Age of Iron
by J.M. Coetzee
Age of Iron Violence Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"I cannot send him home, said Florence. "If he goes Bheki will go with him. They are like this." She held up a hand, two fingers intertwined. "It is safer for them here. In Gugulethu there is trouble all the time, and then the police come in and shoot." (2.130).
Maybe Bheki and his friend learned to be spontaneously violent because it's something they live with every day – the police show up and shoot people. Violence begets violence.
Then Florence was there, kneeling beside her son, speaking to him urgently, stroking his head. He began to reply: slow, mumbled words. Her hand paused as she listened. "They crashed into the back of this truck," I explained. "It's my truck," said the man in blue. "The police pushed them," I said. "It's appalling, quite appalling. It was those same policemen who were here yesterday, I am sure." (2.190)
Bheki's bike accident wasn't really an accident; it was an example of police brutality.
Ten years at most. A child of the times, at home in this landscape of violence. When I think back to my own childhood I remember only long sun-struck afternoons, the smell of dust under avenues of eucalyptus, the quiet rustle of water in roadside furrows, the lulling of doves. (3.64)
What's really hard for Mrs. Curren to fathom is how there are kids in her society who have only really known the kind of violence that she finds so bizarre and terrifying. She remembers childhood as something totally different – as a time of supreme innocence; that kind of childhood doesn't seem to exist anymore.