The Enigma of Arrival

by V. S. Naipaul

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What are some literary techniques employed by V. S. Naipaul in The Enigma of Arrival and to what end?

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V. S. Naipaul makes use of some creative and interesting literary techniques in his novel The Enigma of Arrival.

First, Naipaul uses the first person point of view to allow his narrator to speak for himself, yet he never gives his narrator a name. We join him in seeing the stories within his life, and we learn how to look at the world through a writer's eyes.

Second, Naipaul chooses an episodic structure for his novel rather than a chronological narrative. He includes five distinct sections that are related but could potentially stand alone. This technique allows the author to focus on different concepts and themes throughout the novel.

Third, Naipaul blends fiction and autobiography. This blending allows Naipaul to back up from his own life and retell it in story form, which leads him to discover new insights about the realities that he shares with us.

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