J. M. Coetzee Essay - Robert J. England II HON 212 Section...

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Robert J. England II HON 212 Section 007 Edith Elwood Coetzee Response Wednesday, May 2, 2007 Time always seems to return to itself. Two years ago at this time, I was finishing up my high school studies, and preparing to enter college. In a few weeks I would attend summer orientation, and receive my first college book, J. M. Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarians . I read it and finished it within two days of receiving it. It would provide the basis for my first essay in a college class, and was the topic of both a discussion and a lecture on my first day of classes (indeed, my first college class was Honors 111). Almost two years after first reading and discussing the text, we return to it as the end of a two year, four semester course sequence that has been a major part of my college life since it has started. The result has been a long journey through unknown areas, filled with excitements and disappointments, leading to equal amounts of change and stability, but eventually returning to where it started. The Magistrate of the text went through a long journey as well; and while there are many differences, the journeys are symbolically similar to each other. Waiting for the Barbarians was a fictional narrative, delivered by an unnamed magistrate of an unnamed colony. The colony, as part of a larger, unnamed country, appeared to be on the verge of war with the neighboring people, referred to as the “Barbarians”. The Magistrate appeared to be indifferent to the Barbarians at first, but the plot of the text takes hold when he shows compassion to an abandoned Barbarian woman and takes her into his house. After a relationship that was intended to be romantic but never really was, the Magistrate decided to take the woman to her home, and set off on a
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This essay was uploaded on 04/19/2008 for the course HON 212 taught by Professor Elwood during the Spring '07 term at University of Maine Orono .

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J. M. Coetzee Essay - Robert J. England II HON 212 Section...

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