The deconstruction of the naipaulian protagonist.
Oboth, Jim Jennings
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I primarily set out in mainly seven books to analyse the identity of V.S. Naipaul’s protagonists, working from hypothesis that their response to the notion of home, exile and mimicry is identical in that they appear to experience the same sense of distress and dislocation. The identity of Naipaul’s protagonists and their antagonists in mainly Miguel Street, The Mystic Masseur, and A House for Mr. Biswas undergo physical and spiritual transformation in context of home and exile. Naipaul’s protagonists yearn for possibilities (of opportunities) away from constricted location to metropolitan setting and to the external world beyond the island of Trinidad in their attempt to heal social wounds. In Guerrillas and The Mimic Men identities of Naipaul’s protagonists seemingly are bewildered by elusive historical, racial, colonial, gender, spiritual, ideological circumstances against the backdrop of upheaval of empire. In Naipaul’s travel narratives in India: A Wounded Civilisation and An Area of Darkness as nonfiction prose also focus on Naipaul’s self-parody where he casts himself variously as protagonist/narrator in his fictional and nonfiction works. In the same vein, Naipaul’s legacy of colonial identity in terms of historicism and in post-independent Third World generally explores devastating effects of slavery, displacement, and diasporic milieus on Naipaul’s protagonists. Thus uprooting of protagonists from their locale appears to result in weakening of traditional value system and blurring of protagonists’ historical and racial identities leading to cultural transplantation, homelessness and nomadism. Naipaul’s protagonists appear dissimilar individuals but in this study one deconstructs a strand of identicalness in the protagonist’s individual responses to his state of limbo.