Miguel Street is a fictional work by author V. S. Naipaul. The book consists of seventeen short stories that portray the lives of characters who live on Miguel Street. The narrator, an unnamed, precocious boy, is a keen observer of the society around him. Miguel Street is a dramatization of life in the slums of Port of Spain in Trinidad. The society of Trinidad is emerging out of a past of slavery and colonialism. The theme of the novel reflects the social and political problems that arise during this transitional phase.
V. S. Naipaul illustrates a sense of escapism on Miguel Street. For example, Popo escapes to drinking after his wife deserts him, and Elias seeks religion as an escape from his tyrannical father. The author demonstrates that those who do not break free from their illusory lives become perpetual failures.
Naipaul discusses the theme of male chauvinism and dominance, as well. On Miguel Street, women bear the sole responsibility of bringing up children. For example, Laura has a world record of having eight children from different fathers, all of whom are absent.
Naipaul also explores the theme of estrangement and non-attachment. Broken families are a norm. For example, Toni runs away with another person's wife, in search of a better life.