Set in post-apartheid South Africa, J. M. Coetzee's searing novel tells the story of David Lurie, a twice divorced, 52-year-old professor of communications and Romantic Poetry at Cape Technical University. The story is about how David feels disgrace about the things that he had came through. And some parts of the novel reflect the historical background. The novel examines the history of racial oppression in South Africa following with the development of the story that happened to David. After David is dismissing by the university, he goes to live with his daughter Lucy; however, there is a big gap between them. They arguing each other in the same case that they are coming through, their concepts are quite different from each other. Like Lucy says in the novel, “The reason is that, as far as I am concerned, what happened to me is a purely private matter. In another time, in another place, it might be held to be a public matter. But in this place, at this time, it is not. It is my business, mine alone.” “This place being what?”
“This place being South Africa.” (Coetzee 112) David is trying to get into Lucy’s inner world, but Lucy thinks that her inner world is a private place, no one would get in without her permission, though David is her father she cannot bear him to get into her private world. Moreover, what Lucy says actually reveal the reality that they are facing; the theme of public racial oppression and powerlessness is portrayed as part of everyday life. In the novel there are many examples of the character that overstep the boundary of others, take David as an example, he overstep the boundary between student and teacher, and the boundary between father and daughter. In my point of view, Coetzee’s novel is a difficult one to read. The subject matter is both grim and harsh. I felt that I gained very little in reading this book other than the straightforward use of dialogue and unembellished prose. At first I cannot get the deeper meaning of the dialogue...
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