The novel Disgrace is located in a time and place of great change. What aspects of postcolonial thinking does Coetzee employ in his exploration of/or comment on post-apartheid South Africa?
Post colonialism is a political discourse that dominates the reading of ‘Disgrace’ by South African author, JM Coetzee. Coetzee comments on the repercussions of the shifting values and ideals following the imperialist attitudes of the European colonizers on the issue of apartheid. Disgrace gives voice to the powerless and reveals to responders that political altercations do not necessarily eradicate pre-existing human misery and difference. This novel also explores the failure of the judicial and non-legal remedies in bringing resolve to South Africa and provides an alternative resolution to this societal dilemma. Ultimately, Coetzee explores his ideal conduit into bring South Africa into a state of social development and progress. Disgrace reveals the still-prevalent effects of displacement and segregation within South African society even after the deferral of over 317 pieces of apartheid legislation. Coetzee comments on the inevitable nature of human misery and difference governing the damaged community of South Africa. Allegory is cleverly employed by Coetzee in this novel as he presents certain characters as emblematic of the differing social divisions. In this case, Lurie is seen as the former centralised power of the ‘colonizer’ whilst those suffered by his sexual lust can be deemed as the powerless voice of the South African nation, the blacks. As Lurie exploits the passive and silent Melanie Isaacs, responders are engaged through the omniscient narration but with the social discourse of Lurie himself. Lurie believes that their act of intercourse was ‘not rape, not quite that…’ but instead ‘so pleasurable that from its climax he tumbles into blank oblivion.’ This exclusive narration reveals the voicelessness of the colonised division and the deep chasm of...
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