The Voice of the Black Female: A Post-Colonial Feminist Perspective in J. M. Coetzee’s Age of Iron

  • Suadah Jasim Salih Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Languages and Communication, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI), Malaysia
  • Lajiman Janoory 1Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Languages and Communication, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI), Malaysia
Keywords: apartheid, black women, Coetzee, feminism, post-colonial literature, South Africa


As a beacon in a storm, John Maxwell Coetzee has established himself through his intellectual contribution to the post-colonial feminism literature in general and South African slavery epoch in particular. Accordingly, this study has been devoted to critically reflect how Coetzee confined his pen to support the oppressed black South Africans against injustice, oppression and deprivation. Moreover, the paper reveals the South African inextricable components and haw the writer has deeply perceived both apartheid and post-apartheid history by his naked eyes. Coetzee’s Age of Iron reveals his unique ability to aptly penetrate his readers based on contradiction where pessimism is shifted to optimism and, therefore, the readers’ mindset is directly shifted from atrocity to love. The study then delves deeply to show how Coetzee provides a solution to bring two parted races, black and white South Africans, together through the role of women characters in his fiction based on both gender and racial schism. Specifically, this study critically scrutinizes Coetzee’s Age of Iron. The study applies the post-colonial feminism theory using discursive strategy based on sociological and anthropological analyses to reveal how colonization destroyed South Africans’ cultures resulting in a crisis of human segregation which is depicted through white women characters in the novel. By drawing the post-colonial black women’s treatment by the colonisers and the forms of resisting their hegemony, the findings of this study are expected to significantly contribute to the researchers whose concern is on black women in Coetzee’s fiction.


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How to Cite
Salih, S. J. and Janoory, L. (2020) “The Voice of the Black Female: A Post-Colonial Feminist Perspective in J. M. Coetzee’s Age of Iron”, Malaysian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities (MJSSH), 5(10), pp. 267 - 276. doi: 10.47405/mjssh.v5i10.524.