A House for Mr Biswas

Houses Symbol Icon

Mr Biswas’s quest for a house symbolizes his overwhelming desire to claim space for himself, organize that space himself, and determine his own life within that space. After his childhood home mysteriously disappears, Mr Biswas spends his life traveling from one temporary family residence to another, fueling his desire for a house of his own. However, nearly all the functional houses in the book are organized and run by women (especially the Tulsis’ Hanuman House in Arwacas). When men take charge of houses, they inevitably fall apart: Mr Biswas’s own houses at Green Vale and Shorthills get destroyed, and the larger estate at Shorthills ends up in shambles because the men of the house strip and sell its component parts for their own personal gain. At the end of the book, Mr Biswas finds immense comfort when he returns from the hospital to find that his wife Shama has put the house in order—his desire for independence through a house is unachievable in the sense that he never truly comes to, or ultimately wants to, truly dominate the domestic space.

In the novel, houses also symbolize class status and financial standing. Mr Biswas continuously notes the shortcomings and furnishings of the places he visits, and his interest in the sturdiness and intricacy of others’ houses and furniture therefore reflects his attention to how the quality of a living space expresses the class status of its inhabitants. When Mr Biswas finally gets a house at the end of the book, it seems to indicate his financial independence and elevated class status. Ironically, he loans thousands of dollars to pay for it and dies with a debt seemingly greater than all the money he had ever saved his entire life. Of course, this house is not truly worth the money, but rather a cheap imitation of what a well-built and functional house should look like—Mr Biswas can only achieve a hollow, false version of what he wanted, yet somehow this is enough for him; the poverty and financial dependence on his uncle Ajodha that he takes on to obtain the house belie the appearances of class status and financial independence that it represents.

Finally, houses also symbolize the onerous project of independence in formerly colonized territories; as Trinidad’s people won sovereignty over their land in the years around this book’s publication, they were tasked with forging a new national identity based on the territory to which most were shipped as laborers. Mr Biswas’s sense of alienation from his many homes and partially-fulfilled desire to truly belong in a house of his own represent colonized people’s struggle to translate places and systems of oppression—the plantation, the institutions of colonial government, the local economy—into places of proud belonging and systems that benefit the population as a whole.

Houses Quotes in A House for Mr Biswas

The A House for Mr Biswas quotes below all refer to the symbol of Houses. 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 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 1, Chapter 5 Quotes

There was no need to ask where Jagdat was going. He was going to his family. He too, then, lived a divided life.

Related Characters: Mr Biswas, Tara, Ajodha, Jagdat, Rabidat
Related Symbols: Houses
Page Number: 241
Explanation and Analysis:
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Part 2, Chapter 2 Quotes

Mr Biswas had never thought of Tulsi property as belonging to any particular person. Everything, the land at Green Vale, the shop at The Chase, belonged simply to the House. But the lorries were Seth’s.

Related Characters: Mr Biswas, Mrs Tulsi, Seth
Related Symbols: Houses
Page Number: 374
Explanation and Analysis:
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Part 2, Chapter 3 Quotes

He had found a site such as he always wanted, isolated, unused, and full of possibilities. It was some way from the estate house, on a low hill buried in bush and well back from the road. The house was begun and, unblessed, completed in less than a month.

Related Characters: Mr Biswas
Related Symbols: Houses
Page Number: 406-7
Explanation and Analysis:
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Part 2, Chapter 5 Quotes

[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:
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Part 2, Chapter 6 Quotes

“Communism, like charity, should begin at home.”

Related Characters: Mr Biswas (speaker), Anand, Mrs Tulsi, Owad
Related Symbols: Houses
Page Number: 533
Explanation and Analysis:
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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:
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Houses Symbol Timeline in A House for Mr Biswas

The timeline below shows where the symbol Houses appears in A House for Mr Biswas. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Prologue
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Education, Work, and Language Theme Icon
The novel begins: Ten weeks before he died, Mr Mohun Biswas, a journalist of Sikkim Street,... (full context)
Gender and Family Theme Icon
Mr Biswass wife, Shama, would have previously asked her family, the Tulsis, for help. Instead, she... (full context)
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He was more proud of his house, despite its mortgage. He especially appreciated the audacity of... (full context)
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The design was shoddydoors were missing, only the kitchen and bathroom were cool enough for comfort... (full context)
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The solicitors clerk lived in each house with his mother while he began to build the... (full context)
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Indeed, the Tulsis gossiped to no end about Mr Biswass plans. Shamas niece Sunti didnt hide... (full context)
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As soon as they bought the house, Mr Biswas and his family began to see its... (full context)
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The first time Mr Biswas returned from the hospital, the house was put in order for... (full context)
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One thing that surprised Mr Biswas was the kitchen safe, which he bought unfinished after his... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 1: Pastoral
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Mr Biswass parents had another quarrel just before his birth, leading his mother, Bipti, to take... (full context)
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A pundit (later revealed as Pundit Sitaram) came the next day to explain that Mr Biswas... (full context)
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Pundit Sitaram recommended a name starting with Mo, and Bipti could only think of hun, so... (full context)
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On his ninth day of life, Mr Biswass sixth finger simply fell off in bed; Bipti... (full context)
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Bissoondaye began making coconut oil, which was ready when Raghu came back on the twenty-first day,... (full context)
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One morning, Raghu heard Mr Biswas sneeze from the road, and Bipti had to convince him... (full context)
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Raghu picked up his paychecks on Saturday, as the Indian clerk shouted out amounts that the... (full context)
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Mr Biswas grew, and his limbs became dusty and muddy and unwashed, covered in eczema and... (full context)
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Later, Mr Biswas would have begun working on the cane fields (but would never have advanced... (full context)
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When his neighbor Dharis cow birthed a calf, he paid Mr Biswas to bring it water.... (full context)
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From the bushes, Mr Biswas watched his parents send a reluctant Prasad to fetch firewood. Mr... (full context)
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A crowd of neighbors congregated; some exclaimed that they had seen Mr Biswas bring the calf... (full context)
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Mr Biswas listened to this uproar at first with pleasure, then with apprehension. He heard his... (full context)
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The villagers congregated around the unassuming pond as Raghu went diving after his son, convinced that... (full context)
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Bipti began sending the villagers with messages, most importantly to her childless sister Tara, a person... (full context)
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At the funeral, Mr Biswas earned the attendees honour and sympathy, but also a little dread.... (full context)
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Mr Biswas first saw the photograph in 1937, hung on the wall in Taras drawingroom amidst... (full context)
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Tara rightly anticipated that the photograph would be a record of the family all together for... (full context)
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Unable to cook, the family began to eat with Sadhu; Mr Biswas thought his unsalted food... (full context)
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Pratap and Prasad woke before dawn, remained silent about Dharis meddling in the garden and went... (full context)
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At night, Bipti, Pratap and Prasad waited with Raghus cutlasses and sticksMr Biswas again drifted off... (full context)
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In the end Bipti sold the hut and the land to Dhari before moving with Mr... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 2: Before the Tulsis
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After leaving home, Mr Biswas could not say where his house was or whether anyone found... (full context)
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Tara took Bipti to the decrepit office of an uncouth solicitor named F.Z. Ghany, who handled... (full context)
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At school, the children chanted multiplication tables, which Lal found delightfulhe appreciated their thoroughness, discipline, and... (full context)
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From Lal, Mr Biswas also learned about poems and prayers, geology and desert oases. But he... (full context)
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Alec and Mr Biswas were inseparable; they smoked cigarettes for the first time and traded their... (full context)
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In their six years of friendship, Mr Biswas and Alec learned next to nothing about one... (full context)
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Ajodha, Taras thin and cold husband, made Mr Biswas uncomfortable. Ajodha liked when others read to... (full context)
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Bipti worried that none of her children had married, and Tara nevertheless decided to pull Mr... (full context)
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One day, Pundit Jairam received a large bunch of bananas as a gift, and as they... (full context)
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At breakfast, Pundit Jairam gave his plate to Mr Biswas and told him to eat. Mr... (full context)
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One night, Mr Biswas was afraid to go to the latrine in the dark and risk... (full context)
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Bipti was alarmed, not excited, to see Mr Biswas upon his return. She questioned him in... (full context)
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Bipti was also irritated because she was forced to defend Dehuti, who eloped with the yard... (full context)
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Alec had begun working in Ajodhas garage, doing mysterious greasy things. Mr Biswas went to Ajodhas... (full context)
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Mr Biswas lived with Bhandats family, sleeping with his two sons on a floor mattress in... (full context)
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Ajodha encouraged him to convince Bhandats boys to read The Book of Comprehensive Knowledge, but they... (full context)
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One weekend, after one of Ajodhas relatives died, Bhandats family went with Ajodha and Tara to... (full context)
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When Mr Biswas returned home, Bipti massaged him with oil for the first time since he... (full context)
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Mr Biswas began looking for a job on Monday morning, walking up and down the main... (full context)
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Energized with rage, Mr Biswas marched down the main road for miles, till he had long... (full context)
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In fact, Dehuti barely spoke or interacted with either of them; she brought out her baby... (full context)
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Ramchand felt sorry for Ajodha (who was just asking to fall really sick), Pratap (whose donkeys... (full context)
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Mr Biswass stomach began to swell, preventing him from eating despite his hunger, because their happiness,... (full context)
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Alec returned to Pagotes, now covered in paint instead of grease. Mr Biswas watched him paint... (full context)
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Soon, Mr Biswas returned to Taras house, but was disappointed to discover that one of Bhandats... (full context)
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Sign-painting was satisfying but inconsistent; Alec traveled around looking for work, and Mr Biswas spent much... (full context)
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Bipti also promised to marry off the reluctant Mr Biswas, which would complete her lifes work.... (full context)
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Alec and Bhandats boys sometimes came and took Mr Biswas to certain houses which terrified, then... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 3: The Tulsis
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Hanuman House stood like an alien white fortress in Arwacas, with the Tulsi Store downstairs and... (full context)
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An intimidating Tulsi named Seth hired Mr Biswas at a paltry rate to paint some signs... (full context)
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The next day, when the Tulsi Store closed down for lunch, Mr Biswas slipped a note... (full context)
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As Mrs Tulsi stood behind the desk, right next to the noteI love you and I... (full context)
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Seth led Mr Biswas out the back door to a damp, gloomy courtyard and left him... (full context)
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Mrs Tulsi sauntered down the stairs, holding the note. Mr Biswas denied writing it but Mrs... (full context)
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Seth suggested that he might know Mr Biswass family and asked who his father wasMr Biswas... (full context)
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Mrs Tulsi asked Mr Biswas whether he liked the child and he affirmed that he did.... (full context)
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With the children running about, Mr Biswas felt trapped, for the world was too small, the... (full context)
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Mr Biswass route home passed ambitious, incomplete, unpainted, often skeletal wooden houses that deteriorated as their... (full context)
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In the morning, feeling that all was normal, Mr Biswas returned to work at the Tulsi... (full context)
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Their familys sudden poverty was no big deal, affirmed Mrs Tulsi, for they did not much... (full context)
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When Mr Biswas left Hanuman House, he realized that marriage would create enormous problems for him:... (full context)
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After the marriage ceremony, Mr Biswas moved with Shama into an upstairs room in Hanuman House... (full context)
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The Tulsis had a servant whom everyone called Miss Blackie (except Mrs Tulsi), but the daughters... (full context)
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After finishing the signs in the Tulsi Store, as Shama began to cry about being neglected... (full context)
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After hiding at home for two days, Mr Biswas visited Taras house in search of emotional... (full context)
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Tara insisted on going to Hanuman House and soon returned with the news that he would... (full context)
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Noticing his apprehension, Tara asked Mr Biswas whether he was afraid of them already, like every... (full context)
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Surprised that Mr Biswas had returned so fast, Shama asked whether he was tired catching crab... (full context)
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Nobody mentioned the store in The Chase, so Mr Biswas continued his sign-writing as best he... (full context)
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The nosy children slept in the Book Room, on the verandah, and on the bridge that... (full context)
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Mr Biswas always stayed in his small corner of the long room; Shama even brought his... (full context)
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After a few weeks, Mr Biswas grew tired of hating everyone in the house and decided... (full context)
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One day, Shama reported that Seth wanted to talk to Mr Biswas, who refused to go... (full context)
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Seth asked Mr Biswas to work on the fieldshis literacy was no excuse, for Seth and... (full context)
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Mr Biswas packed his things as he argued with Shama and finally asked her to tell... (full context)
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Mr Biswas realized that, for the first time, he had a true enemyand so he decided... (full context)
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Mr Biswas started to seek out friendships with his other brothers-in-law. First was the pale and... (full context)
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The Aryans were Hindu missionaries from India who protested the orthodox tenets of their religion: they... (full context)
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Indeed, Mr Biswas was almost an Aryan convert because of his conversations with Misir, who told... (full context)
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Upon returning home, Mr Biswas mocked Shama for what Pankaj Rai would do to her high-caste... (full context)
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Although Mr Biswas intended to address Hari respectfully and expected that his brother-in-law would welcome disputation,... (full context)
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After a week or so, Seth asked Mr Biswas about Pankaj Rai in the hall and... (full context)
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Mr Biswas shouted Hello, pundit! to Hari on the verandah as he passed to the Book... (full context)
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Instead of his brothers-in-law, Mr Biswas decided to hang around the Aryans, who were now led... (full context)
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The newspaper notice mentioned Mr Biswass name, and Shama insisted that he talk to Seth, who... (full context)
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Soon, Mrs Weir, a sugar estate owners wife who took a particular interest in Hinduism, began... (full context)
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Mrs Tulsi fainted frequently, and her children had a complex protocol to get her to her... (full context)
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Mr Biswas refused to wait downstairs, as was expected, and nobody would talk to him in... (full context)
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Shama cried out and Owads eyes welled up with tears of anger; even the Catholic Miss... (full context)
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Mr Biswas sang an old song from school upstairs, then left Hanuman House. All day, his... (full context)
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Shama brought Mr Biswass food upstairs, and he complained again about those blasted brass plates and... (full context)
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After a commotion downstairs, Govind came upstairs and attacked Mr Biswas, who allowed himself to be... (full context)
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Everyone but Shama and Mr Biswas left, and as dinner began downstairs, Mr Biswas noticed a... (full context)
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Alone, Mr Biswas kicked the lotus pattern on the wall and then his books, felt his... (full context)
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The oysterman drunkenly told a disjointed story about his son shooting a tin can before waving... (full context)
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The next morning, Seth kicked Mr Biswas out of the house. He went to the shop... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 4: The Chase
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The Chase was a remote village of sugarcane workers with only two rumshops and a handful... (full context)
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The move out of Hanuman House was easy for Mr Biswas but arduous for Shama, who... (full context)
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Shama began crying loudly, complaining of her shame and lamenting that Mr Biswass desire to paddle... (full context)
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The previous owner left behind an iron bed that smelled of bedbugs (which never died out... (full context)
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Mr Biswas set his mind to selling goods, and the ease of doing so astonished him,... (full context)
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One day, Shama proposed a house-blessing ceremony and Mr Biswas flew into a rage. She sighed,... (full context)
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After three days, Mr Biswas finally pointed out Shamas naggingmostly, she sighed and blew her nose... (full context)
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Mr Biswas felt like a stranger in his own yard, with the Tulsis even ignoring the... (full context)
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Since her familys arrival, Shama had become a Tulsi and a stranger again. The ceremony was... (full context)
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Mr Biswas followed outside to set the record straight as Hari droned imperturbably on with the... (full context)
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A swarm of uninvited guests from the village lined up outside Mr Biswass shop, seeking the... (full context)
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Mr Biswas went inside and lay down on his bed, resuscitating his old romantic fantasies of... (full context)
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After the house-blessing ceremony, Mr Biswass business took a turn for the worsea new shopkeeper came... (full context)
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Shama was a puzzle, composed of various selves: the girl from Hanuman House but also the... (full context)
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Shamas sisters helped her make diapers out of Mr Biswass floursacks and brought her to Hanuman... (full context)
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In fact, the baby was a girl, healthy and already named Savi when Mr Biswas reached... (full context)
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Atop the birth certificate, Mr Biswas wrote, Real calling name: Lakshmi. Signed by Mohun Biswas, father.... (full context)
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Mr Biswas passed the drawing room, the wooden bridge, and the old verandah on his way... (full context)
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Seth came inside and implored Mr Biswas to start acting responsibly; in response, Mr Biswas asked... (full context)
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Mr Biswas went to visit Misir, who had sent his family to his mother-in-law and begun... (full context)
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After three lonely weeks, Shama and Savi returned; Mr Biswas delightedly resumed living without having to... (full context)
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One evening six months later, a small worried-looking man named Moti came to Mr Biswass store... (full context)
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Moti asked to look through Mr Biswass accounts, began leafing through his papers, and suggested that... (full context)
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Mungroo was a champion stick-fighter who organized the villages young men in a fighting band in... (full context)
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Mungroo was actually a roadmender but did not like to work, preferring to extort money out... (full context)
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Moti soon came by with papers from Seebaran, full of dotted lines to sign, which cryptically... (full context)
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Shama mockingly suggested Mr Biswas empty the drawer and run after Moti, then left for the... (full context)
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Mungroo called Mr Biswas outside, where he stood leading a crowd of villagers with papers. Confident... (full context)
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Moti visited after a week to go over the people who had and would pay. But... (full context)
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In fact, Seebaran and Mungroos lawyer already decided on a hundred dollars for damages and a... (full context)
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The six years Mr Biswas lived at The Chase were boring, unnecessary, and monotonous. He aged,... (full context)
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Another comfort was painting. He made cool, ordered forest scenes and perfect flowers on his shops... (full context)
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Mr Biswas also read and tried to write stories, but lacked Misirs tragic vision and gave... (full context)
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The Tulsis kept multiplying, with new children born and the family of a recently deceased son-in-law... (full context)
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Because he continued to think he was only living at The Chase temporarily, Mr Biswas never... (full context)
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Mr Biswas began to see that Hanuman House was governed not by chaos but by a... (full context)
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Mr Biswas started to go back for these ceremonies the day before and fantasize about finding... (full context)
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This sense of utter desolation often came to Mr Biswas before the ceremonies at Hanuman House... (full context)
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Eventually, Shama declared her intention to give up The Chase and go back to Hanuman House,... (full context)
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Mr Biswas cycled to Arwacas, sitting upright and belching to relieve his indigestion, dodging policeman because... (full context)
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Shama was busy massaging her new daughter, Myna, upstairs on the bridge and barely acknowledged Mr... (full context)
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Myna slept, and her parents walked past the children, including Savi, playing their new card and... (full context)
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In the morning, the mothers were preparing their children for school, and Mr Biswas suddenly realized... (full context)
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Mr Biswas ate breakfast before Shama took him upstairs to see Mrs Tulsi, who was barely... (full context)
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Mrs Tulsi and Shama both cried as Shama massaged her mother with more rum. Seth entered... (full context)
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Mr Biswas told Seth that the store was on a bad site and explained that his... (full context)
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Mr Biswas asked whether he would be in charge of this insuranburning, leading everyone to laugh.... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 5: Green Vale
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Mr Biswas never forgot the huge trees in Green Vale, which hid the estate from the... (full context)
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Mr Biswass family brought all their furniture: the safe, table, hatrack, bed, rocking chair, and Shamas... (full context)
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Mr Biswas was employed as a driver, or sub-overseer, for 25 dollars each month, twice the... (full context)
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But during the week, knowing that Mr Biswas was new to the job, the laborers easily... (full context)
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Mr Biswas blamed Shama for throwing him into such physical and uncomfortable work, and the barracks... (full context)
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The following Saturday, Seth told Mr Biswas that the shop in The Chase insuranburn now, giving... (full context)
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Shama did not like listening to him talk about the house and spent most of her... (full context)
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As Christmas approached and Mr Biswass old, jovial signs hung around the area, Savi wondered whether... (full context)
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In Green Vale, there were no Christmas celebrations whatsoever, besides eating and drinking and the unfortunate... (full context)
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The dollhouse was better furnished than any house Mr Biswas had ever lived in, but he... (full context)
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Mr Biswas already felt disappointed in Anand, who was small, shy, and anxious around his father.... (full context)
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Mr Biswas called for Shama; the family retrieved his frightened yet determined wife before scattering upstairs.... (full context)
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Mr Biswas began to cycle toward Green Vale, with Savi balanced on the crossbar, until a... (full context)
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That Saturday, Shama, Anand, and Myna came with Seth to fetch Savi. While doing his usual... (full context)
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Seth came back, remarked that Mr Biswas had a case, and declared that he would take... (full context)
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Shama told Mr Biswas that he does not understand: he simply walked into her family, paid... (full context)
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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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When Seth decided to take back twenty acres of land that he had been renting to... (full context)
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Mr Biswas began locking himself in his room at nights, doing everything he could to destroy... (full context)
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At Hanuman House, a handful of the children married and moved out, including Shekhar, whose matching... (full context)
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One day, Mr Biswas found Anand kneeling in a corner of a room because, as Savi... (full context)
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Outside, Anand loitered next to Mr Biswass bicycle, saying nothing. Mr Biswas, irritated by his shyness... (full context)
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The same week, Mr Biswas determined that he needed to begin working toward his house; otherwise,... (full context)
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Mr Maclean simply asked Mr Biswas if he wanted a house. Mr Biswas affirmed that he... (full context)
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A few days later, Mr Maclean came to see the proposed site and was surprised to... (full context)
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Mr Biswas did not want to borrow money from Seth, Mrs Tulsi, or Misir, so he... (full context)
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Taras yard looked the same as ever, and although Ajodha was definitely busy milking the cows... (full context)
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Sitting on the verandah, Tara asked Mr Biswas to stay around for dinner and to talk... (full context)
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Rabidat, the younger of Bhandats sons, walked in; like his brother, Jagdat, he was living with... (full context)
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Ajodha walked onto the verandah, briefly exchanged words about a lorry with Rabidat, and then began... (full context)
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Mr Biswas resumed talking about his steady job and future house, but Ajodha began talking about... (full context)
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Tara and Ajodha continued asking Mr Biswas about the house, but Bhandats older son, Jagdat, soon... (full context)
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As Mr Biswas went to catch the bus on the main road, Jagdat tapped him on... (full context)
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Jagdat explains that Ajodha might help with vitamins but never with moneyhe barely paid his gardener... (full context)
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Mr Maclean came by the barracks in the morning, explaining that he was ready to begin... (full context)
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After work, Mr Biswas returned to the site to find Edgar digging holes for the pillars... (full context)
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The next day, Mr Maclean had another frame completed. Their costs puzzled Mr Biswas: their materials... (full context)
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The next morning, a constipatedly apathetic Hari came to bless the house, whining his way through... (full context)
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Mr Biswas would go and look at the houses skeleton every day, glad that it was... (full context)
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When he returned to Green Vale, Mr Biswas encountered Mr Maclean, who promised that the iron... (full context)
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Anand, Savi, and Shama came on a lorry with the corrugated iron that weekend; none of... (full context)
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Mr Maclean started working, and Edgar was never to be seen again. Although the branches reminded... (full context)
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Mr Biswas also started getting threats from the dispossessed workers and started sleeping with a sword... (full context)
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Mr Biswas kept painting placards and started buying up cheap novels, but he could not bear... (full context)
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One evening, tired of seeing everything as temporary, Mr Biswas decided to treat all his time... (full context)
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It was people that Mr Biswas feared, the people who filled every corner of the world,... (full context)
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In the morning, Mr Biswas soon remembered his fear and decided that it must not have... (full context)
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The next day, Mr Biswas found a momentary respite from his despair as he started each... (full context)
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Mr Biswas was powerless to stop his questioning; even the newspapers made him afraid. Eventually, he... (full context)
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Mr Biswas thought that, if he repeated the night before, he might banish his unhappiness. So... (full context)
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Mr Biswas looked for signs that his sudden corruption might dissipateperhaps his bedsheets were not scattered... (full context)
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Visiting one Mr Biswas Saturday, Seth asked what was wrong. Later, Mr Maclean called to say... (full context)
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Mr Biswas awoke from his dreams throughout the night. In the first, black threads chased him... (full context)
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A few nights later, Mr Biswas awoke to the watchman reporting that they set fire to... (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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Mr Biswas barely left bed the next day, wanting to do nothing and feigning malaria. All... (full context)
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One morning, Shama checked Mr Biswas for feverhe had none and hated that her hands smelled... (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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As his family packed, for some reason, Mr Biswas insisted that Anand stay. Anand pet Tarzan... (full context)
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After Shama left, Mr Biswas reverted from fatigue to restlessness and turmoil. Anand spent one day... (full context)
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For many reasons, Mr Biswas left the barracks for his houses lone finished room. He hated... (full context)
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Mr Biswas dreamed frequently of the asphalt snakes, and he jumped screaming from his bed one... (full context)
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One afternoon, two men approached Anand in the yard and brought him with them to the... (full context)
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One morning, Anand got upearlier than Mr Biswas, as usualand, with a blank expression and quivering... (full context)
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Mr Biswas buried Tarzan in the yard. The sky darkened, with thunderstorms looming by four in... (full context)
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The real rain followed a roaring wind and struck the leaky roof so loudly that Mr... (full context)
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The rain suddenly lightened, and Mr Biswas repeated Rama Rama Sita Rama in bed. A fresh... (full context)
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The heavy rain returned, and Anand started killing the ants with the walking-stick until one bit... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 6: A Departure
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A messenger brought the news of the calamitous rains to Hanuman House that same evening. The... (full context)
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The men returned with Anand sad and sleepy and Mr Biswas in Govinds arms, deeply exasperated... (full context)
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The next morning, it was still raining and dark, and the children were excited to stay... (full context)
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The Tulsis hung the aloe and black doll, and then moved in Mr Biswass still-soaked furniture.... (full context)
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As he slept and woke and slept again in darkness, Mr Biswas found comfort in the... (full context)
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Pratap and Prasad visited Hanuman House, treating the children kindly but underestimating their number and chatting... (full context)
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Later that night, Seth visited Mr Biswas, who neither wanted to nor even could return to... (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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Feeling safe and even a little adventurous, Mr Biswas left the Blue Room and found Hari... (full context)
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Slowly, Mr Biswas spent his remaining money on Ovaltine; soon, he had to vacate the Blue... (full context)
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Mr Biswas thought about going to meet Shama and her new baby but his senses recoiled... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 1: “Amazing Scenes”
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Mr Biswas ended up in Port of Spain entirely by accident; after leaving Hanuman House in... (full context)
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During the whole ride, Mr Biswas thought about getting off and turning south, but it would... (full context)
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Mr Biswas disembarked and enjoyed a day of freedom paralleled only by the one he spent... (full context)
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At four, when businesses closed for the day, Mr Biswas headed for Ramchands address, which disappointingly... (full context)
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Ramchand said that Mr Biswas could stay here and rest as long as you want, listening... (full context)
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Mr Biswas shared one of Dehuti and Ramchands two rooms with their son. The houses interior... (full context)
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Mr Biswas was enamored with the organization of the city, its street-sweeping and newspaper deliveries, the... (full context)
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Mr Biswas also enjoyed Ramchands city manners and let his brother-in-law patronize him, which he had... (full context)
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After two weeks, Ramchand told Mr Biswas not to worry about finding a job, but he... (full context)
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Soon, Mr Biswass spasms of fear returned, he found his nails all bitten down, and his... (full context)
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Mr Biswas thought about literature and abruptly decided to leave, told the receptionist he felt better... (full context)
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Walking south, through a more built-up area and toward the sea, Mr Biswas came to the... (full context)
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Mr Biswas started reading the posted government notices and an elderly Negro, respectably dressed, called for... (full context)
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Having returned to his old disposition from Green Vale, Mr Biswas realized that he did not... (full context)
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The receptionist brought Mr Biswas to the editors cubicle. The editor (later revealed as Mr Burnett)... (full context)
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The editor (Mr Burnett) asked how old Mr Biswas wasthirty-oneand what his profession wassign-painter. He walked... (full context)
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Mr Biswas worked enthusiastically, overusing his extravagant vocabulary at first, until Mr Burnett made him read... (full context)
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The next day, Mr Biswas offered Mr Burnett a made-up story: FOUR CHILDREN ROASTED IN HUT... (full context)
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Mr Biswas never got over the excitement of seeing his words appear in print the morning... (full context)
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Mr Biswass story, which chilled Mr Burnett, was headlined DADDY COMES HOME IN A COFFIN and... (full context)
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Ramchand helped Mr Biswas reconcile with the Tulsis; his name was in the paper every day,... (full context)
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Soon thereafter, Mr Biswas visited Arwacas, marching into Hanuman House to a grand welcome: You are... (full context)
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Mr Biswas went to the book room, where Anand joined him. He asked what the adults... (full context)
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Later, Mr Biswas met with Mrs Tulsi in Port of Spain, leading him to feel as... (full context)
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Mr Biswas felt the offer was stupendous: a house, no less. But he complained about how... (full context)
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The furniture moved yet again, finding ample space in its new home. Anand and Savi were... (full context)
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Mr Biswas seldom fought with Mrs Tulsi and Owad, and actually became friends with the latter,... (full context)
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However, Mr Biswas soon set about establishing his tyrannies, ordering his children to fetch him things... (full context)
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Mr Biswas developed his professional skills, learning shorthand and reading extensively about newspaper management and writing... (full context)
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Mr Biswas tried writing stories but never managed to finish theminvariably, they told of an older... (full context)
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Mr Biswas planted a garden and bought an expensive combined bookcase and desk, which he stuffed... (full context)
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Mrs Tulsi elected to send Owad to medical school in England, which devastated a jealous Mr... (full context)
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They went for a swim in the harbor and, joking around, Mr Biswas told Anand to... (full context)
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At work on Monday, Mr Biswas published a complaint about the need for warnings at the... (full context)
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Tulsis flooded the house during the week before Owads departure, celebrating and throwing Mr Biswass position... (full context)
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They took photographs, and Seth came on the last day of the festivities to impose his... (full context)
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Owad kissed the entire family goodbye; when it was his turn, Mr Biswas said, I hope... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 2: The New Régime
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With Owad gone, Mrs Tulsi moved back to Arwacas; Mr Biswas fixed up his garden and... (full context)
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When Shama and the children went to Hanuman House for Christmas, they felt like complete strangers.... (full context)
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The Sentinel had gone from Port of Spains third most popular newspaper to the second, after... (full context)
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Soon thereafter, the new régime started at the Sentinel. Facts and seriousness took precedence, and Mr... (full context)
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Mr Biswas had to report the scores of a series of cricket matches, which he did... (full context)
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Soon, Mr Biswas was assigned to write weekly featuresserious ones, in which he had to look... (full context)
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The garden began to deteriorate and prices began to rise because of the war; Mr Biswass... (full context)
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One day, Anand came into Mr Biswass room and stuttered his way through a story: Once... (full context)
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Mr Biswas started taking the kids to Tara and Ajodhas beautiful new house, but they returned... (full context)
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Anand was miserable during the week, occupied with tedious memorization for the exhibition class, where no... (full context)
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Near the end of the year, Mr Biswas received a letter from Mr Burnett, in Chicago,... (full context)
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After the school term, the children were suddenly excited to go to Hanuman House. Shama sewed... (full context)
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In fact, Seth owned the house, and after he and Mr Biswas exchanged some more insults,... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 3: The Shorthills Adventure
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The Tulsis never thought of themselves as settled in Trinidad, which was merely a stage in... (full context)
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People talked most of all about the new estate: its glorious house, facilities, trees, and surroundings.... (full context)
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Mrs Tulsi was much better, no longer sick and now engrossed in her task of coordinating... (full context)
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Despite all Shamas descriptions, the house still astonished Mr Biswas: it was a two-story construction partway... (full context)
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The Tulsis moved out of Arwacas, renting out their land and store, selling one of their... (full context)
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When Mr Biswas moved to Shorthills, he felt there were more Tulsis than ever before. He... (full context)
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Waiting for the promised fixes and improvements to the house, everybody started dismantling trees and building... (full context)
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Soon, the pool was filled in, and a tent for wedding guests was built on top,... (full context)
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Scraggy, bare, bewildered sheep wandered onto the estate, which became increasingly overgrown and began to look... (full context)
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The man Mr Biswas now thought of as W.C. Tuttle cut open a pumpkin, dismantled the... (full context)
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W.C. Tuttles next project was buying a lorry and hiring it to the American army, which... (full context)
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Despite this all, Mr Biswas remained detached, happy that he was paying nothing for rent or... (full context)
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Finally, the villagers decided to fight the Tulsis, filling up the morning bus to Port of... (full context)
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Mostly, the children just walked in the direction of Shorthills, singing songs at Mrs Tulsis suggestion,... (full context)
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Anand disliked his weak sisters. Myna had a bad bladder, and the young Kamla started sleepwalking.... (full context)
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But first, a number of deaths occurred. First was Sharma, the son-in-law who drove the kids... (full context)
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When the women returned from Arwacas, they revealed that Seths new property was an enormous grocery... (full context)
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Govind and W.C. Tuttle pursued other business opportunities: taxi-driving and opening a quarry, respectively. The widows... (full context)
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Mrs Tulsi coordinated the manufacture of various products, from cups and plates to mattresses and cushions.... (full context)
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Later, Chinta declared that eighty dollars were missing from her room, and both the theft and... (full context)
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Mr Biswas found a spot that was isolated, unused and full of possibilities, hidden behind a... (full context)
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Shama did not want to move and hoped the house would not be finishedso did the... (full context)
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One night, Anand discovered Savis birth certificatelisting her