Added: March 14, 2015 – Last updated: March 14, 2015


Author: Kathrine Maria Willett Jansen

Title: Rape and Torture

Subtitle: Depictions of Violence in J. M. Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarian and Disgrace

Thesis: M.A. Thesis, University of Oslo

Year: June 2013

Pages: x + 60pp.

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century | South African History | Representations: Literature / J.M. Coetzee


Link: DUO: Digitale utgivelser ved UiO (Free Access)


Abstract: »This thesis examines depictions of violence in two of the South African author J. M. Coetzee's most significant novels, Waiting for the Barbarians (1980) and Disgrace (1999). The thesis considers contextual and historical aspects as important. It discusses how Coetzee presents manifestations of violence. In the concluding chapter, I compare the two novels concerning context, purpose, and effect of violence.« (Source: DUO)


  Acknowledgements (p. vi)
  1 Introduction (p. 1)
    1.1 Problem statement (p. 1)
    1.2 South Africa and Apartheid (p. 2)
    1.3 Coetzee in the South African Context (p. 4)
    1.4 Waiting for the Barbarians and Disgrace (p. 5)
    1.5 The novels' relevance to issues in contemporary society in general and South Africa in particular (p. 8)
    1.6 Theory (p. 9)
    1.7 Method (p. 10)
    1.8 Recapitulation of problem statement (p. 11)
  2 Depictions of Violence in Waiting for the Barbarians (p. 12)
    2.1 Torture (p. 12)
    2.2 Meet the barbarians (p. 13)
    2.3 Narrative strategies and the moral issues of representing violence in Waiting for the Barbarians (p. 15)
    2.4 Coetzee's presentation of torture (p. 17)
    2.5 The Empire and the barbarians (p. 18)
    2.6 The Magistrate and the barbarian woman (p. 21)
    2.7 Said's Orientalism, identity and acts of "othering" (p. 25)
    2.8 The oppressors and the oppressed (p. 27)
  3 Depictions of rape in Disgrace (p. 31)
    3.1 Sexual violence (p. 31)
    3.2 The South African context (p. 34)
    3.3 Disgrace (p. 37)
    3.4 "Not rape, not quite that" (p. 39)
      3.4.1 Moral neutralization and amnesia (p. 44)
    3.5 "I'm a dead person" (p. 46)
    3.6 Race and gender-based violence (p. 49)
  4 Conclusion (p. 52)
  Works cited (p. 58)

Wikipedia: J. M. Coetzee: Disgrace (novel)