Sajal M Shrestha's Reviews > Miguel Street

Miguel Street by V.S. Naipaul
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's review
Mar 01, 2012

really liked it
Read in March, 2012

Miguel Street, put simply, is a story about a corner in Port of Spain, Trinidad and its inhabitants. For the purposes of this story, V.S Naipaul develops colorful characters with their own unique personality traits that range from psychotic to humorous and yet that are easily identifiable by the readers. Using these colorful characters, Naipaul shapes the many universal yet complicated emotions of love, hope and jealousy into a story about life and its many unpredictable phases for the inhabitants of Miguel Street. Naipaul crafts this story by charting the lives of inhabitants through the lens of a young boy growing up in Miguel Street which I found to be profound in many ways. First, in a broad view, Miguel Street exemplified the social aspect of human beings by demonstrating how a man’s identity is strongly determined by the people he surrounds himself with. In similar vein, this story also showed how life’s difficult circumstances brought out a person’s true character, a secret most people hide beneath a veil. Furthermore, this also corroborated the idea that perception indeed is greater than reality, a theme that is so true without being so obvious. All in all, these general themes and colorful characteristics mixed with the ambivalence towards the colonial rule makes Naipaul’s Miguel Street a simpler masterpiece.
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Quotes Sajal M Liked

V.S. Naipaul
“A stranger could drive through Miguel Street and just say “Sum!” because he could see no more. But we who lived there saw our street as a world, where everybody was quite different from everybody else. Mam-man was mad; George was stupid; Big Foot was a bully; hat was an adventurer; Popo was a philosopher; and Morgan was our comedian.”
V.S. Naipaul, Miguel Street

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