In Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee we are introduced to David Lurie, the protagonist and narrator of this novel. David Lurie is a 52 year old divorced man, who lives in Cape Town, South Africa, as a respected romantic poetry professor at a university. His life is full of sexual, non-committed relationships. After being accused of inappropriate behavior with a student, Lurie loses his job at the university and must move in with his daughter, Lucy, in the country. Throughout the novel we see many references to animals, especially in relation to Lurie. Because he is the narrator of the novel, these animal references lead the reader to believe Lurie is describing himself through these animals. Lurie uses descriptions of animals as a way to describe how he feels about himself. We see Lurie go from a sexually charged predator, to a strange beast who has been hunter, to a dog-man, and then finally to a helpless dog who is ready to be put out of his misery.
David Lurie is a predator at the beginning of the novel. He is a man searching for sex, and for the most part he is successful at it. His first sexual interest he introduces us to is Soraya, a prostitute who he has been going to see for a long time. Lurie describes them having sex by comparing them to snakes engaged in intercourse, "lengthy, absorbed, but rather abstract, rather dry, even at its hottest" (Coetzee 5 ). Being the narrator, this shows the reader how David views himself, as well as Soraya, as cold, scary, almost evil, creatures, like snakes. Snakes give off a very negative emotion because they are dangerous animals, and this comparison leads us to believe David too must be a dangerous animal. Soraya eventually tries to cut ties with David, but David being the predator he is cannot let his prey go. He is able to find Soraya’s home phone number and when he calls her she is livid he would cross that line. "But then, what should a predator expect when he intrudes into the vixen's nest, into the home of...
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