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Foe Thesis

Decent Essays
Foe Thesis Coetzee’s “Foe” reinvents the story of Daniel DeFoe’s classic novel, “Robinson Crusoe”. Though the classic is recreated to include a woman, the myth that is “Robinson Crusoe” seems to be merely a setting as the novel revolves around the narrator and her experiences. The book is narrated by Susan Barton, a “newcomer”, cast away on the same island as “Cruso” and Friday. Through Susan’s interactions with fellow castaways, and later with the former author, Foe, himself and her daughter, “Susan” we see a pattern emerge. It is one that speaks of her struggle and a journey to claim her own identity and ultimately her voice amidst oppressive male-dominated European colonialist society. This becomes especially apparent as Susan’s…show more content…
After their arrival, Susan begins to draft a memoir of her time on the island as a means of survival. She seeks out author Daniel Foe to serve as ghostwriter and publisher. “Do you know the story of the Muse, Mr Foe? …. The Muse is both goddess and begetter. I was intended not to be the mother of my story, but to beget it. It is not I who am the intended, but you.” Though Susan wishes to write about her experiences as a castaway on the island, Foe seems hesitant and seeks information instead about her travels in Bahia...here again we see reference of Susan’s voice being undermined. Now destitute, Susan and Friday take up residence in Foe's house, where Susan writes a series of letters addressed to Foe, many of which do not reach him because he is evading creditors. Susan is later reunited with her long lost daughter, also named Susan Barton who appears one day out of the blue. Coetzee’s analogic purpose for the younger Susan is that of an alter ego. She is meant to allow Susan’s voice to be heard, to unearth her frustrations at not being able to speak her own mind in a male dominated world. This is clearly surmised in the passage; “You are father-born, you have no mother. The pain you feel is the pain of lack not the pain of loss. What you hope to regain in my person you
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