Pieter Muller

Report
Analysis of the character of
PIETER MULLER
GENERAL INFORMATION
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- thickset man, ginger beard, ginger hair, bullish neck
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- always talks in short sentences, from time to time speaks afrikaans
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- living on a farm, often talks to his animals, has a hedgery of bantams
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- married, has well-trained dogs
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- former head of police in Smitsrivier (during the era of Apartheid)
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- interrogator, torturer, murderer of Steve Sizela
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- his wife says he is a good man, very caring
CHARACTERIZATION
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- surrounded by an aura of might
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- fears „the ghosts of the past“
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- fears that Dirk Hendricks might talk about his past and incriminate Pieter
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- shows no regret for having killed Steve Sizela
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- worried about Mary
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- even in his death he wants to support his wife
- provokes James Sizela to shoot him and have his wife paid-out his life-assurance
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- he does not want to appear in front of the TRC, rather would commit suicide
WHAT SORT OF MAN IS HE?
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Would you call him a cold-blooded sadist?
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- Pieter Muller is a cold manipulator. He tried to get himself out of affair by
corrupting Hendricks
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- doesn‘t believe he has done something bad, doesn`t show regret
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- racist who has no respect for human dignity
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- he sticks to his ideals, would rather die than admitt that he was wrong and beg for mercy
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-> It is difficult to decide on whether he is cold-blooded or not, because he has ideals, that
aren‘t comparable with ours. He did his job. But still from any modern point of view he
definetly is a cold-blooded sadist.
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WHAT IS HIS ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE TRC?
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- dislikes the TRC because he doesn‘t want the truth to be revealed
- does not want to reconcile with his victims
- is not ashamed of what he has done
- he will never beg for mercy
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 Muller is not interested in applying for amnesty
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 He definetly knows, that he won‘t be send to prison.
You can already guess, that he is rather going to die.
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WHAT SIGNS ARE THERE THAT THE WHITE
COMMUNITY IS TURNING AGAINST HIM?
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- When Pieter Muller comes after some hearings of Hendricks to his working place he sees a
notice written by somebody saying: “WHY PAY A MURDERER TO KEEP YOU SAFE”
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- Three of his workers didn’t want to renew their contract with his security company
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- “…white community had decided to ditch him rather than be tarred by his brush. He was now
the target. Without allies. …” (169)
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- Pieter Muller is worried that the friends of him and his wife are going to leave Marie alone.
HOW AND WHY DID HE PROVOKE SIZELA AT THE END?
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- Pieter Muller has a live insurance and wants his wife Marie to have the money. If he
committed suicide the insurance would not be paid-out, so he provokes James Sizela to kill
him.
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- He doesn’t want to appear in front of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This is why his
dead is the last possibility for him to escape.
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- Provokes Sizela by saying that his son was worthless and that he is going to talk about the
torture in public, also in front of Steve’s mother
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- (page 238- 240) “…such a worthless son…”, “I´ll tell them everything just as I have told you
but with more detail. I´ll describe your son and the pain he underwent. I´ll tell them what he
told me about you as well. I´ll make you listen, not only you, but his mother as well…”
Thanks for your attention!

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