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Word Count: 1,706
The relationship between the Magistrate and the barbarian girl in Waiting for the Barbarians is not at any point in the novel a typical relationship The Magistrates guilt for having been involved in a government that has for so long mistrusted and mistreated the barbarians manifests itself in his attraction to the barbarian girl The affair begins on his part as an innocent infatuation with the barbarian girl Throughout the novel he becomes more and more aware of the subconscious reasons he has for having such an attraction to the girl From the time when he first begins the relationship with her to the time he leaves with her people is a progression of the clarity with which he views the relationship The Magistrate begins to be intrigued by the girl in a fairly natural way As he sees her a blind barbarian girl begging on the streets left behind by her people he feels an attraction for her They begin their relationship if such a one-sided relationship can actually be labeled one at all in a completely physical way The Magistrate is content with only dealing with her body He massages her bathes her and sleeps next to her He is completely satisfied with this seemingly normal relationship So I lie beside this healthy young body while it knits itself in sleep into ever sturdier health working in silence even at the points of irrediable damage the eyes the feet to be whole again 33 As a combination of a lover and healer the Magistrate feels comfort in being with the scarred broken barbarian girl While he may not know yet why the washing and massaging of the girls body brings him a certain healing effect The Magistrate easily succumbs to the feeling of peace he receives from pampering her Even more strange than the mystifyingly calming effect that the Magistrate receives from massaging the girl is the nature of the sexuality
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