colonialism, Oppression, and Escape Theme Icon
...Mr Biswas stayed in his rocking chair until dinnertime, when he became more jovial and Shama more morose while he ate at the table. Shama went to eat with the children... (full context)
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Shama told Mr Biswas that he does not understand: he simply walked into her family, paid... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Shama asked how Savi acted during her week at Green Vale and was delighted to hear... (full context)
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Shama revealed she was pregnant yet again, filling Mr Biswas with terror about the future as... (full context)
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Education, Work, and Language Theme Icon
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...Chinta and Mr Biswas argued—she wondered if he learned anything in school—until she complained to Shama, who failed to quell her husband’s temper. (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
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...to go to the “nasty, stinking” restroom at school. Everyone ridiculed him after school, and Shama beat him at home; but Mr Biswas recounted his troubles at Pundit Jairam’s house, and... (full context)
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...dollars seemed insufficient to pay two men working at least eight days. After they left, Shama came to see the house and confirm her fear that Mr Biswas spent all his... (full context)
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Anand, Savi, and Shama came on a lorry with the corrugated iron that weekend; none of the pieces fit... (full context)
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...his oil lamp on at night and worrying that someone might burn his house down; Shama and Seth said not to worry, but the house slowly “became greyer.” (full context)
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...blessed it.” In the next, from atop a hill, he saw a crying woman—who was “Shama, Anand, Savi, his mother [Bipti]”—seeking help but wanted her to go away. Tarzan was outside... (full context)
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Shama brought the children to Green Vale that Christmas; Mr Biswas dreaded their arrival, hoped that... (full context)
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...want to leave his room, became constipated, and could only relax in bed. He watched Shama “closely, with suspicion, hatred and nausea,” never speaking to her directly. (full context)
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One morning, Shama checked Mr Biswas for fever—he had none and hated that her hands smelled of vegetables.... (full context)
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Shama stood in front of the door; Mr Biswas opened the window, and he screamed and... (full context)
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...a box of crayons, Anand said he would stay, and then nothing more. Holding Myna, Shama walked to the road with Savi. Mr Biswas offered to give the crayons to Anand,... (full context)
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After Shama left, Mr Biswas reverted from fatigue to restlessness and turmoil. Anand spent one day in... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 6: A Departure
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...the flooded streets. The rain stopped and the town dried up in the mid-morning, and Shama proposed that they bring the furniture in Green Vale to Hanuman House. A trusted Catholic... (full context)
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...the rocking chair by fighting to pull one another off it, so she complained to Shama, who told her not to worry about it. A few of Mr Biswas’s painted placards... (full context)
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Shama gave birth that night, but Mr Biswas never recorded it in his Collins Clear-Type Shakespeare... (full context)
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Mr Biswas thought about going to meet Shama and her new baby but “his senses recoiled” at the idea, and he left as... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 1: “Amazing Scenes”
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...berated him with questions about his column. Returning “was better than he had imagined,” although Shama worried about his suit while he ate, and Hari barely acknowledged him when they passed... (full context)
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...about his column, and Anand replied, “nothing,” although Chinta thought he “look[ed] like a crook.” Shama came in with the new baby, asking it, “do you know that man?” Mr Biswas... (full context)
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...victory.” She did not mention his mysterious departure or his job; instead, she suggested that Shama and the children go to Port of Spain and live with her and Owad, or... (full context)
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...arguing when they tried to wake him up when he had requested, winning complaints from Shama but approval from Mrs Tulsi. He made Shama file his papers, and she insisted on... (full context)
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...never to tell her about the wife and children he already had. He forgot that Shama was filing these papers, too, and she often dropped his characters’ names into their arguments.... (full context)
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...to nest mice. He began to take pride in his expensive clothes and social status. Shama spent little on herself but much on wedding presents. She placed great value in weddings... (full context)
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...last weekend visit before Owad left, bringing gifts and seeming excited for his brother’s trip. Shama put monumental effort into preparing for this visit, the children were thrilled to eat whatever... (full context)
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...to read his story for the class; Mr Biswas became angry and beat him until Shama intervened, and Savi threatened to return to the Tulsis. At dinner, Anand pulled Mr Biswas’s... (full context)
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...departure, celebrating and throwing Mr Biswas’s position in the household into uncertainty. He complained to Shama, particularly about the visitors’ effect on his flowers, suggesting that they set up trip-wires but... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 2: The New Régime
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...house. He no longer had an audience to whom he could address his stories, and Shama seldom cared about his work. They heard that Hanuman House was falling into disarray, with... (full context)
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When Shama and the children went to Hanuman House for Christmas, they felt like “complete strangers.” The... (full context)
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...wages increases barely covered the difference, and food, in short supply, got worse. He and Shama started arguing, as much as they had at The Chase, and the city began to... (full context)
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...they returned weekend after weekend to their dull and gloomy lives in Port of Spain. Shama only went once, and she was morose there, feeling that Mr Biswas’s family did not... (full context)
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After the school term, the children were suddenly excited to go to Hanuman House. Shama sewed everyone new clothes, which never made it to a visit. Mr Biswas came home... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 3: The Shorthills Adventure
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...going elsewhere or returning, but Mr Biswas could not imagine them doing so. However, when Shama went to Hanuman House to report what Seth had done in Port of Spain, in... (full context)
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...the talk about horses and sheep, and his children were apprehensive about moving to Shorthills. Shama was incredibly morose about the whole conflict, defining their Christmas with her insistence on acting... (full context)
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Despite all Shama’s descriptions, the house still astonished Mr Biswas: it was a two-story construction partway up a... (full context)
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...tenements in Port of Spain and raising the rent on the house Mr Biswas and Shama were living in. Shorthills’s people were of mixed race, “a closed, distinctive community” that spoke... (full context)
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...Biswas moved to Shorthills, he felt there were more Tulsis than ever before. He and Shama moved into one of the six rooms upstairs, and across the hall lived a new... (full context)
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...and a tent for wedding guests was built on top, as “a whole wave of Shama’s nieces was to be married off.” Everyone immediately turned their attention to the seven weddings,... (full context)
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...cricket pavilion to build a shed for cows (including one owned, of all people, by Shama). Occupied entirely with beating these cows, he mostly withdrew from family life. Along with “the... (full context)
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...bridge across the gully that was now a gorge. But Mr Biswas could not convince Shama to move, even though she was alienated from her sisters. (full context)
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Shama did not want to move and hoped the house would not be finished—so did the... (full context)
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...terse letters from a George V. in England. He gazed out on the sunset; when Shama realized that he had looked through the door later, she announced that a thief had... (full context)
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...their ability to speak Hindi, they could barely communicate with her. To Mr Biswas’s surprise, Shama treated Bipti respectfully, and he never forgot the image of his mother helping to clear... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 4: Among the Readers and Learners
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...modernity,” filling his house with elegant furniture that inevitably caused more arguments still. One day, Shama ordered a glass cabinet that promptly broke on the front steps and “became another of... (full context)
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Shama revealed that the family was again unable to live off Mr Biswas’s salary, even though... (full context)
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One day, Shama woke Mr Biswas with the news that “some people” were visiting—he worried that they might... (full context)
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Shama and the children soon realized what Mr Biswas was up to, and they were often... (full context)
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...go to the theater after school instead of doing his homework and managed to convince Shama to give him the requisite change. (full context)
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...with their lone ticket. Mr Biswas went inside; Anand ran home and lay in bed, Shama yelled at him, and Mr Biswas inexplicably walked inside shortly after, writing in his Collins... (full context)
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Mr Biswas brought Shama and the children to Pratap’s house, where he was surprised at the huge crowd of... (full context)
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At home, Mr Biswas withdrew from his family and began writing incessantly. Shama tried to comfort him and finally learned he was writing to Doctor Rameshwar, who signed... (full context)
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Mr Biswas and Shama decided that, regardless of his examination results, Anand must go to college—for one, Vidiadhar was... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 5: The Void
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...might be something more than merely “days on which he did not go to work.” Shama agreed, and they began secretly preparing for the vacation—although the rest of the household quickly... (full context)
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From Miss Logie’s Buick, the familiar landscape of North Trinidad looked better than ever, and Shama chatted endlessly with Miss Logie in the front seat; Mr Biswas was astonished that his... (full context)
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...combed through listings and even went to an auction, to no avail, until one day Shama affirmed that Mrs Tulsi was kicking them out and would allow them to live in... (full context)
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...planning to come back to the house, and he eagerly agreed. This pleased him and Shama, although he was angry to have “fallen into Mrs Tulsi’s trap and shown himself grateful... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 6: The Revolution
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...lunch or visit the sea with the family, and his three sisters joined him briefly. Shama asked him to apologize but he refused, and then he walked downstairs, waited for Owad... (full context)
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...his evening walk and could not sleep because of the dining room light; he asked Shama and Anand to block it with cardboard, but they failed, and he grew furious—at which... (full context)
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...for holiday to Tobago. Mr Biswas was anxious and afraid; he felt especially bad for Shama, whom all the sisters blamed for his actions. At school, Anand quickly switched to deriding... (full context)
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The next evening, Mr Biswas awoke to Shama announcing a guest outside: it was “a respectably dressed Negro of the artisan class” who... (full context)
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Mr Biswas and Shama argued about the house and, although he began to worry, “he lacked the courage to... (full context)
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...Biswas could have rescinded his offer when the family visited the house that Friday, although Shama refused to get out of the car and was “overcome by anger and dread.” The... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 7: The House
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...and the lattice work was uneven and broken. Mr Biswas cursed the solicitor’s clerk as Shama suggested possible repairs. (full context)
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...the Biswases’ house and explained that their own house was old but “full of room.” Shama called her family’s new house “small and nice,” and W.C. Tuttle underhandedly replied that it... (full context)
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...Biswas to “mind your mouth!” and threatened to send him to jail. After he left, Shama brought a ruler and helped Mr Biswas measure the lot; in fact, their deed went... (full context)
Epilogue
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Mr Biswas soon began to realize Shama’s “great powers of judgment,” although she falsely predicted that the debt would take care of... (full context)
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One afternoon, Shama rushed to the Colonial Hospital to meet Mr Biswas, who had collapsed at work—not because... (full context)
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...with the headline “ROVING REPORTER PASSES ON,” but the Sentinel went with “JOURNALIST DIES SUDDENLY.” Shama’s sisters and other mourners flocked to the house on Sikkim Street, testing its limits but... (full context)