In the novel “Disgrace”, why and how does Coetzee uses animals as a metaphor, and how does animal life can be compared with the main theme of the novel?
First I am going to explain how in the book some of the animal metaphors are related with negative issues about sex and animal instincts. The main theme of the novel is the same as its title, “Disgrace”, so then I will write about how animals and humans are related in the novel and how some of them live in disgrace.
Animal metaphors start since the first chapter, starting with Soraya. David thinks that having sex with her is like copulation of snakes. I think snakes are animals that are related with bad or dangerous things, they are cold and ...view middle of the document...
I am going to start with David. When he reaches his daughter house he doesn’t mind about animals and in his first day in the clinic of animals he describes the place and the people who work there as dirty and smelly. Also says that sometimes he just wants to retaliate with animals, kicking them. Maybe that’s how he is seen by the society of the University at that moment, just as a dog that is being punished but he doesn’t understand why because he was just following his instincts. But Lucy convince him to work there as a volunteer and little by little he starts to understand more and more animals and at the end of the book he finds out that he likes the work of giving dignity to the dog bodies when they die.
With all the disgrace that he lives when he is in Salem, the robbery of the three black men, Lucy is raped, he almost got burn, and even how he sees that animals also suffer like the abandoned dogs or the sheep at Petrus party, I think he finally regrets of what he has done and he is ready to ask forgiveness.
Then about Petrus. He begins saying that he is the “dog man”, he is humble and seems to be a good guy. But he starts to want more things, property and power. He is maybe the responsible of the robbery and the rape of Lucy, and that gives him the “power” he wants. When he does a party celebrating his new property he says he is no longer the dog man. I think this means that he is now more than a “working dog on short contracts” as Lucy refers to her real dogs. So he is the dog that revealed against its owner and against the other dogs as well if he was the responsible of the robbery.
Finally Lucy, she at first love her dogs and helps with the abandoned animals, but she is considered clearly superior to them. She mentions she doesn’t wants to be a dog or a pig in her next life. But her “disgrace” is this one. After she is raped she is...