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Introduction & Overview of Dusklands by John Maxwell Coetzee

This Study Guide consists of approximately 50 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Dusklands.
This section contains 270 words
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Dusklands Summary & Study Guide Description

Dusklands Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains For Further Reading on Dusklands by John Maxwell Coetzee.

Introduction

J. M. Coetzee's Dusklands, published in 1974 in South Africa, is actually not a novel but rather two short novellas that share a common theme. That theme is an exploration of power, or the lack of it, depending on whose side you are on. It is about the power to rule that is fought for in war, or the power that is exerted in prejudice against a group of people who are considered less than human. It is about the power of the mind to conceptualize how to demean a nation of people; how to propagandize one's beliefs; or how to rationalize one's horrible and disgraceful actions. And it is about the power of survival. But power is not the only theme. Dusklands is not only about the power of extensive military machines or the dominance exhibited by white supremacy or the exploitation of colonization. It is also about the sometimes deadly consequences of culture clash, the disintegration of the human spirit, and the complete destruction of a way of life.

Dusklands is Coetzee's first published work. He went on to write many more novels that reached ever-widening, international audiences. He has won numerous prizes for his skill, including two Booker Prizes, the only writer to accomplish this feat. Dusklands is not the most extraordinary nor the most popular of his books, but it contains the seed from which his other novels have bloomed. The undercurrent of bigotry, narrow-mindedness, and insensitivity that create the absurdities of Coetzee's novels are all there, as is the suffering of those who are the victims stranded in the futile realities of Coetzee's fictional worlds.

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This section contains 270 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Dusklands Study Guide
Copyrights
Dusklands from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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