Waiting for the Barbarians Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Why is the magistrate nervous about leaving his position even as he is approaching retirement?

The magistrate is nervous about leaving his position as he is approaching retirement as he wonders is his successor would be more ruthless.

2. Why was Colonel Joll send to the area where the Magistrate is in charge at the start of the story?

The Colonel has been sent to visit the Magistrate to investigate the rumors about a barbarian uprising in the area.

3. What happens to the family that the Colonel wants to interrogate when they come into town?

The Colonel wants to interrogate the family, thinking they are a threat and the grandfather is killed when he throws himself on the torturers when seeing his daughter being tortured.

4. What does the magistrate find when he goes to visit the family who has been tortured by the Colonel?

The magistrate goes to visit the family and finds the boy asleep while the dead grandfather is lying next to him with injuries that differ from those described in the report, indicating torture.

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