Homi Bhabha demonstrates that colonial discourse produces modes ofresistance and undermining within its own logic, because these ambivalentattitudes toward colonial natives have led to an imitation that becomes rather”threat” rather than “likeness,” and which gives birth to arupture rather than a consolidation. This is because the replication process isnever perfect or complete, and the final product is not the true image of theoriginal, but a distortion of it, due to the different context in which it manifestsitself. He suggests that colonial authority becomes hybrid and ambivalentthrough this process of replication, and as such gives the subject himself theopportunity to undermine his master’s speech.
Postcolonial literature had to distance themselves from indigenouscultures to reconfigure them retrospectively. What Naipaul does, however, whilemost writers produce an affirmative reconstruction, seeing the possibility ofregeneration, he practices the laborious dissection of a cultural picture inwhich optimism seems to be an invention, and the diagnosis seems to be that ofa complex of dependence never recognized and assumed and, as such, without anychance of improvement. This chaotic and drifting world, physically fragmentedand schizophrenic, is the universe that Magesterspresents.the prototype of the uprooted colonial is present, pendulating betweenthe world of the island, paralyzed by the acquired and internalized prejudices,and London, the “city of the magical powers”,where he hopes to givemeaning to that world he left behind.
The text is built on some key concepts, narrativelytranslated by the presence of recurring terms, such a semantic nucleus iscontamination, and it appears everywhere in the novel by words from the samearea: “defiled,” “corrupt,” ” infested, “”perverted, “” fraud, “” counterfeit The island isperverted before the British colonization – the ultimate defilement – throughits history, which is one of slaves and racial incongruities. Ralph Singh’ssuccess in business is also a “tainted” gift that can only give riseto an artificial and ephemeral city called Crippleville, his marriage bears themark of fraud even after it ends, London itself becomes “matte”,hotels through which they pass are “sordid”. The narrator isconfronted with a universe that is not a stand-alone universe, because the onlything that validates it is the contamination that generated it. A world thatexists only through devastating contact with another.The protagonist meticulously analyzes all the places,people and phenomena that he sees face to face and tries to retrospectivelyreinvent his island. These attempts, however, only result in the finding thatthe world is governed by chaos and, subsequently, an obsessive search for therestorative order. This is the inner chaos that Singh is talking about.
These are the mechanisms of that world towhich they cannot belong. Identity is no longer split between the indigenouscultural monolith and the superior, forbidden white model. His dislocation can only be done in relation to aplace he has never felt to be with another, far away, regarded as a place ofrefuge, but which, once known, appears to be just as counterfeit . Life on theisland has nothing of the magical aura, a little sweet, of other colonial texts. Isabella is not the realm of childhoodimmersed in myth and fertile dances, it is not the space of love, nor thecomfort offered by the familiar space, the feeling of complicity of theinnocence born of the sharing of traditions on the blacks, the outsiders cannot understand them. The island is in a relationship between the artifact andtheimported feelings.
On the one hand, they naturally come from the Empire: the story of Singh’suncle, Cecil, who grows adored by the Coca-Cola empire, the beautiful image ofthe child who remembers that on the first day of school he gave the apple anapple In the island, only the oranges, My first memory of school is oftaking an apple to the teacher. This puzzles me. We had no apples on Isabella.It must have been an orange; yet my memory insists on the apple. The editing isclearly at fault, but the edited version is all I have.
(Naipaul, 90) the endlesslandscapes and distant worlds described in books, encounters with characters astypical of Europe or Canada reveal other and other views and histories theyassume without having ever lived.Paradoxically, its own culture also seems to beimported. Tradition is virtually non-existent, as it has been reduced to aseries of domestic rituals whose meanings are no longer known by those whopractice them. The only affective relationship he has with the Indian cultureand his “Aryan” ancestors is built, ironically, all the books. Thechild, and later the young Singh, can not dream “the prince among the Aryan horsemen advancing towardsthe end of an unconquerable world, noses “after discovering this image bystudying the ancient and” dusty “texts in the college library, ratherwith the interest of a Western student.The result is the acute sense of vacuum, omnipresent in the text.
Aconsequence of this unstructured self is that the character seeks his identity fulfilmentby creating a number of social roles. Another recurring notion in the novel isprecisely that of the role, accompanied by the explanation repeatedly given bythe character, that “manis just the reflection he discovers in the eyes of others.” Singhassumes these roles ironically, and failure is always predictable, becauseconscious designing in the role is always accompanied by the awareness that therole does not belong to him and, as such, can only represent it temporarily andimperfectly. So she will not succeed as a husband, neither as a politician noras a friend. But the role the protagonist insists most often on is the dandy,the extravagant and exotic character of the colonies.
And this is a doublefailure. He does not succeed to be colonial enough for those in England, andneither for those on the island. This fact brings with it an overwhelming senseof inadequacy In any context. The world dealt with by Naipaul with so much detail and lucidity is oneof derision, incapable of breaking away from the grotesque and destined not tomiraculous rebirths, but to stagnation and extinction in this cultural amalgamthat it cannot understand and consequently cannot interpret and use. in hisview, the Third World nations are not and cannot become the culturalchallengers of the West, because from this temporal contact, all that thesepeople have mastered have been fixed formulas from which they cannot or willnot to split. Naipaul’sheroes are not capable of that play of meaning and undermining by imitation.
This is the amendment the writer adds to postcolonial theory. Imitation canbecome a weapon only in the hands of people who are aware of the world’shistory and of themselves. Otherwise, their “monkey” only carries theinfinities of ridiculousness, because they remain captive to their status asimitators, they are the unwise witches, court madmen who have no telling truth- simple “mimic men”.