Subjugation and Survival in JM Coetzee’s Disgrace

Authors

  • Sima Nath Assistant Professor Department of English Jhanji Hemnath Sarma College Sivasagar (Assam) India

Abstract

JM Coetzee’s novel Disgrace presents a bleak picture of post-apartheid South Africa. Through the character of David Lurie and his daughter Lucy, Coetzee shows how the once dominant group of apartheid Africa has to bear the pangs of subjugation and humiliation for survival in the transitional period. The novel traces David’s transformation from a powerful white male to a powerless one. From the position of a professor of English at a technical university in Cape Town, David becomes a volunteer in an animal clinic. Both David and Lucy are compelled by circumstances to accept the reality of their living in a hostile environment without any scope of salvation. The post apartheid era presents a changed social reality where the whites can no longer enjoy the former privilege and the Blacks will no longer remain silent to any domination of the Whites. As a female white settler in rural South Africa, the only option left for Lucy is to live in subjugation and humiliation to safeguard her future. The paper examines the novel Disgrace from the perspective of  predicament of the whites in post-apartheid South Africa who have no alternative but to live with humiliation for survival.

JM Coetzee’s novel Disgrace presents a bleak picture of post-apartheid South Africa. Through the character of David Lurie and his daughter Lucy, Coetzee shows how the once dominant group of apartheid Africa has to bear the pangs of subjugation and humiliation for survival in the transitional period. The novel traces David’s transformation from a powerful white male to a powerless one. From the position of a professor of English at a technical university in Cape Town, David becomes a volunteer in an animal clinic. Both David and Lucy are compelled by circumstances to accept the reality of their living in a hostile environment without any scope of salvation. The post apartheid era presents a changed social reality where the whites can no longer enjoy the former privilege and the Blacks will no longer remain silent to any domination of the Whites. As a female white settler in rural South Africa, the only option left for Lucy is to live in subjugation and humiliation to safeguard her future. The paper examines the novel Disgrace from the perspective of  predicament of the whites in post-apartheid South Africa who have no alternative but to live with humiliation for survival.

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Published

2018-07-30