A House for Mr Biswas Topics for Discussion

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 318 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)

Topic 1

Even as a baby, the narrator refers to the main character as Mr. Biswas rather than Mohun. What effect does this have on the reader’s perception of the character? What might the author’s intention have been in choosing this approach?

Topic 2

When Mr. Biswas is born, a pundit interprets certain signs to foretell that he will be a person of questionable character, and he will bring bad luck to his family. How much of this prophecy, if any, turns out to be accurate? What do these rituals tell us about the family?

Topic 3

How do the Tulsis react to Mr. Biswas’s outrageous behavior? What incidents produce the most serious consequences for Mr. Biswas?

Topic 4

There are many incidents of wife beating and flogging of children in the novel. How do these incidents affect the reader’s view of characters and events? In such a physical society, how do Mr. Biswas’s actions compare to those of other characters?

Topic 5

How can Mr. Biswas’s range of feelings for his wife and children be described?

Topic 6

What are some of the things that Mr. Biswas does to establish a connection with Savi and Anand? Why don’t we see some of those efforts with the other two children?

Topic 7

How can Mr. Biswas’s attitude toward religion be described? What role does religion play in the lives of the characters? What role does it play in the plot?

Topic 8

Given Owad’s enthusiasm for Communism when he returned from England, what could have caused him to drop the subject so abruptly?

Topic 9

A House for Mr. Biswas has been described as a comic tragedy. Do you agree with this assessment? Which situations in the novel lean toward comedy? Does Mr. Biswas really intend to be comical?

Topic 10

At the end of the novel, has Mr. Biswas achieved what he wanted from life?

This section contains 318 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
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