J. M. Coetzee Writing Styles in The Childhood of Jesus

J. M. Coetzee
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Point of View

The novel is told in the third person, present tense, from the perspective of Simon. This point of view is used to initially guide the reader towards sympathizing with Simon when he first arrives in Novilla. The people and the culture of Novilla are very strange and unfamiliar and the reader’s confusion about their customs and behavior is reflected in Simon’s own confusion as he struggles to make a life for himself in this new world.

One of the limits of Simon’s perspective is that at some point – for reasons that are never made clear to the reader – all of the characters in the novel lost their memories of what life was like before the present moment. They were “washed clean” (19) as Ana puts it. This means that although the reader is able to discover new things about the present day through...

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This section contains 849 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Childhood of Jesus Study Guide
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