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Miguel Street by V.S. Naipaul
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's review
Mar 01, 10

Read in February, 2010

V.S. Naipaul's Miguel Street takes us on a journey through a rather less-fortunate street of Trinidad's Port of Spain. The narrator's youthful years and various encounters with certain characters generate a personality for Miguel Street as a whole. The post-WWII culture of Trinidad is established and reinforced through struggling individuals and their irrational treatment of women and each other. The male-dominated Miguel Street presents a window into the many minds of the poorer class and their respective attempts to escape the turmoil they find themselves consistently in.
Naipaul organizes the text in an extremely logical way by introducing a number of different characters as the narrator recalls the conversations leading up to their eventual departure from Miguel Street or their decline into their current position in the slum. The success of these characters can be directly seen as a result of their acceptance and nonacceptance of his or her's status and restrictions in society. Strong pushes and pulls ultimately decide the fate of Miguel Street's inhabitants as a new world of opportunity emerges throughout the outside world, far away from the restrictions of Port of Spain.

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