Age of Iron
by J.M. Coetzee
Age of Iron The Home Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"You can wait indoors till the rain stops, then I want you out," I said coldly, and turned my back on the pair of them.
I changed my clothes, locked myself in my bedroom, and tried to read. But the words rustled past me like leaves. With mild surprise I felt my eyelids droop, heard the book slide through my hands.
When I awoke the one thought in my mind was to get them out of the house. (2.152-154)
Mrs. Curren seems continually to fight a losing battle to claim her house as being totally her own. She gives in a little bit here because of the bad weather, but we also see deep down that every fiber of her being wants these people out of her house.
"Can I ask you a question?" I said. Where did you live before? Why did you start wandering?"
"I was at sea," said Vercueil. "I told you that."
"But one doesn't live at sea. One isn't born at sea. You haven't been at sea all your life." (2.367-369)
Vercueil seems to avoid telling Mrs. Curren anything too personal about himself. What could be more personal than talking about where you grew up?
"And you want to go home?"
"Yes, I want to go home. I am in pain, I am exhausted."
He turned and walked on. I hobbled behind. Then he stopped again. "You want to go home," he said. "But what of the people who live here? When they want to go home, this is where they must go. What do you think of that?" (3.108-110)
"Home" doesn't mean the same thing to everyone. For Mrs. Curren (at least for now), it's a place of peace and tranquility. For the people around her, home is a terrifying, inescapable disaster area.