Alienation V. S. Naipaul Analysis

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Alienation, disintegration and exile are terms that are frequently used in postcolonial literature, and it wouldn’t be wrong to denote that it is imperialism that has brought about a sense of disorder and alienation to countries that were ruled by the imperialists (Parag 135). Using Homi Bhabha’s concept of ‘unhomeliness’ and Hegel’s ‘alienation’ theory as framework, the aim of this paper will be to discuss how V.S. Naipaul strategically portrayed the feeling of being unhomed and alienated through the protagonist, in A House for Mr. Biswas (1961). Primarily, I would assert that this work is a personal reflection of V.S. Naipaul’s inner self, by understanding the nature of his writings, which are filled with works on displacement, alienation…show more content…
Naipaul, one of the most noteworthy contemporary English writers, is a creation of a post imperialist society, and is also representative of rootlessness and displacement. In an article, Sneha Gupta remarks on his life in a nutshell as follows: “Of Indian descent, born in Trinidad and educated in England, Naipaul has been placed as a rootless nomad in the cultural world, always on a voyage to find his identity” (306). He was raised in a Hindu cultural background, the influences of which can be seen in many of his works. Even in A House for Mr. Biswas, there is an abundance of descriptions on how Hindus conduct various religious ceremonies for different occasions. As readers, we learn that Hindus are highly conservative, traditional and religious, and are very particular about their religious and cultural beliefs, even when they are not in their native land. Naipaul also attacks the ideology that Hindus are content in living their lives traditionally and within their own shells, and do not like too many divergences. A House for Mr. Biswas is about an East Indian man’s struggle, while he is on a quest to find his identity. This novel is an outcome of his own experiences in Trinidad, and Mr. Biswas is a portrayal of his own father. Both Naipaul’s father and Mr. Biswas have striking
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