This sample paper on Miguel Street Analysis offers a framework of relevant facts based on recent research in the field. Read the introductory part, body, and conclusion of the paper below.
The author’s Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul, commonly known as V. S Naipaul was born in Trinidad, on 17th of August 1932. His family descended from immigrants from north of India. His grandfather worked in a sugar cane plantation and his father was a journalist and a writer. He was educated at Queen’s Royal College and after winning a government scholarship, he went on to study in England at University College in Oxford from where he achieved his Bachelor of Arts degree.
Apart from a few years in the middle of 1950s when he was employed by BBC as a free-lance journalist, he has devoted himself entirely to his writing.
His works consist mainly of novels and short-stories, but some are also documentaries. In the beginning he found himself rootless, as he felt alienated from his background but he found his voice as a writer in the mid 1950s, when he started to examine his own Trinidadian background.
Most of his novels revolve around the Trinidadian society and Miguel Street is one of them which came out in 1959. Miguel Street has been classified as a group of short stories, as a series of sketches and as a novel. It is considered as a novel because of the fact that it is unified by a single narrator and by several patterns and themes.
It can be seen as a group of short stories and a series of sketches because each chapter is dominated by a single character. Furthermore those major characters reappear as minor characters in other chapters. Characterization is a key factor in understanding Naipauls’s Miguel Street and V. S Naipaul reveals its characters in a certain way. He uses conflict to reveal a character to the reader and the other characters in the novel. Most of the characters in the book are controversial and each character has an element of conflict.
The readers learn about a character through the conflict they are facing and the way that character faces its conflict. It is conflict through which the nature of the character is revealed and the way that character thinks when faced with different problems. V. S Naipaul has used a narrator boy through whose eyes we see other characters. The narrator is a young boy in his adolescence whose observation of the people of the street also reflects his unconscious awakening as he grows from childhood through boyhood to early manhood.
His growing up process is reflected in the unmasking of the characters who are each introduced initially as mysterious, romantic or colorful personalities who win the admiration of the people of the street until they are gradually exposed to emerge in their true colors. They are forced to emerge in their true colors when their conflict is revealed. V. S Naipaul uses the narrator boy and the gang to a certain extent to bring each of the characters one by one under a microscope where they are examined in detail.
First the readers are given a fake image of the character because the character lies about his real identity and hides the conflict or the problem they are facing. But as soon as the conflict is revealed to the readers and the other characters in the novel, they all get to see the real side of the character. It is not only his peculiarities which are revealed but also their frustrations in life and their gradual decline from high expectations to an acceptance of failure, resignation to it or resorting to escape from the street.
Bogart Bogart is the first character that the readers are introduced to. He has no identity and it is ironic how his mysteriousness is accepted unquestioningly by the people of Miguel Street. No one really knows about Bogart, not even his real name. He was first named Patience just because he plays a card’s game called Patience all day and then he is given the name ‘Bogart’ because of his resemblance to an actor in a movie called ‘Casablanca’.
He comes to Miguel Street from somewhere and becomes the most popular man in the street at one point as the narrator boy says on page 11 “He was at one time quite the most popular man in the street”. Bogart creates a fake identity of himself in Miguel Street and never tells anyone about his real story, about his problem or conflict that he is facing. In fact he goes way out of his real life into fantasy which is apparent when he explains where he had disappeared to, on page 14 “He had got a job on a ship and had gone to British Guiana. There he had deserted, and gone into the interior.
He became a cowboy on the Rupununi, smuggled things into Brazil, and had gathered some girls from Brazil and taken them to Goergetown. He was running the best brothel in the town when the police treacherously took his bribes and arrested him. So he creates this fake identity of himself. However everything is revealed altogether when he is arrested under the charge of bigamy. He had left his first wife in Tunapuna because they could not have any children which questioned his manhood. So to avoid reality he ran away and came to Miguel Street.
Then after some time he goes away and makes a baby with a Caroni Girl, Bogart still returns to Miguel Street “to be a man” as Hat explains at the end. POPO Popo story is quiet similar to Bogart’s. He is also at first seen as a happy person. He also creates a fake identity of himself for self-amusement. He calls himself a carpenter and pretends to be busy building “a thing without a name”. He doesn’t do anything for living and depends entirely on his wife who is employed as a cook. He shows off his prosperity in life and his status as a carpenter.
He stands in the sun every morning with a glass of rum which he doesn’t drink, he just holds it and when someone passes by he dips his fingers and licks them and waves at the person which shows that he is just showing off and enjoys himself being envied by other characters in the Miguel Street. However, when his conflict comes up the readers and the other characters in Miguel Street get to see a new character of Popo. His wife suddenly runs away with a gardener in her workplace and it is after that a change in Popo’s life-style is seen.
It is also from there the readers and the other characters learn about Popo. He is no longer a man to be envied and then he disappears from Miguel Street just like Bogart and beats the guy with whom his wife had run away. He comes back to Miguel Street as a completely changed man. He starts working day and night at his carpentry and is no longer making the thing without a name. He even paints his house a bright green and red as though to express his new-found character. Eventually, his wife returns, takes up her old employment and Popo reverts to the old life of making the thing without a name.