Post-apartheid South Africa in J.M Coetzee 's Disgrace J. M. Coetzee’s Disgrace (1999) follows the story of David Lurie, an English professor living in Cape Town, South Africa. David’s obsession with one of his students leads to his disgrace in the academic community. Disgrace explores various themes but in the succeeding discussion, the novel will be viewed within the context of apartheid and post apartheid South African society. Essentially, post-apartheid South Africa is characterized by the growing polarization between the white and black populations, discrimination, and racism despite the abolition of apartheid. Various aspects of Disgrace help establish the aforementioned themes in the narrative, especially the setting – post-apartheid South Africa – which will be the focus of discussion. The setting of Coetzee’s Disgrace reinforces the theme and characterization because it reflects the cultural and sociopolitical differences between apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa through the conflict in the narrative and the relationships among the characters. In Disgrace, David moves to Salem to join his daughter and start a new life.
The differing characterization and lifestyle of David in Cape Town and Salem illustrates the difference between apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa. While in
Cape Town, David uses his power or position to take advantage of young women.
Despite knowing that sleeping with young women, particularly his students, is wrong,
David did not…