Coetzee Disgrace Essay

Coetzee Disgrace Essay-35
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.A similar social block occurs in David’s relationship with his daughter, Lucy.

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David’s inbuilt Apartheid influences (even if he does not agree with Apartheid principles) cause him not to desire the blonde white girl, because he knows he can’t get away with having her, Melanie however, may be desired because not only is David male, he is also white and in a position to ‘exercise his power and authority, as a university professor having an affair with a young female (black) student to satisfy his sexual desires’ (Kossew, 2003, p.156).

The ‘racial politics’ (Kossew 2003, p.156) of David’s generation are further emphasised by comparing Lucy’s rape with Melanie’s rape.

At the core of this sexual identity lies both the social value of patriarchy, which values men above women.

This social value, though outdated as the novel is set in a post feminist time (being 1999) has formed some of the basis for David’s identity, and as such, causes him to create discord in both his life and the lives of the women he interacts with.

David’s taking advantage of Melanie may be regarded as a result of prejudiced politics as well as discriminatory social values.

Although the novel is set in post- Apartheid South Africa, David has grown up with Apartheid political influence.Through David Lourie, Coetzee examines the detrimental effect that racial and sexually prejudiced political and social agendas can have upon both the privileged and underprivileged people who are subjected to these belief systems.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.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.David admits that taking advantage of Melanie is wrong, he is aware of it from the very beginning, when he becomes confused by his conflicting feelings of ‘lover’ and ‘father’.‘ Too young’ (p.18) is his first instinctive warning, then he swings to ‘finding the act pleasurable’ (p.19).Likewise, it is his Apartheid political grounding (he is 52, this means he has lived most of his life as the privileged race in an Apartheid political system) that supports his theory that his actions were justified, it’s fine to be a ‘servant of Eros’ (p.52), provided you’re serving Eros with a non white, socially inferior young woman.At the same time the more modern social and political values, those of post-Apartheid South Africa, those values that are beginning to form the basis for a new identity, tell him that she is too young, that he shouldn’t, and that those actions are not his right. Coetzee’s Disgrace’, ARIEL, vol.33, no.3-4, pp.83-95 Recount of Whole Group Teaching Approaches The lesson started with modelled reading.

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