Coetzee Disgrace Essay

This is reflected in David by both the construct of his original identity, and in his identity when it becomes radically destabilised as a consequence of social and political change.This dismissal of the possibility of love or intimacy without men is a final expression of David’s inability to escape the ‘position of social power and authority’ (Kossew 2003, p.156), and therefore an inability to have a fulfilling and equal relationship with a woman, as a result of the impact social values had in the formation of his identity.However, Coetzee asserts that political values also have a powerful role in forming the basis of identity.True, Lucy’s rape has a greater level of ‘excessiveness and apparent gratuitousness to violence’ (Stratton 2002, p.86), and Lucy is his daughter; but Melanie was traumatised at his hands, and he seems not to have any problem living with that.It is evident that the Apartheid political ideologies played a hand in the formation of David’s identity, this is illuminated in his opinion that his conduct towards Melanie was acceptable, when he wouldn’t accept culpability for his actions at his hearing (p.52-56), also in his discomfort at Lucy accepting a marriage of convenience to Petrus (p.204) and her keeping the rape baby, yes, this concern is largely for Lucy’s happiness and safety, there is also a hint of discontent at allowing her to blend with the ‘other’, the racial political element of David’s identity holds him back from being able to fully support his daughter.However, the already set identity prevails, until David can experience life at the more difficult end of the scale. Kossew, S 2003, ‘ The Politics of Shame and Redemption in J. Coetzee’s Disgrace’, Research in African Literatures, vol.32, no.2, pp.155-162. The resources used for this activity included a big book of Mem Fox’s ‘ Possum Magic’ and the white board.Coetzee’s Disgrace examines the impact and effect that social and political agendas have in the formation of personal identity. Before the reading began the teacher introduced the book and asked the children to make predictions about what would happen in the book. Coetzee’s Disgrace shows how personal identity is grounded in the social and the political.Coetzee’s Disgrace (1999), through the novel’s protagonist David Lurie, explores the effect that social and political conventions have in creating the foundation of personal identity.Finally, social and political values and agendas that formed the basis for part of David’s identity work against him, and all of us (if they’re negative) in the destabilisation of his identity when he finds himself in ‘disgrace’, after refusing to take blame for his actions toward Melanie.It is his patriarchal social identity and position of power as a professor that make him believe he has the authority to behave in that fashion.


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