'How Shall I be Saved?' The Salvation of Mrs Curren in Coetzee's Age of Iron
Purcell, William M.
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Previous scholarship has ignored extensive Christian references in J. M. Coetzee's Age of Iron, focusing instead on the story as an allegory for political struggle in South Africa. The thesis of this paper is that Age of Iron should also be read as an account of Christian salvation in which a lost soul, Mrs Curren, is saved by learning to love the unloved and unlovable. The narrative of Mrs Curren's salvation is crafted via references to a variety of Christian scriptures including John, Luke, Matthew, Mark, Hebrews, Corinthians, James, and Amos, as well as the Dies irae, a portion of the Requiem Mass.