This article forms part of a larger study on Marlene van Niekerk's Agaat (2004) as a postcolonial farm novel where the role of the women, the representation of the coloured worker, as well as issues on landownership, are investigated. The focus in this article, however, will be on the representation of the coloured farm worker Agaat, who works on the farm Grootmoedersdrift of the white De Wet family, as the other. In Agaat the coloured worker is given a voice, something that has not readily occurred in earlier Afrikaans farm novels from the first half of the twentieth century (Coetzee, 2000:2). An important question that arises from Agaat as a farm novel, and which links up with postcolonial studies, is how the identity of Agaat as the other is formed by Milla de Wet (the white landowner), when Agaat mimics Milla's behaviour. Does Agaat lose her identity when she becomes a product of Milla's manipulation, becoming "almost the same, but not quite" (Bhabha, 1994:86)?
This article was co-written by Prof Andries Visagie before he joined the University of Pretoria