Literary Essay on “Disgrace”

Published: 2021-07-06 06:48:20
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IntroductionJ.M Coetzee is considered to be the most prominent and famous writer, who got the recognition by publishing the book Disgrace. The important issues of life is being discussed in this book throughout. Specifically, the issues which are mentioned in the book commonly occur in South Africa. The cultural issues which exists in the society of South Africa are the main issues discussed in the book. The book also won the Booker Prize award by highlighting fear and suspect. It is written during the time when the political change took place and those changes have failed to address the human misery. The first ever book which is published in South Africa talks about the conditions of human living condition explicitly regardless of nationality, race and point of view (Opheim, 46). Furthermore, the analysis of the reason of writing this book by the writer along with cultural issues which are mentioned in this book will be further discussed.DiscussionDuring that time, the new constitution was enacted claiming the equal right for all men and women regardless of sexual orientation. It was the same time when the violence was present in all over the Africa and the framers were mainly affected due to this issue who were leaving their work and migrating from the affected areas. Giving equal rights served the purpose of protecting the women who were facing rapes and violence (Propst, 8).The book started with this particular issue at the start regarding the condition of women in South Africa and the rape of Lucy was set as an example of the current condition. Lucy was the daughter of the main Character who was David. The rape took place when three men entered her house for the purpose of stealing but those men brutally raped Lucy which she had to hide for personal reasons. The justice system was weak because of that she let go of the thought of reporting the incident. As mentioned earlier, the constitution which was passed to give equal rights to all men and women wasn’t affected in the society culturally. The clear discrimination among both the genders was the reason Lucy was not willing to address the issue which later affected her relationship with her father because she thought her father David was also the same and misjudged her. The fear of being judged made her depressed and increased her suffering.The disgrace as the name of novel suggested was the core issue which is being culturally affected the society and then come the rape which is addressed in the novel. “Lucy is raped by three men as they rob her house. The rape is a violent, hate-filled act”(pg.85-disgrace J.M. Coetzee). Due to the issue was frequently being heard in the society, her rape even was done by the people she didn’t knew made her take that incident personally.Another issues which the author mentioned in the novel was Justice. The issues related to justice was surrounded mostly by innocence and guilt. However, the author further talks about the moral issues which were present in the justice department. The investigation which was taken place during that time against Laurie for sexual harassment shows the flaws in criminal justice. The injustice was not only suffered by Laurie but even Lucy was also suffering from the same thing. The injustice to Lucy because of the current situation which despite of reporting what happened to Lucy she knew nothing will happen in her favor.The topic of geriatric sexuality was also discussed in the book by the author. The main character David who was at the age of 52, was sexually active. He was married twice and at the start of the book, he was found with the prostitute for full filling his sexual need which he was all worried about. The story in the book also talks about the incident where Laurie slept with his student and the issue later raised in result the student had to drop out because of the difficult situation the student was facing. Laurie was also got fired with the humiliation situation he had to see publicly “stick to your own kind (Disgrace J.M Coetzee-pg 128.” were he lines he had to heard when leaving.In the end, while experiencing the freedom which was experienced when the whites were no longer governing the country and the youth was free from all hurdles. The change which took place at that time can be adopted or it can be resisted but Lucy adopted the change and left with the guy who proposed her. The reason was not love solely but she was pregnant during that time because of the rape. She started living in farm with him. Her later life shows that the condition of women had to face during that time because the incident which happened to her was the issue for her not for the society. Those women who had to experience similar dark experiences considered to be disgrace rather any justice provided to them “at ground level period with nothing, not anything, but with no cards no weapons, no property, and no dignity? Like a dog (pg 205)”.Another aspect related to Lucy was that her father David’s objection was no longer the problem for her because she was looking into new life with bright future ahead. David was disturbed by the fact that the baby which will born in to life will be in result of rape which made him miserable. He showed his anger by killing animals which also shows that the lives of humans and animals both shared the similar faith of not being valued for their lives (Conti, 15).ConclusionsIn conclusion, the book disgrace gives the lesson that the cultural aspect influences all the lives and the lives of women were deeply affected which made them lead the miserable life. Professor Lurie even holding the noble position of teaching students and guiding them crossed the line and slept with his own student. The book can be related to misery which all the humans have to face in their lives.Works CitedCoetzee, John M. Disgrace. New York (N.Y.: Penguin Books, 2000. Print.Conti, Christopher. “The trial of David Lurie: Kafka’s courtroom in Coetzee’s Disgrace.” Textual Practice 30.3 (2016): 469-492.Propst, Lisa. “Reconciliation and the “self-in-community” in post-transitional South African fiction.” The Journal of Commonwealth Literature 52.1 (2017): 84-98.Opheim, Kristine Moland. JM Coetzee’s disgrace: At the margins of the human. MS thesis. The University of Bergen, 2016.

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