Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

Narratives of displacement : V.S. Naipaul's Indians in exile

Jesús Varela Zapata

Abstract

This paper analyses the characterization of Willie Chandran, the protagonist of Naipaul's latest fictional work Half a Life (2001), within the context of the fabric of Naipaul's fiction, in which exiled Indians constitute the most identifiable type or category of characters. This is only to be expected from a writer who has championed the condition of the third-world expatriate and has never lost contact with the Indian roots of his ancestors. As happens in the case of previous characters, Willie attempts to improve his present condition by remaking his past and his own personality. He also complies with the stereotype of the Indian expatriate who feels displaced in a metropolis he had presumed to be acquainted with (because of the cultural impositions of colonialism) but which proves to be a totally unknown, not to say hostile, environment. Finally, taking into account that the most significant characters in Naipaul's work are the protagonists of works such as The Mimic Men, A Bend in the River or The Enigma of Arrival, all of them first-person narrators of their stories, we will consider to what extent does Willie Chandran, portrayed mainly through third-person narrative, depart from the overall positive characterization accorded to them.

Keywords

Literatura postcolonial; Naipaul, V.S.; Trinidad y Tobago; Personajes literarios; Caracterización; Desplazamiento



DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/raei.2003.16.20

Copyright (c) 2003 Jesús Varela Zapata

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