After finishing the book I tried to look up a little more background information on J.M. Coetzee and the novel in general. I wanted to know just little bit more about this guy to get a better grasp at the way he views South Africa. On Wikipedia I found the following info which was definitely intriguing when looking at some of the discussions we have had in class.

After the publication of the novel, the African National Congressbrought charges against the author and the book before the South African Human Rights Commission, stating that the book presents a damaging image of post-apartheid South Africa and, in effect, is at best a powerful representation of white racist stereotyping of blacks. Conversely, Coetzee has dismissed these charges as superficial and outright dangerous.

 I did not know what to think when I read this. I reflected back to the way in which the author describes not only the rich, white part of South Africa but the commune as well. After a while I could see that both sides had a point in this argument. In a way it does reflect poorly on the country and gives a harsh image of how the locals live, and treat women and whites in general. However, this book is told through the eyes of David, who is a middle aged man experiencing a slight sexually frustrated induced mid life crisis. It is almost like the message before Info-mercials. “The opinions of this company due not necessarily reflect the opinions of this television station” David’s viewpoint and opinions are that of a middle aged white guy. His way of seeing things can’t be morphed just to make nice.  Fanon would have a field day in the middle of this debate due to the fact that this novel does depict a sense of identity for black men living in South Africa. 

Advertisements