A House for Mr Biswas


V. S. Naipaul

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An important ancient Greek Stoic philosopher and slave who argued that people can live happily and more virtuously by limiting their investment in events over which they have no control and recognizing their responsibility over actions they do control. Mr Biswas reads his Discourses voraciously after receiving a copy from an estate owner’s wife who visits the Arwacas Aryan Association, but ironically never seems to implement his ideas.
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Epictetus Term Timeline in A House for Mr Biswas

The timeline below shows where the term Epictetus appears in A House for Mr Biswas. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 3: The Tulsis
Education, Work, and Language Theme Icon
Gender and Family Theme Icon
Colonialism, Oppression, and Escape Theme Icon
...Association meetings and invited a handful of Aryans to tea, giving them Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, Epictetus’s Discourses, and various “other booklets” before she left. These booklets soon littered the Tulsi house... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 1: “Amazing Scenes”
Independence vs. Belonging Theme Icon
Social Status and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Education, Work, and Language Theme Icon
...the authors he read. The editor smiled when he mentioned Samuel Smiles, Marcus Aurelius, and Epictetus, asking if he read them for pleasure, and Mr Biswas replied that he read them... (full context)