There can be little doubt that much of David Lurie’s thinking style, feelings and behaviour can be attributable to the impact that the change which occurred in South Africa at the time had on his professional and personal life; and as a result the manner in which he perceives the world. However, it is my belief that the way in which he thinks and behaves is also largely inherent.
The political changes in the post apartheid era resulted in changes to the social and economic areas, which David was certainly affected by. Due to changing values, perspectives and priorities in the post apartheid era, the subject which had been the lifework of David Lurie lost its relevance and was dropped from the curriculum when the University at which he tutored was converted to a technical college. The author explains “since Classics and Modern Languages were closed down as part of the great rationalisation”.
Once a professor of modern languages he is now merely an “adjunct professor of communications”. It could be argued that being demoted at the age of fifty two and having his specialisation in Romantic Poetry considered obsolete, was what triggered his feelings of alienation “he is more out of place than ever”. At an age at which adults typically want to be passing on their expert opinions and experience, David found himself completely un-stimulated by his work; “Because he has no respect for the material he teaches”. There is a clear link here between the changes resulting from the post apartheid era and David’s professional life. I am certain that this change contributed to his feelings of being disengaged, disinterested and without any real purpose. I also acknowledge that this may have resulted in his arrogant and cynical approach to matters. This is reinforced by the fact that he continues to teach and meet his obligations just to have some sense of identity despite the fact that he feels like this about his work and that his reduced stature at work has led to these...
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