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Animals In Disgrace Essay

1251 words - 6 pages

Coetzee uses animals in his novel Disgrace to become metaphorical images of the characters and in some way the characters become animal-like characters. It also reflects the struggles that they go through in the post-colonial era.
Animals are significant in the novel Disgrace become metaphorical to the people in the novel and how their situations that they find themselves in change them to become the animals. A certain situation can make them result into a certain animal, but they also change from one animal to another animal, depending on what curve ball life troughs at them.
According to Patton (2009) it is clear that from the beginning of the novel David Lurie has a strong distinction ...view middle of the document...

” (Coetzee: 1999, 25). These images he uses is negative towards himself and it is seen clearly that he does not really care for Melanie or Soraya, but when his trail at the university is over and the students question him he becomes the defenceless animal, “They circle around him like hunters who have cornered a strange beast and do not know how to finish it off.”(Coetzee:1999, 56).
Even though he dislikes animals in the beginning, it is clear that David Lurie takes on metaphorical roles of different animals in the novel. Some of the animals he portrays is negative at first, but it progresses to a stage where he is not the hunting animal, but the hunted animal. The two sheep Petrus buys in order to slaughter for his party becomes a metaphorical image of David Lurie and Lucy Lurie (Wright; 2008). David Lurie also becomes a “dog” in the sense that he becomes the lowest denominator, since dogs are seen as “ground-level” animals, animals that are in the position of complete humiliation (Coleman: 2010). He has so much disgrace in his life, because of all the wrong he has done, therefore he can be seen as a dog.
Lucy has a great love of animals, she has a kennel on the farm and has a friend, Bev Shaw, who works at the animal clinic and there are geese and ducks that visit her on the farm (Goossen: 2007). Lucy becomes a metaphor of animals as well, a metaphor of a sheep: “Sheep do not own themselves, do not own their lives. They exist to be used, every last ounce of them, their flesh to be eaten, their bones to be crushed and fed to poultry. Nothing escapes, exept perhaps the gall bladder, which no one will eat. Descartes should have thought of that. The soul, suspended in the dark, bitter gall, hiding.” (Coetzee: 1999,123). So Lucy is also a sheep, she took her slaughter, rape, her abuse and now she is still living in the “shadow of the attack,…” (Coetzee: 1999, 124). She took it without any rebellious behaviour, accepting her fate just as sheep accepts their fate. This can also be seen as Lucy accepting the changes in South-Africa, she is willing to take part in the transformation, by not telling the police of the rape (Patton; 2009). Lucy becoming a dog: When David shows Lucy his disapproval of Bev and Bill Shaw, Lucy responds that she wouldn’t "want to come back in another existence as a dog or a pig and have to live as dogs or pigs live under us"(Coetzee: 1999, 74). This can be seen as foreshadowing, because after her attack later in the...

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