Decoding of a Gendered Marginalized Discourse in V.S. Naipaul’s A House for Mr. Biswas


  • Muhammad Shakil Ur Rehman City University of Science and Information Technology
  • Saima Akhter Chattha
  • Zia Ullah Khan Niazi



Gender, feminist stylistics, discourse, patriarchy, toolkit


Focusing on Sara Mill’s Feminist stylistics in A House for Mr. Biswas (1961) by V.S. Naipaul (1961), the article provides an alternative understanding of the novel through the lens of the undertaken framework to reveal marginalization on gender basis. The disparity of the socio- cultural roles of men and women in the novel through a particular use of language divulges gender inequality in a society. The preference of masculinity engrossed in of preferable patriarchal titles, names, generic pronouns and professions leads to a gender labeling. The disparaging portrayal of women in the fictional representation of a postcolonial work manifests that women are discriminated against. It is substantial, therefore, to problematize gender representation through the application of “toolkit” (Mills, 1995, p.2). It is also one of the significant theoretical frameworks that critiques a literary piece to unearth concealed objectives wrought in an implicit and explicit language-use. Naipaul in the selected work represents through a language use - word, phrase/sentence, discourse to demonstrate how rampant socio-cultural gender norms play a pivotal role in upholding gender inequality. Therefore, the study concludes that submissive role of women through the specific use of discourse makes the application of feminist stylistics more pertinent to highlight the stereotypical gender norms that are used to strengthen patriarchal hegemony. Hence, socio-cultural gender norms with the collusion of a specific discourse used in the novel are coded for dominance of patriarchy and segregation of women subsequently.