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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 188

The Mimic Men by V. S. Naipaul is an autobiographical memoir that explores the nature of reality through internal and external criticism and self-examination. The novel traces the reflections of a political exile in London and chronicles the conflict and growth experienced by the characters in this setting of cultural turmoil. The novel explores the themes of societal and personal chaos and turmoil caused by colonization.

Ranjit Ralph Singh is the main character, who suffers from disillusionment with the political/cultural climate in which he finds himself. He expresses jealousy and frustration with his inability as a person of Caribbean descent to climb the socio-economic ladder as quickly and as high as he would like. Throughout the novel, Singh employs a contrast between Great Britain and his fictitious home island of Isabella to communicate a sense of isolation and of being shipwrecked. He never identifies with the native people of Isabella, whom he blames for killing a valued racehorse, nor does he identify with the Londoners of his day. Singh’s world is a life full of flaws, failures, and unfulfilled expectations which he has come to accept.

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