Racial Bigotry and Afrikaner Agonies: A Post Colonial Reading of John Maxwell Coetzee’s Novel, Disgrace (1999)

  • Carolyne Chebet Laikipia University
Keywords: Afrikaner, Apartheid, Hegemony, Inter-Racial, Postcolonial
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South Africa has an exceptionally rich literary environment, particularly when it comes to the experience of coping with a tragic past. Afrikaners in South Africa had the opportunity to benefit from a privileged family foundation and the best socioeconomic and political outcomes thanks to the apartheid racial segregation system. This change has exposed the whites’ illusion that they can exist outside the historical process. Apartheid having been embedded in the consciousness of both the whites and the blacks has made it difficult for the whites to accept the reversal of the status quo within the master-slave matrix. This transformed society is affecting the Afrikaners, so they are struggling to reclaim and sustain a connection with the socio-cultural, economic, and political past. There is a disconnect between the individual and the social-cultural context, which results in agonies experienced by the Afrikaners in the post-apartheid era. The paper employed a postcolonial theory as propagated by Edward Said (1978) and Homi Bhabha (1994). It was also buttressed by New Historicism that grounds socio-political and cultural interconnectedness with the prevailing historical discourses, which gives a deeper insight into human relations. The interplay between history and cultural identity, culture and hegemony, and the resultant interracial divisions that conceal covert misogyny illustrate the reality that history may be recreated from various angles. A qualitative approach based on the library was adopted. The research design used in the study was analytical. By purposive sampling, the text was selected deliberately: Disgrace (1999) by J. M Coetzee. The selected text bulks on agonies Afrikaners go through in the post-apartheid era. This study hopes to contribute to existing post-apartheid dialectics on interracial relations


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3 August, 2023
How to Cite
Chebet, C. (2023). Racial Bigotry and Afrikaner Agonies: A Post Colonial Reading of John Maxwell Coetzee’s Novel, Disgrace (1999). East African Journal of Arts and Social Sciences, 6(2), 24-36. https://doi.org/10.37284/eajass.6.2.1351