Waiting for the Barbarians and Bloodchild

How do the writers surveyed in this course depict violence and conflict?

We’ve discussed various depictions of oppression, slavery, torture, and resistance. But, the combative language and violent encounters in these texts are often more complicated than they seem at first glance.

Compose an essay that examines two authors’ treatment of psychological or corporeal violence.

You might address any of the following questions:

  • In each case, who holds power and how is that power used?
  • Why do oppressors seem to depend on their victims?
  • What purpose do scenes of violence serve in each text?

You might focus on violence inflicted on the physical bodies of characters, or you might explore the psychic violations experienced by characters whose bodies remain otherwise intact. In any case, your argument should explain the ways each author uses scenes of conflict, suffering, or brutality to illuminate features of the worlds these characters inhabit.

The two texts are: 
1. Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee
2. Bloodchild by Octavia E. Butler

Manuscript Format: The essay should be between 1500 and 2000 words in length (5-7 pages).
Your manuscript should be double spaced, use 12-point font (preferably Times New Roman), and have 1-inch margins. Do not forget page numbers. Every good paper requires a title.

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