Age of Iron
by J.M. Coetzee
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
Mrs. Curren sure is a big fan of classical music. There are so many references to different composers and works of music that you might find yourself heading to our "Allusions" section to double check what it is that Mrs. Curren's referring to all the time. Mrs. Curren's love of classical music says a lot about her intellectual inclinations and Westernized, affluent social standing (for more on that, check out "Character Clues").
Classical music doesn't just reflect on Mrs. Curren's personal preferences and habits, though – it also says something about the way that she tries to make order in the world. Have you ever walked into a bookstore and heard some classy violin streaming through the speakers? Don't you feel somehow soothed and simultaneously more civilized because the music is so darn highbrow? Now, have you also noticed how Mrs. Curren often listens to classical music when she's in too much pain to do anything else or when her mind is so blown by the things that she's seen that she just needs to zone out? Classical music represents reason, order, and civilized society, all of which can elude Mrs. Curren in the chaotic society in which she lives.