From the very beginning of the book it’s clear that the veranda is an important part of the Turners’ house, because it’s the place where Mary is murdered and where her body is left until Charlie, Sergeant Denham, and Tony move it inside. Verandas are porches attached to the main part of the house, and are thus liminal (in-between) spaces bridging the threshold of outside and inside. Indeed, outside and inside represent one of the key binaries around which the novel’s plot is structured (others include black/white, man/woman, and urban/rural). As a space that spans the threshold of inside and outside, the veranda symbolically undermines the seemingly rigid nature of these binaries. Moses’s act of murdering Mary on the veranda confirms the idea that the veranda is a place where strict binaries are disrupted. Whereas throughout most of the book, white characters maintain an absolute power over black people, in the final chapters this dynamic is reversed through Mary and Moses’s relationship—and the climax of this reversal comes in the form of Moses murdering Mary on the veranda.
It is also worth noting that verandas are a building feature closely associated with colonial architecture. The name “veranda” in fact derives from the Hindi word varanda, and verandas were commonly found in settler homes in places such as India, Australia, Brazil, and the colonial United States. Verandas were a way of blending the architectural style of the colonizers with that of the local culture, further evidence of the fact that verandas symbolically disrupt the binary between colonizer and colonized.