Disgrace, By J. M. Coetzee Essay

2242 words - 9 pages

This paper aims to investigate some aspects of postcolonialism, feminism, as well as symbolism, allegories and metaphors. For this purpose I have chosen the novel Disgrace (1999) by J.M Coetzee. The story takes place in Cape Town, in post-apartheid South Africa. David Lurie is a white man and works as a professor of English at a technical university. He is a ‘communication’ lecturer and he teaches ‘romantic literature’ too. Lurie is divorced two times already and one gets the impression that he is not really satisfied with his job. His "disgrace" comes when he makes attempts to seduce Melanie Isaacs, one of his students, against her will. This affair is then remitted to the school ...view middle of the document...

Moreover, we learn that David regularly visits the prostitute Soraya. It is a good opportunity for him to feel good, since the woman ‘obeys’ and fulfills his wishes. Nonetheless some feminists might classify prostitution as a form of rape because the man exploits the woman. We can agree on that also David merely sees the women as an object. Could this be one of the reasons why he is divorced twice?

To escape his problems, David takes refuge at his daughter Lucy’s farm in the Eastern Cape. She is homosexual and used to live together with Helen, her former girlfriend. One day, when returning from a walk with the dogs, Lurie and his daughter come across three unknown, dark-skinned men and one threatens the dogs in the cages with a stick.
Lucy’s question to the men, ‘’What do you want?’’, indicates her fear (p.92). Their reply ‘We must telephone.’, is quite vague and it is not sure if they are honest people. However, when Lucy is kind enough to let one man into the house, it turns out that the trio planned to attack David and his daughter. Lurie’s face is severely burnt and Lucy is raped. Despite this trauma that she apparently suffered, she refuses to advise he police of the assault. She is willing to sacrifice herself for the damage, that the Whites inflicted on the Africans in the colonies. She reduces the crime to a robbery. Or we may add that the desecrators acted to take revenge on the white people.
Lucy, who has the attributes of the modern, independent, emancipated young woman in almost clichéd manner, negates everything that has been making her life so far and that had identified her as a member of the Western civilization. The attack changes Lucy’s attitude towards the dynamics between men and women as well. She accepts her cruel fate without moaning and she takes very confusing decisions.
Bearing in mind that the woman is homosexual, the biggest surprise comes, when she wants to marry Petrus - a man who helps her occasionally at the farm - after getting pregnant on account of the rape. In her opinion, he could give a feeling of security to her and the baby, who she wishes to keep. When her father asks her if she really wants a child from one of the intruders, Lucy says ‘’yes’’ with the frugal justification: ‘‘I am a woman, David’’ (p.198).
Another characteristic trait of postcolonialism is that Lucy doesn’t want to, and cannot get rid of the insight, that her privileged, civilized, European and ‘white’ existence in South Africa came to an end.
Actually, she wants her child to grow up in the society of the dark-skinned neighbors and sees this as a good starting point for a new beginning.
When Lurie returns to Cape Town after weeks, he finds that his house was forced open and looted. He regards this incident as a reparation that should be entitled to the for the harm of the apartheid. The Africans destroyed in order to obtain submission and subjugation from the Caucasians.

Regarding the poststructuralist questioning, I may argue...

Other Papers Like Disgrace, By J. M. Coetzee

Survey of the Effects of Technology on Language

1465 words - 6 pages Bottéro, J., Bahrani, Z., & Mieroop, M. V. (1995). Mesopotamia: Writing, Reasoning, and The Gods. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Chiffi, D. (2011). Idiolects and Language. Axiomathes , 1-16. Chomsky, N. (1955-56). The Logical Structure of Language. Cambridge. Chomsky, N., Hauser, M., & Fitch, W. (2002). The faculty of language: what is it, who has it, and how did it evolve? Science , 1569-79. Coetzee, A. W., & Pater, J. (2007). Weighted

Open Source Geospatial Information Systems Essay

1401 words - 6 pages (OSGeo, 2012). As a result, the first African OSGeo Lab was established in 2012 in South Africa, at the Centre for Geoinformation Science, which is led by Dr Serena Coetzee. This initiative has since led to the existence of 72 OSGeo Labs worldwide. The motto of this initiative is “Geo For All” (OSGeo, 2014). In developing countries such as South Africa, open-source software is especially important as it is used in tertiary education at universities

IOP 3706 Assignment 1

2012 words - 9 pages environmental variables (Community, school, family, society and labour market). Related to Super’s theory, my self-concepts developed and changed throughout my lifespan from birth to the stage of ‘establishment’ ta the age of 36 and/or currently. Associated with the first three stages of life as explained by Super (Coetzee & Schreuder, 2010), I can concur with five out of the six life roles, rather than to distinguish between them, being a

Nationalisation of Mines

2746 words - 11 pages lead to great fiscal deficits and debt of the government will increase exponentially. Clive Coetzee, Kwazulu-Natal Treasury economist said that the nationalisation of mines could turn out disastrous for South Africa’s economy. He stated that the mining industry supports the four macroeconomic goals, economic growth, employment, a low inflation rate and a surplus in the balance of payments (Coetzee, 2010). He goes further by saying that the

Physics

256 words - 2 pages 1. A push of 120 N is applied along the handle of a lawn mower producing a horizontal displacement of 14.0 m. If the handle makes an angle of 30.0o with the ground, what work was done by the 120 N force? [1.45×103 J] 2. A box of mass 5.0 kg is accelerated by a force across a floor at a rate of 2.0 m/s2 for 7.0 s. Find the net work done on the box. [490 J] 3. What is the minimum work needed to push a 950-kg car 810 m up along a 9.0º

Modernization Theory, Strengths and Weaknesses

2188 words - 9 pages . REFERENCES Coetzee KJ, Graaf J, Heindricks F, Wood G (2007). Development: Theory, Policy and Practice. Cape Town: Oxford University Press. Ellis F, Biggs S (2001). Development Policy Review, 19(4): 437-448. Gabriel T (1991). The Human Factor in Rural Development. London: Belhaven Press Hussain A, Tribe K (1981). Marxism and the Agrarian Question: German Social Democracy and the Peasantry 1890-1907. Hong Kong: MacMillain Press Ltd. Kanyenze

Ethical Delimas-Pornagraphy

918 words - 4 pages a Christian must be treated with respect –for it is a temple God. References Hui, E. C. (2002). At the beginning of life: Dilemmas in theological bioethics. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. Ellor, J. W. (2009). Methods in religion, spirituality & aging. London: Routledge. Chirban, J. T. (1994). Ethical dilemmas: Crises in faith and modern medicine. Lanham, Md: University Press of America. Pollock, J. M. (2007). Ethical dilemmas and decisions in criminal justice. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.

Criminology

1000 words - 4 pages , 2006) As Levi’s statement suggests the media sensationalizes White-collar crime. They do so with the intent to raise views. There always seems to be a draw towards seeing a public figure in disgrace. Part-I crimes are crimes that are measured by offenses known to law enforcement; those offenses that are cleared by arrest or exceptional means; and the age, sex, and race of persons arrested for each of the offenses. Part-II crimes are only measured

Criminal Justice

947 words - 4 pages ’) or long term concealment of fraud that shows the ‘Establishment’ to be incompetent or business people/politicians to be hypocrites.” (Levi, 2006) As Levi’s statement suggests the media sensationalizes White collar crime. They do so with the intent to raise views. There always seems to be a draw towards seeing a public figure in disgrace. Part 1 crimes are crimes that are measured by offenses known to law enforcement; those offenses that are

Research on China M-Nitrophenol Industry 2014 Market Research Report

1137 words - 5 pages provide our services to all sizes of organizations and across all industry verticals and markets. Our Research Coordinators have in-depth knowledge of reports as well as publishers and will assist you in making an informed decision by giving you unbiased and deep insights on which reports will satisfy your needs at the best price. Contact: M/s Sheela, 90 State Street, Suite 700, Albany NY - 12207 United States Tel: +1-518-618-1030 USA - Canada Toll Free 866-997-4948 Email: sales@researchmoz.us Website: http://www.researchmoz.us/ Global and China M-nitrophenol Industry 2014 Market Research Report

Leadership

4681 words - 19 pages © Kamla-R aj 20 13 J So c Sci, 36(3): 247-253 (2 013) A Proposed Leadership Competency Model for Effective Organizational Change Intervention Rein Coetzee¹, Jan Visagie¹ and Wilfred Ukpere² 1School of Human Resources Science, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa 2Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management

Related Essays

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

Power In Relationships In Disgrace Essay

1364 words - 6 pages between people of different race, gender, generations, positions of authority, and even those between humans and animals. During the course of the novel, various questions surrounding power in interpersonal relations are raised, and by the conclusion of Disgrace, Coetzee leaves us with profound thoughts and suggestions on which to dwell. In just about every relationship in Disgrace, the themes of dominance and power are present, albeit to varying

The Search For Michael K In Coetzee’s Africa

4822 words - 20 pages other works by J. M. Coetzee.One characteristic trait of postmodernism is the presence of play versus purpose.In many postmodernist works, there is no clearly defined purpose; rather the creator of that piece of work chooses to explore different directions of a given topic.In giving no clearly defined purpose, as modernist theory does, the author of the work will leave the reader to fill in the gaps of his or her work.Another trait of

Foe Nultichoice Essay

793 words - 4 pages Foe (on Chapter 2) by J. M. Coetzee The characters’ relationships -- Roy, Language &Tongue -- Chelsea, Susan Barton & Her daughter -- Annie, Susan as a writer - Siobhan The changes of their relationships among Susan, Cruso and Friday A. Cruso and Friday B. Cruso and Susan C. Susan and Friday A. Cruso and Friday In chapter 1, Cruso is like a king. He treats Friday like his slave. Cruso is like a colonizer and Friday to be a