A Feminist Critique of “Voice” and the “Other” in J.M. Coetzee’s Post-colonial Novel “Foe”

Nushrat Azam


This paper seeks to analyze the techniques and effects of voice and silence in the life of a female character in J. M. Coetzee’s Foe. The analysis shows how the character of Susan Barton in Foe gives readers a feminine perspective on the famous tale of Robinson Crusoe. The method of investigation is a critical examination of the characterization of the female character; the research analyzes the events, actions and the interactions of Susan Barton, with a sight to identify how the character of Susan is portrayed in the novel. The analysis shows that while Susan is able to find a “voice” in some parts of this post-colonial text, her constant submission to strong male characters in the novel ends up showing a picture of a frail woman who defines her existence and individuality relative to men in her life. It strengthens the fact that women were still struggling to free themselves from the patriarchal domination of the post-colonial era.


Voice, Silence, Sex, Expression, Identity, Other

Full Text:



Attridge, Derek. J. M. Coetzee and the Ethics of Reading: Literature in the Event Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2004: 75-77

Coetzee, J.M. Foe. London: Penguin Books, 1988.

Defoe, Daniel. Robinson Crusoe. Hollywood: Simon & Brown, 2012.

Debate: A Sourcebook, edited by Suzanne Juhasz Camille Roman, Cristanne Miller, 407-27. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1994.

Kossew, Sue. Pen and Power: A Post-Colonial Reading of J.M. Coetzee and André Brink. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1996: 162

MacLeod, Lewis. ""Do We of Necessity Become Puppets in a Story?" Or Narrating the World: On Speech, Silence, and Discourse in J. M. Coetzee's Foe." MFS Modern Fiction Studies 52, no. 1 (2006): 1-18.

Price, Jason D. "Coetzee's Foe: Susan Barton's (Un) Reliable Narration and Her Revelation through Misreading." Seton Hall University, 2008: 13

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.7n.7p.164


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.