A Summary of Disgrace by John Coetzee
The novel Disgrace by John Coetzee is set in South Africa during a period after apartheid.
The novel Disgrace by John Coetzee is set in South Africa during a period after apartheid. It dives into the story of David Lurie, a professor of romantic poetry and communications, 52 years of age, and divorced twice. Lurie is under the belief that he lives a comfortable if not passionless life. He strives to live within his means, both financially and emotionally.
Lurie's Ways: Disgrace
He conducts his teaching at the university dutifully despite his position getting minimized. Lurie makes weekly visits to a prostitute, Soraya, and regards himself as happy.
Lurie: An Unrelenting Seducer
With advancing age, Lurie’s attractiveness is diminishing, but he still seeks and seduces a student in his class, Melanie Isaacs. His doing brings forth a string of occurrences that, if anything, leave him disgraced.
David Lurie's Narcissism and Obsession
Lurie approaches this relationship in a narcissistic and obsessive way, so much so that it gets to borderline rape as he ignores Melanie’s refusal to have sex. His car becomes vandalized, his ex-wife ridicules him, and he undergoes harassment from Melanie’s boyfriend. Such actions make him aware of the knowledge about his relationship with and behavior toward students at the university.
Melanie’s father brings forth a complaint against Lurie. He becomes consequently summoned by the academic committee, where he admits the relationship and shows no apology for it.