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Character Role Analysis

Mrs. Curren

Mrs. Curren is the main character of Age of Iron – no two ways about it. We see everything – good, bad, or indifferent – through her eyes and thus through her point of view. What's really great about J.M. Coetzee's portrayal of Mrs. Curren is that she's such a complex and dynamic character. Even though Mrs. Curren is the one narrating and giving us all the information we receive, we're still pushed from time to time to contemplate and critique her thoughts and actions. Sometimes she's really easy to sympathize with: who couldn't feel some pity for a woman who's all alone in the world, dying of cancer, and longing to be reunited with her long-lost daughter who has moved to America for good? On the other hand, she can be kind of a pill. She can get really self-righteous at times; at other times, the lady seems just plain crazy. Still, we're there with her from beginning to end, watching her live out her last days and try to make peace with the world around her.