What is the message of Waiting for the Barbarians?

What is the message of Waiting for the Barbarians?

The central conceit of Waiting for the Barbarians is that the well-meaning Magistrate experiences what the Empire he works for inflicts on those it has branded its enemies, with the supposedly fair man thus confronted with what his employer is really capable of.

What is the plot of Waiting for the Barbarians?

At an isolated frontier outpost, a colonial magistrate of an unnamed empire suffers a crisis of conscience when an army colonel arrives looking to interrogate the locals about an impending uprising, using cruel tactics that horrify the magistrate.

What happened at the end of Waiting for the Barbarians?

The magistrate tries to communicate with Joll, but he won’t open the carriage. He and his company quickly leave. The novel ends as the magistrate tries to write the history of the settlement, but he finds himself unable to.

Why is it called Waiting for the Barbarians?

Waiting for the Barbarians shares its title with the Cavafy poem that ends those people were a kind of solution. The so-called barbarians stand in for that other, lesser personcoded as foreign, threatening, criminalwho can be used to scare the populace and justify any authoritarian measures

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