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Age of Iron
Age of Iron
by J.M. Coetzee
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Age of Iron Hate Quotes Page 4

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Quote #10

I leaned across the table. "Bheki is in the ground," I said. "He is in a box in a hole with earth heaped on top of him. He is never going to leave that hole. Never, never, never. Understand: this is not a game like football, where after you fall down you get up and go on playing. The men you are playing against don't say to each other, 'That one is just a child, let us shoot a child's bullet at him, a play bullet.' They don't think of you as a child at all. They think of you as the enemy and they hate you quite as much as you hate them. They will have no qualms about shooting you; on the contrary, they will smile with pleasure when you fall and make another notch on their gunstocks." (3.468)

Mrs. Curren explains to John that the blacks don't just hate the white officers; the white officers hate the blacks, too, and won't think twice about seriously harming them.

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