The Situation of Colonial 'Other' in V. S. Naipaul’s A House for Mr. Biswas

Tahereh Siamardi, Reza Deedari


The focus of the present study is to demonstrate traces of Homi k. Bhabha’s notion of identity in V.S. Naipaul’s A House for Mr. Biswas (1961). As a prominent postcolonial figure, Bhabha has contemplated over the formation of identity in the colonizing circumstances. He discusses on what happens to the colonizer and the colonized while interacting each other, arguing that both the colonizer and the colonized influence one another during which their identity is formed, fragmented and alienated. In considering Naipaul’s A House for Mr. Biswas as postcolonial text, by the help of postcolonial theories of Homi Bhabha, it is argued that, mentioned novel sums up Naipaul’s approach to how individuals relate to places. This  novel shows  that individuals’ quest for home and a place of belonging is complicated first, by the reality of homelessness, and second, by the socio-cultural complexities peculiar to every place. In other words, the reality of homelessness makes the desire for home, elusive. A House for Mr. Biswas describes the story of homeless and rootless immigrants who lack identity and security in the colonial world. In this novel Naipaul deals with shifting identities, roots, homes and changing realities of migrants.

Keywords: Identity, Ambivalence, Other, Creolization, Mimicry, Clash of cultures, Unhomeliness

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