The Theme Of Fear And Paranoia In Waiting For The Barbarians

Better Essays
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

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Due to the feelings of inadequacy and fear, the white people have tried to stifle black people every way they could. White people have taken drastic measures, such as violence and legalities, to hinder the success and uprising of black people and the black community as a whole. Lower, middle and upper-class white people considered black people as…

    • 1777 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This time, however, Whites are the subject. The key moment of this quotation is the end where Dixon describes this anarchy as an “animal instinct” which is fascinating considering this comment is made in regards to rioting White characters when Black characters are often given animal-like descriptions to insinuate bestiality. Therefore, Dixon (unintentionally) decries the White populace in his novel’s advocacy for segregation, based on the deterioration of government which will be inevitable under negro rule, because the same White populace assassinates their elected official and devolves into a mob that challenges the existence of order! The character, Ben, merely being part of the Confederacy represents political dissonance that threatens the harmony between the North and the South. Ben is cast as the hero of The Clansman.…

    • 1879 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The African culture was decimated because of their savage ways of life. All countries and bodies of power that claimed their piece of Africa justified their hostility by educating a ferocious nation. They needed to provide for their mother countries or strong powers and because the African were a weaker people, it was their destiny to fall and not evolve due to their unfit nature. Other regions that were impacted by the African slave trade include… They were impacted by … The devastating impacts of the African slave trade still outlast the country and have…

    • 1255 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Thus, this black rage, unlike the others, was the result of black people failing to be accepted by whites. However, as with all people who offered definitions of black rage, Fanon also offered a solution to it. In order to free them from this rage, Fanon argued that black people should start questioning white culture and challenging it as not being the only standard for society. By doing this, Fanon believed that the self-destructive black rage could be brought to and…

    • 507 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Black Culture

    • 1146 Words
    • 5 Pages

    This is all characterized from Euro centric beliefs and the devaluation of Black culture. Black culture is the less ideal and therefore, causes members of its group to want to withdraw and enter into the leading mainstream culture. The major problem associated with social identity is the refusal of members from the dominant group to acknowledge their privilege. The attitude and racist norms which shape the way it means to be black is framed by whites. White police officers who are killing defenseless black males have been socialized in this racist narrative against the black social group.…

    • 1146 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Once someone of the black race is murdered out of hate for the race, it creates violent protests and animosity toward the white race. Being black in America singles you out more than any other race. You are held to higher standards and expectations even though it seems as if everyone is against you. Not only is the…

    • 1140 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Thesis: In Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain uses Jim to explain that slavery was a wrong institution because whites treated blacks like they were a different species, which was wrong because blacks are humans too. TS1 Violence: In Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, violence is seen as one of the most vulgar aspects of slavery because humans beat and other humans and deprive them of their basic amenities. TS2 Family Separation: Miss Watson shows how separation of families was another reason why slavery was bad because it was moved humans away from their families and shows how society puts themselves before their slaves. TS3 Lack of Equality: Mark Twain uses Pap and Jim to demonstrate how equality is not a virtue in their society because Pap’s stereotypical views on black rights made blacks look subhuman and all Jim wants is to be seen as the human he is. Body Paragraph Mark Twain uses Jim and Pap to demonstrate how equality is not a virtue in their society because Pap’s stereotypical views on black rights made blacks look subhuman and all Jim wants is to be seen…

    • 822 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Again, during the last scene he says “but the negroes has already proved themselves such desperadoes, that, in case of a present assault, nothing but a total massacre of the whites could be looked for” (235) Since these blacks were once slaves, and in their own eyes what they are doing is for justice, they are willing to kill for it. And because of Delano’s deep racism, although he does not hate the blacks, they had to prove themselves to be capable of…

    • 1250 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Revealing the perspective of the narrator once he has been removed from the story by a number of years shows that for oppressed Black communities, it is naive and unwarranted to belief in concepts such as righteousness. These paragraphs are used to highlight the futility of Black expression - even when preaching a message of subservience, the words and ideas of that expression are turned into forms of violence that strangle, demean, and silence the Black…

    • 761 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Why Is Slavery Wrong

    • 1614 Words
    • 7 Pages

    For one Lincoln was white and was born free; while Douglas was African and was born into slavery himself. Even though both men hated slavery and wanted it abolished, they hated it for different reasons. Douglas believed slavery was wrong, and that it was cruel. He said black women were being raped, men were being murdered, and that blacks were being beat, and not one white man was being punished for these crimes. Douglas not only believed that slavery was wrong and hated it but he hated the slaveholders as well and wanted them to pay for treating slaves so poorly and for treating them as property.…

    • 1614 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays