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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 472

The Mimic Men is a 1967 novel by V. S. Naipaul. From his political exile in London, the main character Ranjit Kripal Singh writes about his life that starts in the British colony of Isabella and takes him to university in London and political notoriety in the Caribbean Islands.

The...

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The Mimic Men is a 1967 novel by V. S. Naipaul. From his political exile in London, the main character Ranjit Kripal Singh writes about his life that starts in the British colony of Isabella and takes him to university in London and political notoriety in the Caribbean Islands.

The story focuses on Singh's feeling of disorder and displacement.

For example he states:

To be born on an island like Isabella, an obscure New World transplantation, second-hand and barbarous was, to be born to disorder.

Part of his problem is that his parents were born in India and he always felt Indian in a foreign land. Even as a child Singh states that he read books and dreamed about his parent's homeland.

China was the subject of Jok's secret reading. Mine was of Rajputs and Aryans, stories of knights, horsemen and wanderers. I had even read Tod's difficult volumes. I had read of the homeland of the Asiatic and Persian Aryans, which some put as far away as the North Pole. And I would dream that all over the Central Asian plains the horseman looked for their leader.

His regret is that, over time. he lost what it meat to be Indian and with it his true identity. As he states;

The process of losing one's Indianness with leaving India. That was the original sin, the fall. After that Indian traditions could only either decay into deadening ritual or become diluted, degraded and eventually lost through outside influences and intermarriage with others.

In this regard, it is no surprise that he marries an English woman with the strength and identity that he felt he always lacked.

It was in her walk, in the bite of her speech, even in the way she ate food which she considered expensive. But how could I resist her quick delight? Her very rapaciousness attracted me. To me, drifting about the big city that had reduced me to futility, she was all that was positive. Her delight strengthened me.

Unfortunately, he doesn't find want he is looking for in London, arguably feeling more isolated than ever.

I do not believe that there is communication between these people any more than I believe in the hilarity of the advertisements by which they are surrounded: those irritating drawings in which the mouths of funny men are too wide open ... those beer-mats whose circular legends I know by heart. Who comes here? A Grenadier. What does he want? A pot of beer?

He comes to realize that the only constant and stable factor of his life was the disorder of his home island.

But now I no longer knew what I was; ambition became confused, then faded; and I found myself longing for the certainties of my life on the island of Isabella, certainties which I had once dismissed as shipwreck.






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