Short Answer: The novel's central idea is an examination of the relationship between the psychological and socio-political consequences of Imperialism in a search for personal identity.
The Mimic Men, another novel that touches the effects of colonization is, however, unique in presentation as it is an introspective view that the reader is given. Certainly, the title is appropriate to the both psychological and sociological narratives whose central idea is forty-year-old colonial minister Singh's attempt to attain self-identity and reach an understanding of what his now post-colonial fragmented and dislocated country will become. The irony of this desire for self-knowledge and effort to establish a sense of place in his post-colonial land, though, is that Singh cannot create order even with his act of writing his memoir.
For too long Singh himself has been a "mimic man." Now, writing his memoir in his suburban London hotel room, he examines his life and finds the desire to establish order in a life which has previously been involved like Isabella, an obscure New World colony, barbarous and "second-hand." As he tries to sort out life, Singh vacillates between past and present, his education and political career--and marriage--all in an effort to learn who he really is.