Age of Iron
by J.M. Coetzee
Age of Iron The Home Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"This is a big house," he said. "You could turn it into a boarding house."
I made a tired gesture.
"You could let rooms to students," he went on relentlessly. (1.35-37)
Vercueil points out that Mrs. Curren has plenty of rooms to spare and could give other people a nice place to live. This is a great example of the divide we see between Mrs. Curren's view of her home as a private place and (seemingly) everyone else's attitude that she should give other people somewhere to crash since she has plenty of space.
"He must go home," I said. "This is getting too much for me. I can't have brawling in my backyard. I can't have strangers walking in and out." (2.74)
Mrs. Curren's home is often anything but a safe, quiet space. Here, we see how she feels like she's losing control over her own domain.
"Very well," I said, "I will not make that mistake again. But I cannot turn my home into a haven for all the children running away from the townships.
"But why not?" asked Florence, leaning forward. "Why not?" (2.134-135)
Florence and Mrs. Curren have a lot of differing opinions, but this is a particularly interesting conflict. Florence and her family are basically living at Mrs. Curren's place and Florence's son, Bheki, brings in a friend who creates a lot of disturbances. Mrs. Curren sees this as an intrusion: it's her home, after all. Florence sees things differently, perhaps because she knows what the alternative is.