PDF | This paper examines the interrelationship between the body and politics in J. M. Coetzee's novel Age of Iron, a social and political tragedy in a. The Salvation of Mrs Curren in Coetzee's Age of Iron.' William 4 Gilbert Yeoh, ' Love and Indifference in J. M. Coetzee's Age of Iron', Journal of Commonwealth. Coetzee - Age of Iron - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or view presentation slides online. J M Coetzee Diary of a Bad Year. Uploaded.

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Since the beginning of his career, J. M. Coetzee's writing has occupied an uneasy threshold between the literary ideals of European modernism, with its. Age of Iron [J. M. Coetzee] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In Cape Town, South Africa, an old woman is dying of cancer. A classics. Iron J.M Coetzee uses imagery of decay and downfall and its main In the novel Age of Iron, by J.M Coetzee, first published in , we follow.

No sympathy, no mercy, not in his day and days. Coetzee articulates the change of times through sexuality which becomes a kind of flexible but ambiguous trope for the wider historical changes he registers. Forced to resign from the university, Lurie seeks refuge with his daughter Lucy on a smallholding in the Eastern Province, where she grows flowers and vegetables for the market in nearby Grahmstown and runs dog kennels.

The times reflect not just those who are bare of privileges but who in true sense experience the deprivation as such. Lurie is resistant to these demands since he is averse to the newly-asserted institutional rights and newly-emergent collective mores that relegate him to submission.

This shift is not a consequence of the apartheid but the dynamics happening tossed in the global milieu.

The disciplinary committee charged with punishing Lurie for his sexual affair requires him to publicly concede in a confessional statement that triggers polarizing resonances. In lieu of his earlier disparagement of legal redress, after becoming the object of crime, Lurie seeks not only retribution but also the symbolic verification offered by the law.

It initially appears as a retreat from the complexities of life in post-colonial South Africa. Though separated from the increasingly urban life of contemporary South Africa, the countryside forms a theoretical blank slate upon which a new culture is to be formed.

It gets transformed when one day the strip of land is attacked by two men and a boy, all black. They shot down the dogs in the kennels, burnt Lurie and stole his car and the worst of all Lucy is gang-raped. This event turns the novel more solemn and darker.

Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A risk that one owns of possessing anything, …. Not enough to go around, not enough cars, shoes, cigarettes. Too many people, too few things. What there is must go into circulation, so that everyone can have a chance to be happy for a day…. That is how one must see life in this country: in its schematic aspect. Otherwise one would go mad. Cars, shoes; women too. There must be some niche in the system for women and what happens to them.

Everything is tender, Everything is burned. The three intruders being black and shown in negative light has become the object of controversy.

Lurie is a typical white South African that grew up with apartheid — he was just born after three years after Nationalist Government won power. He possesses the liberal views claiming of his intellectual allegiance to the English speaking white population. He is restless to bring the culprits to law falling oblivious to his own sexual crime.

Lucy, in contrast has a different attitude not entertaining any initiative to bring charges against the man who molested her. She says, What happened to me is purely private matter. In another time, in another place it might be held to be a public matter. But in this place, at this time, it is not. It is my business, mine alone. Lurie, who views Petrus as the Other suddenly, is moved by the change that happens in Lucy to whom he has been a loving and attentive father.

Lucy wants a new shelter, a new accommodation that can guard her.

Lurie cannot digest the situation, he becomes helpless and just recalls the old days. In the old days one could have it out with Petrus.

Documents Similar To Coetzee - Age of Iron

Petrus know it, and he knows it, and Petrus Knows that he knows it. The question of race getting faded away by the dynamics of human relations is so inconsistent and unreliable. Strange to the political triggers of South Africa, the changed times do not reflect the huge strides of technological advancement of the new era but portrays the dark story sliding into fathomless atavism.

Lurie, in the grip of inability to control the situation treats the attack as inevitable, the result of a deterministic historical process over which individual human beings can possess no control.

Even though the post-historical mood that Coetzee utilizes negates such a sense of history right from the beginning, Lucy thinking of the bad memory tells, It was so personal. It was done with such personal hatred…. I had never set eyes on them. A history of wrong. Think of it that way, if it helps. He cannot simply justify that history revisits with retaliating vengeance, an outcome of European colonialism in Africa. He is hapless as he assumes himself to be in a savagious place haunted by bloody cannibals besieging his fortunes.

He says, …. Italian and French will not save him here in darkest Africa. He is helpless, an Aunt Sally, a figure from a cartoon, a missionary in cassock and topi waiting with clasped hands and up cast eyes while the savages jaw away in their own lingo preparatory to plunging him into their boiling cauldron.

Mission work: what has it left behind, that huge enterprise of upliftment? Nothing that he can see. The change for Lurie is intangible as he is bogged down by the stepping up of violence and his perplexity at the religious zeal of the missionaries drawing bland blankness of emotional transformations.

Lurie suspects Petrus as an accomplice in crime to evacuate Lucy from the land she owns. To realize this plan he resorts to the endemic violence characteristic of South Africa, a resort to the genre of tribal foundations of African life.

He pleads, Close down the kennels. Do it at once. Lock up the house, pay Petrus to guard it. Take a break for six months or a year until things have improved in this country. Lucy tells her father Petrus is not offering me a church wedding followed by a honeymoon on the wild coast.

Age of Iron

He is offering an alliance, a deal. I contribute the land, in return for which I am allowed to creep under his wing.

Otherwise, he wants to remind me. I am without protection, I am fair game. More and more she has begun to look like one of those women who shuffle around the corridors of nursing homes whispering to themselves.

Why should Petrus bother to negotiate? She cannot last: leave her alone and in due course she will fall like rotten fruit. The utterances of Romanticism by J. Coetzee are really intriguing and engaging since they point to deeper implications of their presence in the text.

The Ethical and political ramifications of early half of nineteenth century Romanticism cannot just be relegated to mere sophisticated metropolitanism.

The South African context is attributed the ideal parallels steamed out by Romanticism throwing challenges at the conventional odds and conservative pretexts, characteristic of the troubled decodes of early 19th century Europe. Romanticism contested the much prompted atomistic tendencies augmented by industrial revolution with its coincidental destruction of the planet, the revival of humaneness is once again given a fresh lease by Coetzee allowing the growth of empathy and being sensitive to the needs of both humans and animals.

These Romantic factors draw attention of many well known critics. Coetzee brings the two contrasting poets together from the High Romantic period negotiating the difficulties underlying human relations of the contemporary world.

Coetzee deftly handles the Romantic interventions of Wordsworth and Byron that spell out dichotomies that affect the structure of the novel. The novel, Disgrace opens up in Cape Town and moves to a farm near Salem, a shift from the urban to the rural.

Devil plays the centre of all these tracts. Lurie plans of writing an opulent Gluck-like opera, Byron in Italy, which suggests Romantic eroticism through notorious seduction.

Lurie is concerned with his waning sexual passion and his inconsequential interrogation of Melanie is deeply a Byronic concern. Byron created works like Cain, Mazeppa, Don Juan the heroes of which are autobiographically revealing. Sexual passion is too important to Byron which is not the case with father. Though the heart be still as loving and the moon be still as bright.

Who would have thought it would come to an end so soon and so suddenly. Lurie quotes from The Prelude of Wordsworth contrasting two ways of seeing, seeing literally with the eye, and seeing imaginatively. Coetzee draws closer to Wordsworth at the end of chapter Five: William Wordsworth — , nature-poet. David Lurie -? Blest be the infant babe. No outcast he. Blest be the Babe. It is same identity that Coetzee relies on, at the instance of the dogs, Bev Shaw and Pollux, the difficult path that Lurie is endorsed with effecting an ironic closure to Chapter Five.

The Lucy poems of Wordsworth exclusively touch upon a strange combination of the simplicity of expression and the ambiguity of meaning dealing with issues of Otherness, change and death. Apartheid was a system of racial segregation that was legally in effect in South Africa from until It upheld the rights of whites and severely limited the rights of blacks.

Age of Iron takes place smack in the middle of a nationwide State of Emergency in which anti-Apartheid sentiment was at its height and violence was spiraling out of control for more, see our " Setting " section.

Age of iron

The novel's narrator is Mrs. Curren, a retired university professor in Cape Town who's now dying of cancer.

As Mrs. Curren faces her impending death, some rather crazy things start happening around her. She's spent most of her life feeling pretty separated from the effects that Apartheid has on the society around her. All of a sudden, though, the outside world starts creeping into her private world, beginning when Vercueil, a homeless man, starts living in her yard.

As the novel progresses, Mrs. Curren begins to witness the kinds of horrible violence that she's long heard about but has never before seen. She starts to understand those around her in a completely new way. As a white woman in a world where whites are the oppressors, she feels an increasing sense of guilt as well as a deepening hatred for the world around her. These feelings only become more complicated as people close to her fall prey to the system. As with the protagonists of Coetzee's other novels, Mrs.

Curren knows that the system she lives in is to blame for the pain and hatred that surround her, but she feels powerless to do anything about it. We should probably mention that J. Coetzee himself was a well-known critic of Apartheid, and he ultimately left South Africa for Australia in and became an Australian citizen in Since then, his works have shifted in focus, with several of them taking place in his new home country instead.

Nevertheless, most people seem to know Coetzee as a writer whose works focus mainly on the problems facing South Africans, and that illuminate his somewhat ambivalent attitude towards the country in which he was raised. While the historical period we encounter in Age of Iron has now passed, the memories of Apartheid live on in his works, and to read Coetzee's novels is to remember the unimaginable struggles that people just like us had to live through not all that long ago.

We hear you — you pick up your copy of Age of Iron and the first thing you read on the dust jacket is that the book is about the life of an old woman in Cape Town who's dying of cancer. Great selling point, publishers.

The first thing you think is, well, there's a downer.In these works, J. Instead, Coetzee indicates how apartheid continues to haunt the very acts of mourning and reparation that his characters engage with— in the materiality of their bodies marked by attempts at reconciliation that guard against the erasure of historical memory.

Diala, Isidore. The prostitute who seduces Michael K is as much a survivor as the protagonist himself: she uses the tools at her disposal, including her sexuality, to endure against the odds. Critic and Citizen: A Response. Inventing a new mode of narrative and discovering a new syntax every time, Coetzee in the succeeding novel, The Master of Petersburg peers into the abyss of revolution, chooses the plunge into writing, and mocks the romantic-apocalyptic connotations conventionally associated with both those choices.

However, disease and mortality that converge in her body is also a part of the natural cycle of life, rendering an authoritative discourse of expiation located in a privileged white body untenable. That is how one must see life in this country: in its schematic aspect. The change seems unpresumed with Lurie prioritizing the animal lot.