The Theme Of Fear And Paranoia In Waiting For The Barbarians

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The theme of fear and paranoia presented in Waiting for the Barbarians, by J.M. Coetzee, apparent in the white population of the frontier town, lies in the ever present idea that black people are inherently evil and should be avoided at all times. This idea presented by Coetzee, stems from the similar mentality present in what was then, current day South Africa. It can be proved that this idea was merely formed from paranoia, with little substantial evidence to prove the dark side of the black soul. Events during the Apartheid era such as the Soweto Uprising of 1976 and the Defiance campaign were created with intentions of peace and the leaders of the parties behind such events, upheld the mantra of non-violence before any resistance took place. Ultimately, groups …show more content…
This hatred stemmed not from natural instinct but instead had been carefully cultivated through propaganda and threats. This can be seen in R.W. Johnson’s, SOUTH AFRICA A BRAVE NEW WORLD, in which it is stated that, “One was told, ‘the country would burn’ and there would be ‘blood on the streets’.” (Johnson 2009). This kind of threatening diatribe did not aid in giving a fair view of the black population but rather drove the white population to start associating black people with death and danger. A concept introduced within the white community, ‘Die Swart Gevaar’ created a literal fear of black people, insinuating that they are a race to be wary of (Koen 2013). People now viewed the black population as one that would massacre, drive away and plague the white population indefinitely if the Apartheid regime was abandoned. This new mentality meant that the human instinct for self-preservation was called upon where black people were concerned. This ultimately led to an abject suspicion and the decision to view the black population as the enemy and ensure harsh actions to keep them

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