Read disgrace by J. M. Coetzee
Read disgrace by J. M. Coetzee
You can choose any of these topics and write a literary essay.
1.Analysis of one of these characters: Lucy Lurie, Melanie Isaacs or Petrus.
Example: Analyze not only the chosen character’s personality, but also what roll they played in advancing the overall theme of the novel.
2.The protagonist’s understanding of the nature of the conflict to be resolved and the hurdles to be overcome.
Example: It could be hope for change, both in South Africa and in David Lurie. OR: the disgrace David Lurie has suffered over the affair with a student and how that matches the disgrace South Africa has suffered through apartheid.
3.The function of setting to reinforce theme and characterization
Example: post-apartheid South Africa is a setting arguably more important than anything else in the novel. Your outside sources would be bit of history concerning apartheid.
The use of literary devices to communicate theme: imagery, metaphor, symbolism, foreshadowing, irony
Example: Symbolism — Determine if David Lurie represents the old, white authorities of South Africa, while Lucy represents the new white people of South Africa. OR: Analyze what dogs symbolize in this story
4.Careful examination of one or more central scenes and its/their crucial role in plot development, resolution of conflict, and exposition of theme.
Example: Analyze one or more scenes in which hope that change for the better is possible through a character’s remorse and subsequent action.
-Use at least three quotes from the book.
-When citing your sources, use MLA style for literary essays.
-Minimum 850 words
Use formal language and the third person, avoiding personal anecdotes and eliminating all references to yourself at all (I believe, in my opinion, etc).
Also, if you can write a thesis statement for literary essay separately in a different word document and also Works Cited Page for Literary Essay in a different word document. For the thesis statement it must be an analysis, not just a statement of fact about the novel.
Read disgrace by J. M. Coetzee
Lucy Lurie is David’s only daughter. The text portrays her as passionate. Lucy decided to follow her heart and stay on a farm where she has established a successful life. Her passion drives her to continue her quiet life in those parts of Africa. She is loving and determined to help her father recover from the disgrace he faced in the past. Lucy takes him in and agrees to live with him as he figures out his next plan. One can view her as a brave woman because she chooses to stay in a foreign country and develop her life there.
David sees her daughter as independent, purposeful and considered. He recognizes Lucy’s dogs, the astrology books, gardening and asexual clothes as Lucy’s choice to live her life on her terms. She is determined to live her life away from her father’s shadows. Also, Lucy prefers women to men sexually. The text highlights her lifestyle via some of David’s thought. He acknowledges her independence and lifestyle through her choice to turn away from men. After the rape ordeal, David describes the act as a worse fate for lesbians than virgins thus showing her sexual preference.
Lucy is adamant. She picks herself up and controls the situation after the attack. She takes her father to the hospital and explains to the police what transpired in the farm. While in the hospital she is poised and one cannot see her as shaken. The author explains that she showed no signs of trembling (Coetze, 43). Her strength is also viewed from her choice to stay in the farm and endure life as a lonely white woman in a black country. However, she is quite shaken after the ordeal. She puts a brave face in the outside but remains locked up in pain while indoors. Her ordeal portrays her as a fearful woman afraid that the attackers might rape her again.
She is stubborn because she refuses her father’s proposal of leaving the farm after her ordeal. Lucy is ready to face her assailants again as shown by her statement that she is their territory, they have marked her and will go back for her. Her strong will is what motivates her to stay in the house she was attacked. She is realistic as viewed by her explanations to her father for her reasons to stay. She explains that the raping incident and the mental tortures were a price she had to pay to stay (Coetze, 67). She tries to reason with the bitter Africans who assaulted her, that they did that because she owes tax or debt because she lived on the farm without paying any taxes. Therefore, Lucy is a strong-willed white woman ready to stay in a post-apartheid country despite her ordeals and their consequences.
Lucy’s role is advancing the text’s central theme, disgrace. She is a white woman in South Africa’s, Post-Apartheid. There is a discord between Africans and Americans even during the post-apartheid period (Landau and Taylor, 789). Lucy is assaulted and raped by her assailants because of her skin color and the privileges white folks presumably have in the country. She explains to her father that the rapists did their deed with a personal hatred. Lucy could not fathom why those men hated her with a passion despite not knowing them. David, while trying to console his child, explains that history was speaking through that heinous act. The apartheid period brought disgrace to the Africans, and they revenge by attacking the Americans, stealing their property, attacking the men and raping their women. Some Africans hated all foreigners because of what their ancestors did to them. It is this disgrace that instigated those attacks. The text portrays that both parties faced disgrace, the Africans during the apartheid period and the Americans post-apartheid.
The incident aimed at disgracing Lucy and pushing her into her female role. In the past, she was a successful businesswoman and farmer who excelled despite her gender. The attackers disgraced her through the raping act to keep her in her place. They expected the action to bring her shame and pain, and stop her routine. The text explains that silence drew over Lucy’s body. She was too ashamed to admit the acts that befell her. A woman disgraced because of her skin color through a monstrous act to remind her of the status of a woman in that region. To make matters worse, she conceived through her ordeal and was reconsidering marrying Petrus to obtain protection during that period. The writer tries to show that successful women are a disgrace to the norms of the country. Women still need men to protect them despite their achievements and their assumed courageousness as was the case with Petrus and Lucy.
In conclusion, the author uses Lucy’s personality to progress the theme of disgrace. Lucy, who was initially strong, determined and resilient, was raped to disgrace her and force her into submitting to her role as a woman. The author shows that disgrace comes with consequences. Lucy’s disgrace resulted to her surrendering to the ways of the region, while the disgrace faced by South Africans during the apartheid period led to violent acts to white folk post-apartheid (Steyn, Foster and Taylor, 25).
Like Laurie, strong, white women in the Post-apartheid period in South Africa were humiliated and disgraced through rape ordeals. The Africans faced disgrace in the past during the apartheid period thus hated the guts of the Americans who chose to live and progress in their land thus disgracing and terrorizing them.
Coetze, J. M. Disgrace. 1st ed. New York: Penguin Books, 2000. Print.
Landau, Loren and Francis Taylor. “RACE TROUBLE: RACE, IDENTITY AND INEQUALITY IN POST-APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA”. Ethnic and Racial Studies 35.4 (2012): 789-790. Print.
Steyn, Melissa, Don Foster, and Francis Taylor. “Repertoires For Talking White: Resistant Whiteness In Post-Apartheid South Africa”. Ethnic and Racial Studies 31.1 (2008): 25-51. Print.