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In the Heart of the Country by J.M.Coetzze - Essay Example

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Subject: Essay, English Date: Topic: “In the Heart of the Country" by J. M. Coetzze Introduction When a female confronts frustration from all ends, a character like Magda is created. Even the readers call her an unreliable narrator, which adds to her frustration…
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In the Heart of the Country by J.M.Coetzze
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"In the Heart of the Country by J.M.Coetzze"

Download file to see previous pages I am a miserable black virgin, and my story is my story, even if it is a dull black blind stupid miserable story, ignorant of its meaning and of all its many possible untapped happy variants" ( 5). The novel represents how the colonial rule has left deep imprints on the native people beginning from the political, social and cultural levels, attacking their customs, traditions and languages, in the process destroying their inner world conditioned by the restrictions of the patriarchal society. Education Magda has no education except what she reads, and this lack of context for her experience is part of her madness. She is the daughter of an Afrikaner sheep farmer in a farm at the interiors of South Africa. She has grown up in tough surroundings detached from love, her patriarchal father is the strict disciplinarian and the servants obey his military-type commands. She just exists, disregarded and ignored. She falters in her narrations too often, in between and many times in one paragraph. She lacks clarity, purpose and connectivity making it difficult for the reader to give opinionated statements or arrive at conclusions. Magda often regrets that she is denied the regular school education and as such she finds her in the poor position. She laments, “How do I, a lonely spinster, come to know such as a thing? It is not for nothing that I spend evenings humped over the victory. Words are words. I have never pretended to embrace the night's experience". (27) After the first reading, one has to engage in the exercise of probity as to what has been read, and what portion of it is fantasy and how far it is from reality. What is Magda doing, is it the flight of her imagination, calculated fabrication, or directionless and destination less delusion? It is difficult to fathom. She seems to suffer from an unidentified mental illness and lacks clear perspectives. The colonial rulers, the educational institutions whether state-run or managed by the missionaries, they used it as a weapon to strengthen the empire and to brainwash the gullible poor Africans. It is also an important administrative tool to exercise control and rule the people. The dividing line between insanity and reality is not thin. The ground realities and the lucid dreams as visualized by Magda are poles apart. When all hopes about life are lost in the maze of adverse circumstances, the only alternative for such an individual is to hang on to life and to ravel in fantasy and enjoy the dreams. The narrator does not talk about the goals achieved and goals achievable, and the intended goals of her world of fantasy. The reader has no other option but to scrutinize her emotional world on an ongoing basis, to investigate as to what exactly the narrator wishes to convey. Her mind is like the busy railway junction wherein a thousand mad trains arrive and depart not according to a fixed time-table, but as per the exigencies of the situation. A serious issue is presented and soon its negative impact is nullified by presenting another set of facts. The reader gets the impression that Magda has murdered her father and his wife with an axe, but soon one finds that he is there hale and hearty. After killing her father, (actually she does not kill) she states, “I only wanted to talk, I have never learned to talk with another person. It has always been that the word has come down to me and I have passed it on." (101).The reader now concludes that it is the motivated ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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