"The Mimic Men" vs. "The Lonely Londoners"
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This paper analyzes and compares two novels that deal with Caribbean immigrant experience in Britain, Samuel Selvon's "The Lonely Londoners" and V. S. Naipaul's "The Mimic Men." The writer discusses how novels about Caribbean exile share the theme of longing for home, yet finding life in their original homes impossible and consequently trying to find a place in the host country which also causes a displacement. Samuel Selvon describes migrant West Indian characters in his 1956 novel, "The Lonely Londoners," and their sense of belonging and displacement. "The Mimic Men," written eleven years after "The Lonely Londoners," presents the island of Isabella, a newly independent country in the Caribbean. The main difference between these two novels is their approach to the effects of postcolonialism, Naipaul's view being markedly more pessimistic. In both novels, however, the colonized see themselves as lost in their postcolonial society which cannot offer a sense of national unity and identity.
From the Paper:"While The Lonely Londoners portrays the everyday experience of the West Indians in London, V. S. Naipaul's novel The Mimic Men is the fictional memoir of the protagonist Ralph Singh. Written in a boarding house in London, The Mimic Men is nostalgic, a first person explanation of Ralph's life, ranging over his childhood in the fictional West Indian island of Isabella, his university days in London where he meets and marries his wife, and his business and political careers back in Isabella. In The Lonely Londoners, on the other hand, there is the portrayal of West Indian 'boys' among whom the most central character is Moses. Yet with all the particular details, Ralph Singh like 'the boys' is also a typical colonial character, an intelligent and sensitive person confused by the unequal society he's raised in and for whom identity is a primary issue."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Naipaul, V.S. The Mimic Men. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1969.
- Selvon, Samuel. The Lonely Londoners. London: Wingate, 1956.
- Amoia, Alba. Multicultural Writers Since 1945: An A-To-Z Guide. ed. Bettina L. Knapp, Greenwood Press: Westport, 2003.
- Bhabha, Homi K. Signs Taken for Wonders: Questions of Ambivalence and Authority under a Tree Outside Delhi, 1817.
- Cortozar, Julio. "The Fellowship of Exile." Altogether Elsewhere: Writers on Exile. ed. Marc Robinson. Boston: Faber & Faber, 1994.
Cite this Comparison Essay:
"The Mimic Men" vs. "The Lonely Londoners" (2009, December 09) Retrieved August 15, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/the-mimic-men-vs-the-lonely-londoners-117562/
""The Mimic Men" vs. "The Lonely Londoners"" 09 December 2009. Web. 15 August. 2022. <https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/the-mimic-men-vs-the-lonely-londoners-117562/>