Disclaimer: This is an example of a student written essay.
Click here for sample essays written by our professional writers.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UKEssays.com.

JM Coetzee Analysis Of Disgrace English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1568 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

Reference this

J.M Coetzee, one of South Africa’s most prominent writers, is known for writing the most famous book “Disgrace”. This book is very interesting in which this author talks about very important issues that are important in this life. These issues were actually occurring in South Africa. J.M Coetzee’s book has a difference between the statuses of cultural problems that are presented in this book which are: the reason why J.M Coetzee wrote this book, talking about the book in general, and discussing the cultural issues of the book.

Get Help With Your Essay

If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!

Essay Writing Service

The book Disgrace took the award “Booker Prize”. J.M Coetzee, in this book is talking about suspect and fear. The books states that political change in general doesn’t do anything and can do nothing in order to eliminate human misery. Disgrace is the first book in South Africa that deals with explicitly that it covers a sad picture that no one’s is comforted from, excluding the one’s race, one’s nationality, and one’s point of view (“Disgrace – J.M. Coetzee.”).

Disgrace was written afterwards of the new constriction that was done in South Africa. This constitution said that men and women should be equal and should enjoy equal rights. Also, this constitution gave general rights, apart from sexual orientation. At this time, in South Africa, violence was spread all over in the country. A lot of commercial farmers gave up their work and jobs because of the cruelty and violence incidents that were dedicated against them. From 1989 and 1994, the rate of murder was doubled in number. Also, every young African woman was almost raped twice in her lifetime (Coetzee in the Promised Land).

One of the major issues that J.M Coetzee discussed in his novel was the issue of rape. Lucy, who is the daughter of the main character who is David, was raped by three men who were stealing things from her house. This rape that has happened to Lucy was very brutal. Lucy decides not to report the accident because of private matters. Another thing that made Lucy not report the rape is that she knows very well that justice won’t be served the relationship between her and her father was changed after this accident. She realized that men and woman judged her and there was a clear division between both genders that showed her that he father we one of the people who misjudged her. (Page 25)her father from the outside kept on watching her going through this harsh experience of rape, which makes her enter a phase of fear and depression. Her father was unable to comfort her at all.

Rape is a second issue that the author talks about in this novel ‘disgrace’ that is a very important cultural issue. “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) although the ones, who raped her, were stranger and Lucy didn’t know them she took it as a personal issue towards herself.

Justice is another standard that is discussed in this story ‘disgrace’. It talks about guilt and innocence. However, in this novel J.M Coetzee explores the morals in which justice depends. When the investigation of sexual harassment filed against Laurie, it was modeled against the criminal justice system (‘french,philip’). In this story justice becomes a public act in which is driver by guilt and dishonor. Not only David and Laurie that suffered injustice, but it was Lucy to that was struggling with the justice system itself (‘the deadly serious games of J.M Coetzee Disgrace’).however Lucy was sure a hundred percent, that even if she had reported the robbery and the rape the criminals would have never been prosecuted, due to the problems that were occurring in south Africa.

J.M Coetzee discussed the issue of “geriatric sexuality” in his book. This book said that when David was fifty-two years he was a very sexually actively man, which all he was worrying about was sex. He married twice in his life time and in the beginning of the book he was sleeping with a prostitute to fulfill his sexual needs. The huge conflict was when Laurie which is David crosses both departmental and generational boundaries when he sleeps with his student which he taught (Tait Theo. J.M Coetzee Disgrace). The student which Laurie slept with was put in a difficult situation when he crosses his boundaries. No such professor should commit such an act, because he should be their role model and teaching them good morals. Laurie’s position of power gives him an unfair advantage which made the young student drop out of school and charged for what she had done. Laurie was fired and publicly humiliated for his action when the student’s boyfriend told him “stick to your own kind (Disgrace J.M Coetzee-pg 128).”

This novel talks about the effects of losing power, discusses whites in South Africa that aren’t governed by whites anymore. It’s a bit romantic in a world that values youth and future ion which in his mid years lives in a society in which his powers are reduced. Everyone can resist changes or they can respond exactly like Lucy (“rolled round in earth’s course, with rocks, stones, and tree’s-pg 200). Lucy concludes that it’s important as a white person and is living in South Africa, in which he considers women to be adaptable to begin a fresh new start. He wants women to start all the way from scratch “at ground level period with nothing, not anything, but with no cards no weapons, no property, and no dignity? Like a dog (pg 205)”.

In the end of the story, Lucy decided to get married to the first guy that proposes to her and live with him in the farm. She agreed to do this because she was pregnant from the rape that had occurred to her. This shows that in real life, a women that is to be raped, people look at her in a way of shame and don’t approve of her coming decisions that are to be coming such as keeping the baby.

Another thing, Lucy didn’t care about her fathers objections anymore because she was looking out for her new future. So, her father was waiting in the farm they had and was waiting for his grandchild. In the end of the story he had to accept the fact that his daughter was raped and that a new baby will be born to this life.

Lucy’s father kept on killing animals while he was in the farm, waiting for the arrival of the baby. This shows that there was animal brutality in South Africa in which people killed animals for no reason. People should have mercy on all God’s creatures.

In conclusion, the book Disgrace explores reactions in which humans fight for their rights even if they have nothing to start with, to be human beings. Also the theme of this book is that no matter what Professor Laurie experiences, he should not cross the line with his students. His job was to protect her and not cross the red line which seemed like nothing to him, he should have learnt a valuable lesson when the girl that he slept with boyfriend, told him to stick to his own kind. A guy hi age should be respected from others, and be a role model for many, but not bringing disgrace to his family. One should not bring humiliation upon himself, because one fights all his life to protect his name. What goes around comes around, in which he has harmed others he was fired out of his job, and his daughter was raped. He didn’t defend his daughter because he wasn’t on her side, in which Lucy wished she could get her rights from the South African government which she couldn’t do. This story has very cultural issues that can be applied to real life problems in which, they should be put into consideration.


“Coetzee in the Promised Land | Quarterly Conversation.” The Quarterly Conversation. Web. 04 Apr. 2011. .

“Disgrace – J.M.Coetzee.” Complete Review – Entrance to the Complete Review. Web. 04 Apr. 2011. .

French, Philip. “Disgrace | Film Review | Film | The Observer.” Latest News, Comment and Reviews from the Guardian | Guardian.co.uk. Web. 04 Apr. 2011. .

“J. M. Coetzee.” Contemporary Writers in the UK – Contemporary Writers. Web. 04 Apr. 2011. .

O’Hehir, Andrew. “”Disgrace” by J.M. Coetzee – Salon.com.” Salon.com – Salon.com. Web. 04 Apr. 2011. .

Tait, Theo. “JM Coetzee’s Disgrace | Film | Culture | The Guardian.” Latest News, Comment and Reviews from the Guardian | Guardian.co.uk. Web. 04 Apr. 2011. .

“The Deadly Serious Games of J M Coetzee’s ‘Disgrace’.” AFRICA IS A COUNTRY. Web. 04 Apr. 2011. .


Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please: