Tegla, Emanuela
March 2011
English: The Journal of the English Association;Spring2011, Vol. 60 Issue 228, p68
Academic Journal
Waiting for the Barbarians has been read by many critics as an allegory. This reading is often based on the fact that the novel does not contain specific temporal and spacial references, and also on the particularity of J. M. Coetzee's historical situatedness: writing as a white South African during the apartheid period. The present study, although not denying the importance and relevance that allegorical readings of Coetzee's novel may carry, is focused on Coetzee's treatment of otherness and moral responsibility from a different perspective. It consists of a close analysis of textual elements which indicate the moral journey of the character-narrator (the Magistrate), from passive fulfilment of his duty, through a confused sense of affinity with the evildoers, to the development of a moral awareness of injustice and the insidious ways one participates in it.


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