A House for Mr Biswas - Chapter 13 Summary & Analysis

This Study Guide consists of approximately 45 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A House for Mr Biswas.
This section contains 392 words
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Summary

Once the house is officially theirs, the Biswas family visits the house again, this time in broad daylight, only to discover that it is in no condition for them to move into right now. The sun reveals flaws that no one noticed on the first two visits. Biswas is upset, saying that the clerk is a crook. They have to make basic repairs before they can move in, and they hire a mason and painters, borrowing more money. Then they discover that the septic tank has to be replaced and they have to borrow money again. Finally, they move in, but they are dispirited.

Mr. Biswas visits the next door neighbor and finds out that the clerk has built the house himself, as a hobby. The neighbor reveals more problems with the house, but Mr. Biswas tries to maintain focus on the fact that it is a strong house. The neighbor further reveals that the clerk has been trying to sell the house for a while, at a price of four thousand, five hundred dollars, which enrages Mr. Biswas even more. When the Tuttles come to visit, the Biswas family manages to camouflage the flaws and play up the coziness of the house, and the Tuttles are impressed.

After Mr. Biswas has tried determinedly to avoid running into him in the café, the solicitor’s clerk suddenly appears five months later, saying he wants to build another house in the same location. Mr. Biswas calls him a crook, and he leaves, warning Mr. Biswas that he can get into legal trouble if he is not careful about what he says. Afterwards, Mr. Biswas measures the property and discovers that it actually extends twelve feet beyond the fence. They don’t hear from the clerk again.

Analysis

Once the Biswas family sees their house in broad daylight, they discover that the reality does not live up to the dream. Nevertheless, they band together as a family to make the best of it, and they put in the work and spend the money to do what must be done to make the house livable. When the solicitor’s clerk has the nerve to show up again, Mr. Biswas stands up to him and basically makes him leave.

Vocabulary

Tendrilled, whittled, jerry-builder, herringbone, tout, distemper, tinged, facile, frontage, futile, benevolently, unabashed

This section contains 392 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
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