In my reading of three novels by J.M. Coetzee, I examine the role of isolation in the lives and struggles of the characters. These novels are In The Heart of the Country, Life & Times of Michael K, and Age of Iron. With the racist reality of apartheid, the role of isolation was a large factor in much of the writing of these books. Coetzee also expressed a desire to move beyond the role of language, where there is no need for the distinction of signifiers and signified. In each of these books, there is a significant struggle by the characters to move closer to those around them whether linguistically, politically, socially, historically, or physically. However, this is not a simple matter in apartheid-era South Africa, and two of the central characters are repeatedly frustrated in their attempts at intimacy with those around them, while one is guardedly successful. This thesis examines the challenges of overcoming isolation, the cost of doing so, and the need to feel a sense of belonging in a society constantly trying to rip itself apart.