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A House for Mr. Biswas: A House in Exile

Author ZhaoARuNa
Tutor YuanFang
School Inner Mongolia University
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords hybridity cultural identity attachment and detachment A House for Mr. Biswas
CLC
Type Master's thesis
Year 2009
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Cultural identity, one of the major themes of the postcolonial literature, is the problem that postcolonial societies and people have to face. Centered around the subject matter, this study attempts to give a detailed discussion and analysis of A House for Mr. Biswas, and to demonstrate how the novelist develops the thematic concern. A House for Mr. Biswas masterfully evokes a colonial inquiry about Mr. Biswas’ hybridity identification, from Mr. Biswas’ ancestral country of India to the birth country of Trinidad and then to the residency country of England. In most readings of this novel, readers seek to understand what it means to be a hybridity cultural identity, in which no identification is stable, as an Indian, a Trinidadian or a British. Like Mr. Biswas and the earlier generations of the Trinidadian Indians, most characters in this novel are represented as people with fragmented identities, who are unable to root themselves in all the three cultures. According to the analysis what the author has concluded in this study is that Mr. Biswas could not locate himself into any culture, because, according to Homi Bhabha, the hybridity cultural identity that Mr. Biswas possesses causes his double exteriority in Indian, Trinidadian and British culture, which is his ultimate or doomed fate.

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