A Feminist Critique of J.M. Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians: How One Piece of 1980s Literature Continues to Perpetuate Misogynistic Ideology
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Coetzee, born in South Africa in 1940, published Waiting for the Barbarians in 1980 as an allegory for Apartheid. The novel has received several awards, most notably the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003. Since then, Waiting for the Barbarians has been lauded as a modern literature classic. However, the narrator of the novel is somewhat problematic. He is an authority figure in the Empire, and he uses that position to his personal advantage to the detriment of women. His narrative is loaded with misogynistic language and ideology. Due to the high profile of Waiting for the Barbarians, I believe that it is important to address the misogyny present in this well-received novel.
CrowE, Emma. “A Feminist Critique of J.M. Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians: How One Piece of 1980s Literature Continues to Perpetuate Misogynistic Ideology.” Literary Imagination, ahead of print, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1093/litimag/imac026.
© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers. All rights reserved.
This article was originally published in Literary Imagination. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.