Author(s): Merve AYDO?DU ÇEL?K
Naipaul, in his Nobel Prize-winning novel The Mimic Men (1967) examines the problems after colonization through the first person narration of the protagonist, who might be taken as his mouthpiece, Ralph Singh. The narrator unchronologically recounts his childhood and youth memories as well as his experiences as a politician both in London and in a newly-independent fictional state, the Isabella Island. The novel provides the panorama of a decolonized nation whose members are unable to define themselves, who are impotent to act without the colonial interference. In this context, this paper seeks to examine the notion of home, the effect of the feeling of homelessness on the individual psyche, and writing as a strategy to erase the feeling of unbelonging. The discussion starts with the concept of nation based on definitions and explanations from different perspectives on the formation of nation. It focuses on the “failure” of a nation with references to the critics and on the influence of the colonial discourse in estranging the colonized peoples from each other afterwards. It leads the discussion to the estrangement from the self; therefore Ralph’s “search for home” is portrayed. In this context, “writing” is offered as a healing strategy against the destructive psychological effects of colonization on the individual and against the sense of homelessness. The analysis is concluded with the final remarks regarding the process Ralph undergoes as a decolonized individual.