V. S. Naipaul Writing Styles in A Bend in the River

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Point of View

Salim is the first-person narrator on this pessimistic journey. An observant and analytical man, he says, "So from an early age I developed the habit of looking, detaching myself from a familiar scene and trying to consider it as from a distance." He also theorizes the point of view of the other characters. Salim is both an insider and an outsider. He's African rather than European, yet still foreign. This means he can be more involved in African society than any European, yet still observe it from the outside. Major events, like armed coups, guerilla rebellions, urban riots, and rural massacres occur in the background. However, Salim is unflinching in describing a world with an unstable economy, widespread poverty, government corruption and ethnic warfare. What he cannot offer is any possible hope for the future. Salim sees the world divided in two. Third-world countries, like Africa...

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This section contains 765 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Bend in the River Study Guide
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