Vu Nguyen DOC 3 ESSAY 3

Vu Nguyen DOC 3 ESSAY 3 - 1 Vu Nguyen Eng-003-15 7 March...

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Vu Nguyen Eng-003-15 7 March 2011 Paper 3 Word Count: 1802 Through the years and experiencing the conditions of a foreign country, Coetzee intellectually structures his Nobel Prize for Literature speech similar to the structures of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. The structure presented an imaginative explanation of a subject represented under another subject or symbol. In the speech, “ He and his Man,” Coetzee’s explicit explanation with the tale of ducks traveling to Lincolnshire helps us construct deeper understandings and interpretations of John’s feelings of despair, misery and loneliness through his struggles concerning failed relationships and achieving his ambition in becoming a poet. In the speech, Coetzee composes the main subjects, the duck and the men of the fen, the fen-men, as representations holding significant values and important characteristics critical to the tale. Coetzee explains the that “fens are home to many other birds” and the fen-men “raise tame ducks, called decoy ducks or duckoys.” When analyzing and comparing the power status and the position of the two subjects on the food chain, it delivers the message that one subject, the ducks, is greatly inferior to the other subject, the fen-men. Furthermore, we can analyze that Coetzee’s purpose of choosing one subject as a duck to signify the following characteristics: an animal that is at the bottom of the food chain, eats small meals such as insects and plants, and predominantly prefers staying on the ground rather than flying and exploring the opportunities surrounding it. From the details of the characteristics of ducks, connections can be made to help us further understand John’s character of having similar “duck” 1
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qualities. We can understand and expand our views that John’s position can be claimed to be at the bottom of society as a “foreigner”, frugal in treating himself to small meals such as marrowbone soup and cauliflower, and as a static character because he prefers to stay in his initial position searching for perfect romantic relationships instead of “flying” and discovering his ambition to become a poet. From Coetzee’s description the two subjects, we interpret that the ducks symbolize John and the fen-men symbolize the people in London, who seem to be more superior and controlling over John’s actions. Coetzee continues the speech and explains the scene where the the decoy ducks lures and kidnaps the Dutch and the German ducks, sending them overseas to their new home, the decoy ponds. When explaining this scene, we can interpret that Coetzee purposely draws emphasis by using the word “kidnapped.” From using the word
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This note was uploaded on 04/25/2011 for the course ENG 3 taught by Professor Zane during the Spring '08 term at UC Davis.

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Vu Nguyen DOC 3 ESSAY 3 - 1 Vu Nguyen Eng-003-15 7 March...

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