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The Analysis of the Narratology Experience in Naipaul’s a House for Mr Biswas

Author ZhangPing
Tutor QiYuLong
School Northeast Forestry University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords A House for Mr Biswas classical narratology theory functional level actionlevel narrative level
CLC I561.074
Type Master's thesis
Year 2013
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Naipaul, as his novels deeply reflecting the marginal condition of post-colonial people, becomes the focus of attention in the critics. His works are not only deep in the themes but also unique in the narrative form. By analyzing Naipaul’s utilization of narrative method, we can find the features of his novels’art of narration, and sum up his inheritance and development on the traditional novel’s art of narration. And then, we can explore the reason of how the unique art of narration takes place.A House for Mr Biswas is one of Naipaul’s extraordinary novels. As far as the content, structure and narrative method are concerned, the novel is an excellent work, which is a story that happened in post colonial country-Trinidad. The novel makes an epic description about Mr Biswas’s life, Tulsi family’s rise and decline, and the social reality of Trinidad. The paper utilizes the classical narratological theory of Roland Barthes, from three levels, to carry out a thorough analysis towards the hero’s bitter and adrift life, varied narrative components in the novel and environmental effect, and deeply discuss and expose the cause of miserable fate of Mr Biswas. Meanwhile, by the analysis of A House for Mr Biswas, we may also find Naipaul’s special emotion and narrative method.The paper is composed of seven parts. The first part is an introduction that shows the author’s life experiences, the main content of the work, and the literature review. In the second part, the paper generally introduces the classical and post classical narratological theories. Roland Barthes’narratological theory which is the frame theory of the paper in analyzing the novel is also given in this part. The third part tells about the narrative features on the novel’s style, which includes the sense of distance, intertextuality, rootlessness. The main body is divided into three parts which applies Roland Barthes’s theory, from the functional, action and narrative level to analyze the novel. That is to say, the fourth part is mainly on the narrative level to analyze the narrative point of view, the relations among the narrator、author and reader, the attitude of the narrator and author, the art of blankness. The fifth part talks about the core function and catalytic function in the novel from the functional level. And in the sixth part, the paper focuses on the problem of classification of the characters on the action level. The last part is the seventh one, which concludes the whole paper and enlightens modern people as well to study Naipaul’s unique narrative art and his ingenious arrangement of the functional constituents of the novel.

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