Miguel Street

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Yasmina Curto Galindo

Literatura de l’Àfrica, el Carib i l’Índia


1. V.S. Naipaul’s Miguel Street

Miguel Street is his semi-autobiographical work which occurs during World War II in Port of Spain, Tobago and Trinidad. The island of Trinidad, where the stories are set, was a Spanish colony,that was ceded to Britain when they had already passed through many other coloners’ hands. Trinidad and Tobago owes their main origins to massive eighteenth and nineteenth century importations of African slaves and East Indian servants who were needed to work on the sugar plantations. During the 1930s, Trinidad and Tobago suffered severely from the effects of the worldwide depression. The book may be set in a particular time during the 40s, but not in a real chronological order. The author of this work, V. S. Naipaul is an Indian writer from Trinidad who has written many novels that are set in a continuous changing world: The Caribbean Islands of the Commonwealth. He seems to focus on writing about the story of places and peoples that are usually forgotten. Miguel Street, as I have said before, seems to be a semi-autobiographical work, since is divided into seventeen chapters; which are interpreted to be based in the author’s personal life. All stories take place in a small community in Miguel Street, Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago). However, Naipaul himself remains unnamed throughout the entire novel. Naipaul seems to be himself the narrator; he writes from the first-person and describes his own experiences in each episode through several characters. In every chapter, he focuses in one individual; while the rest of them, remain in the background as they were part of the setting. All together helps to depict that small world of failure and disillusionment in Miguel Street. The chapters are almost interchangeable, the only obvious exceptions being the two last chapters which I consider the climax of the novel....
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