Narrative Struggles: Unraveling The Quest For Identity In J.M. Coetzee's 'Foe'


  • Dr.S.GUNASEKARAN (Corresponding Author)


J.M. Coetzee's novel 'Foe' is a compelling exploration of identity, narrative power, and the inherent challenges in constructing one's sense of self. This paper delves into the intricacies of the characters' narrative struggles within the novel, aiming to dissect the multifaceted layers that define their quests for identity.

            The narrative unfolds on an island where Susan Barton, stranded after her shipwreck, encounters Daniel Defoe and the mute Friday. The paper critically examines how the characters grapple with the imposition of external narratives upon their own, highlighting the tensions between personal agency and societal expectations. Susan Barton's journey, seeking recognition and voice in the face of colonial structures, becomes emblematic of the broader human struggle for self-identity.

            The analysis extends to the role of language in shaping and limiting identity, as characters navigate linguistic barriers and confront the power dynamics inherent in narrative creation. Coetzee's intricate narrative style and metafictional elements further complicate the characters' quests, inviting readers to question the very nature of storytelling and its impact on identity formation.

            Drawing on literary theory, postcolonial discourse, and narrative analysis, this paper offers a comprehensive exploration of how 'Foe' engages with the complexities of identity. By unraveling the narrative struggles of the characters, it seeks to contribute to the broader discourse on postcolonial literature, metafiction, and the profound interplay between individual and collective identity construction.


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How to Cite

DEVARAM, S. A. ., & (Corresponding Author), D. . (2024). Narrative Struggles: Unraveling The Quest For Identity In J.M. Coetzee’s ’Foe’. Migration Letters, 21(S5), 439–453. Retrieved from




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