Hearing what is not said; seeing what is not written.
Date of Issue2011
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
This essay explores the silences and absences in Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country and J. M. Coetzee's Disgrace. In both novels, parts of the plots are purposely left out and characters are silenced or keep silent. Unlike aural silence, literary absences and silences can only be conceived and be meaningful when they are framed by specific contexts. In the novels, what is absent gradually occupies the imaginations of the readers such that they become too loud to remain ignored. These absences and silences is associated with the psychological trauma of Africa's apartheid. While this mental trauma cannot be linguistically expressed by the characters, silence becomes a more viable way of communication.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University