Analysis Of Colonel Joll In Waiting For The Barbarians

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British businesswomen and singer Victoria Beckham once said, “sunglasses hide a multitude of sins…” (Victoria), this quote can be pertained to J.M. Coetzee’s antagonist character, Colonel Joll, in Waiting For The Barbarians. The colonel, who wears sunglasses largely throughout the book, is from the Third Bureau and represents an unnamed Empire. In the book, Coetzee does not give the reader enough information to sketch a picture of the Empire. He informs us that it is the Capital of the fort where this book takes place in and that the Empire never dies. While the Empire is unnamed, it can be said that the Empire is an allegory of South Africa during the apartheid because it was written during the apartheid and also that Coetzee is from South Africa. Meanwhile, Colonel Joll is sent to check on the Empire’s distant military fort, where sunglasses are an unknown object. The fort is looked after by an old Magistrate, whose name is not given in the book.The Magistrate welcomes the Colonel and is fascinated, but yet confused on why the Colonel 's eyes are hidden. During Colonel Joll’s time at the fort, he interrogates the barbarian son and father captured because of their misfortune timing of being by the fort when a raid took place nearby. In interrogating, the Colonel uses torture as a means to forcibly make the son admit that the barbarians are planning an attack against the fort in order to battle the barbarians, who they fail against. In Waiting For the Barbarians, Coetzee
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