Coetzee's Disgrace And The Task Of The Imagination By Mike Marais

771 Words 4 Pages
Thesis: David comes to understand what Lucy has been through and what he did to Melanie, by transforming into a sympathetic human being because of the situations he experiences.
According to Mike Marais the author of the article “J.M. Coetzee 's Disgrace and the Task of the Imagination” he argues that “David must first experience what others have undergone before he can sympathize with them” (78). For instance, when David rapes one of his students and people find out, he is forced to decide how he feels about the situation. His verdict: “‘Are you sorry’ says the girl. The recorder is thrust closer. ‘Do you regret what you did?’ ‘no’ he says ‘I was enriched by the experience’” (56). Clearly David feels absolutely no remorse for what he has
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He believes his status is more important than his peers in the non-academic world. He has a change in character when he is forced to take a leave of absence and goes to live with his daughter on a farm. He views this work as demeaning and cannot understand why anyone would choose this way to live their life. “Two weeks ago he was in a classroom explaining to the bored youth of the country the distinction between drink and drink up, burned and burnt. The perfective, signifying an action carried through to its conclusion. How far away it all seems! I live, I have lived, I lived” (Coetzee 71). He feels as though his life as he knew it was uprooted and thrown to a far off rural area where his teaching is irrelevant and is forced to adopt a new lifestyle. As the novel progresses, he begins to understand that some people do not like the prestigious clean cut world that he finds ideal. This realization causes him to become humble. After he leaves the university, the events in David’s life reveal a demeanor that previously horrified him. He has to do demeaning work that humbles him in the end. The longer he is in the rural setting the more humane he becomes. He can also identify with others. At the end of the novel, it is clear that David is a changed man, because of his change in lifestyle leading to new experiences. The author is making an optimistic statement that people are

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