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Posted on February 26, 2018

Reading through chapter five, I was interested. The Magistrate is now a free man, free to roam wherever he desires and is enabled by Mandel to “go and die somewhere”. What I found very interested was that the Magistrate basically began to ask Mandel how he lives with himself with torturing people. This question came with much boldness because if we look back, that same fiery characteristic of the Magistrate is a factor of the torture he received. This question reminded me of the tension between Joll and him. This same question lived in the Magistrates head daily while he watched Joll torture people to get the “truth”. What I also found interesting here is that the Magistrate in this part of the novel is a free man, and he begins to pick on Mandel’s way of life. But I question the Magistrates way of life on the decisions he has made throughout the novel, they were not so pure. So how does he live with himself?

I found this funny, ever since the magistrate was no longer a prisoner, he has had this desire for food, no not women, food. Because the town knows his history and his time that was past, they seem to have pity and empathy on him, and with his “skills”, he is able to win the women over to get the food he so dearly craves.

The rumors that were spread about the barbarians relate so much to today’s world. The outsiders, the outcasts, the minority, they receive the blame for any wrong that goes on in the world and that sucks. I say this because we are all held accountable for our responsibilities, not just a certain group.

In chapter six, it is said that after the Magistrate catches a glimpse of Joll in the carriage, he notices that he no longer has his glasses on. Is this the first time that the Magistrate is able to see Joll’s eyes? I know the book is big on the theme of blindness but Joll could see and so can the Magistrate. I do not know, it was just a thought I wanted to share.

It is refreshing to hear that the Magistrate became really good friends and grown intimate with Mai. The Magistrate has learned to be honest during his time in prison, which is something I think we should all take into practice.


  1. Jessica Hautsch

    Great job connecting the rumors about the barbarians to stereotypes and assumptions about people who have been Othered by society. That could be an interesting approach for your paper. Also, good observations Joll’s sunglasses. I like your analysis of it. Perhaps it could also mean Joll finally sees the barbarians in a way he hadn’t in the past.

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