Disgrace Essay

Topics: South Africa, Colonialism, Indigenous peoples Pages: 3 (817 words) Published: August 16, 2013
Disgrace represents post colonialism in a contemporary world. Discuss. 750 words.

Coetzee’s Disgrace is a postcolonial allegory for the rising dominance of the oppressed black South Africans, the consequences for those in positions of power and the repentance and gradual acceptance of past mistakes by white South Africans. The allegory of Disgrace follows Lurie, a figure of dominance who asserts this through the blatant abuse and disregard for moralistic and ethical decisions and instead justifies his actions to no end. The voice for black South Africans is represented through Petrus, who portrays the rising dominance of the colonised and shows the on-going shift of power during a post-apartheid state. Lurie’s daughter, Lucy however, represents the gradual acceptance by white South Africans to the injustice felt by the colonised. Coetzee employs the characteristics of language, writing back and viewpoint and perspective utilized in postcolonial texts in order to display the characters of Disgrace in a contemporary world in light of post colonialism.

In a contemporary world, David Lurie, through his exploitation and abuse of women, represents the colonisers of South Africa, whom not only continue to assert their dominance over the oppressed, but also readily justify their actions. Coetzee employs the characteristic of writing back in order to criticise the Apartheid era through the allegory. An example of Lurie’s justification of his actions towards the sexual exploitation of young student Melanie, is in page 52 of which he states, “Suffice it to say that Eros entered. After that I was not the same.” Lurie provides the idealistic excuse of being succumbed by the immortal being of love and desire and thus justifies his actions as being instinctual and unavoidable. The allusion towards “Eros”, the god of love and desire is enough for Lurie to enforce that he was imprisoned by lust and was therefore unable to control his own actions. Lurie’s blatant disregard...
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