The Colonizer and Colonized in "In the Heart of the Country" Analytical Essay by Dante885

The Colonizer and Colonized in "In the Heart of the Country"
An analysis of "In the Heart of the Country" to describe the relationships between colonizer, colonized and the South African environment.
# 153280 | 780 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2011 | IT
Published on May 16, 2013 in Literature (African)

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The paper discusses "In the Heart of the Country", an English-language novel by white South African writer J.M. Coetzee, that explores the complex and often volatile relationships between the colonizers and the colonized that develop on an isolated South African farm. The paper examines Magda's lonely first-person narrative and points out that the reader is involved and forced to re-arrange events in a logical order to interpret the plot in a meaningful way. The paper also shows how the narrator's mind is the most accessible part for the reader, more than the narrator's physical being.

From the Paper:

"The Africa writer and literary critic Geoff Gyasi provides a different perspective on Magda's narration, perceiving the bigger picture as one of a sort of imaginative realism. Magda's lonely first-person narrative speaks of killing and burying her father. But, as the story comes to a conclusion, we cannot be sure if this is merely fantasy or wishful thinking. Gyasi contends that Magda is not contradicting herself, but rather blending realism with idealism.
"The novel highlights the presence of an unreliable narrator -be it considered either from the literary or the writing stylistic perspective -so that the the reader is involved and forced almost contemporarily to re-arrange the events in a logical order and interpret the plot in a meaningful way. Nevertheless, every interpretation depends on the reader's imagination, leaving room for diverse interpretations, which in turn may lead to more diverse outcomes: from the very planned results which prove the protagonist to be highly imaginative to very cruel ones which are putative results of her father's and bride's homicide. However, none of those facts are objective, since the order of the events is often reversed, disrupted, when not only slightly changed or recounted differently with regards to the contents."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Janet Maslin, "Dust - Coetzee's Africa", 31 Oct. 1986. New York Times Movie Reviews. <>
  • Augusto Wong Campos, "Detailed Book Review," 29 Nov. 2011. <>
  • Geoff Gyasi, "Book Review: In the Heart of the Country by J.M. Coetzee," 6 May 2011. Geosi Reads. <>
  • Watson, Stephen. 1986. "Colonialism and the Novels of JM Coetzee." Research in African literatures 17(3): 370-392.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

The Colonizer and Colonized in "In the Heart of the Country" (2013, May 16) Retrieved January 28, 2022, from

MLA Format

"The Colonizer and Colonized in "In the Heart of the Country"" 16 May 2013. Web. 28 January. 2022. <>