Foe Nultichoice

Foe (on Chapter 2)
by J. M. Coetzee

The characters??™ relationships — Roy,
Language &Tongue — Chelsea,
Susan Barton & Her daughter — Annie,
Susan as a writer – Siobhan
The changes of their relationships among Susan, Cruso and Friday

A. Cruso and Friday
B. Cruso and Susan
C. Susan and Friday

A. Cruso and Friday
In chapter 1, Cruso is like a king. He treats Friday like his slave.
Cruso is like a colonizer and Friday to be a colonized aboriginal. He only teaches him some words. (P.56)
Cruso is suspected to cut out Friday??™s tongue. (P. 68)
Cruso dies then.

B. Cruso and Susan
In chapter 1, Cruso also wants to subordinate Susan and not let her go around. =>colonizer and someone to be colonized
Later Cruso appreciates Susan??™s help on the ship.
In chap.2, Susan regards Cruso as her friend. She dreams of him (P. 54) and the island of Cruso.

Susan and Friday
In chap.1, Susan is afraid of Friday because she doesn??™t know him at all and the lost tongue.
In chap 2, Susan and Friday are like friends.They are like mother and son. She takes care of him. (P. 47)
She tries to teach him simple English and observes his behavior in order to understand him more. (P. 56)–Friday??™s dance
She has sympathy on him.
The Theme:Language &Tongue

The Lost Tongue
The lost ability of living independently P. 48
The inability of expressions (murmur, grief) P. 23, p. 49
The lost sense of selfness P. 51
The bereft interest of learning to express freely P.56

The lost chance of sharing and supporting P. 70
No world of play: boring life p.85
The abiding sleep of awareness (a scourage of Africa) P 82
The dead heart p.57, P. 70, P.85
The lost freedom p. 100

The motivation
For fear of the idleness and stupidness
will destroy him.
PP. 56,57
Abolish the notion of speech p. 57
reborn the memories p.57
return to the world of words p. 60

Susan Barton & Her daughter
In Chap.1, to search for Susan??™s lost daughter, she became the castaway; in Chap.2, Susan refused to acknowledge the daughter. (75, 77, 89-91) Why
Major reasons:
Susan regarded the daughter as one false girl who was arranged and sent by Foe. (74-75, 78)
Susan??™s strong attempt to be an author.

Special Scene (104-105):

When Susan took Friday to Bristol, she saw a parcel of the dead babe in the ditch. At the sight of this scene, Susan assumed that the dead babe was herself.
Susan thought that she refused the false daughter cruelly.
Susan felt the pathetic fate of the abandoned children. (This can show Susan??™s sympathetic emotion)

Other Reference: Roxana
Roxana??™s story, which was introduced by Coetzee, is the other similar story as Susan??™s.
1.Roxana and Susan made choices between
the mother and the author.
2.They both refused to admit their daughters.


1. The reason of refusing to admit the
daughter is different.
—Roxana did not want to go back her past.
—Susan wanted to pursue her ideal—be an
2. Roxana became an independent woman
and author; while Susan still did not
succeed in being an author.

Susan Barton??™s Attitude

To Susan, Friday and the false girl are not her consanguinities. However, Susan treated them in the different way.
To Friday: (—Mother-son relationship)
1. The process from fearing Friday to
showing Susan??™s sympathy, patience, and
concerns.(84-85, 95, 104, 111)
2. Susan??™s attempt to teach language and
music. (96-98)
3. Susan??™s way in talking to Friday. (77)
To Young Susan Barton:

Susan treated the girl indifferently,
showed no trust to the girl, and
she wanted to send the girl away as soon as
Their dialogs (72-74, 77-78)
The scene in the forest (89-91)
Susan kept the distance with the girl—showing her indifference. (73, 90)

Study question

What do you think about Susan??™s attitude toward Friday and the young girl Friday and the young girl both do not have ties of blood with Susan, why did Susan treat Friday more well than the girl

Why Susan wrote those letters
—Susan??™s writing style
—Express ???What???

The power to speak
—Not to be ???Victimize???
Susan & Friday??”Parallelism
—A reflection of Susan
—Out of tongue, out of power
—Why Susan cannot teach Friday well
—A dumb person cannot teach people
how to speak??¦.
The title??”Foe
—A male writer
—A female writer??™s foe
—Foe of ???Female Authorship???