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Waiting For The Barbarians Essays

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Post-Colonialism in 'Waiting for the Barbarians'

Waiting for the Barbarians is a novel written by JM Coetzee which has strong themes of Post-Colonialism. To begin, an understanding over what post-colonialism is specifically in literature needs to be elaborated. A simple definition most would define post-colonialism as an issue happening after colonialism in a country and its ramifications. Interestingly, the definition has also expanded; ‘some writers have tried to redefine the postcolonial anachronistically to mean resistance to the colonial at any time- literally in the case of...
7 Pages 3293 Words

Waiting for the Barbarians': Critiquing Colonialism

Based on the 1980 novel of the same name, Waiting for the Barbarians follows an unnamed imperial magistrate (Mark Rylance) as he becomes increasingly disillusioned with the similarly-unnamed empire he serves. This disillusionment begins when Colonel Joll (Johnny Depp) enters his frontier town under the orders of the empire and begins to antagonise the eponymous “barbarians” (whom I’ll now be referring to as Indigenous people), especially one young woman with whom he becomes particularly close. All of this falls against...
3 Pages 1332 Words

Waiting for the Barbarians': Plot Summary

The main protagonist of the novel is a nameless civil servant, who serves as magistrate to a frontier settlement owned by a nameless empire. The Empire, a vague colonialist regime, sets itself in opposition to the “barbarians,” mysterious nomadic peoples who live in the wild lands bordering the Empire. The magistrate is looking forward to a quiet retirement, and hopes to live out his last years of service without anything too eventful happening—he spends his free time looking for ruins...
1 Page 663 Words
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