J.M. Coetzee's Disgrace Essay

1730 words - 7 pages

The ethics of desire and shame include the main issues at the heart of Coetzee’s Disgrace. Coetzee remarks the issue of human sexual ethics in David Lurie’s desires. While some who read this novel feel distressed at David’s lack of control over his desire, David himself fairly confident in his manners. David feels no embarrasment for the actions of his manners, but rather disgrace for yielding to social pressure after taking an hypocritical apology and shame of his daughter’s raping. David claims that the relationship between Melanie lies in the ‘‘ rights of desire’’ (90). In this exclamation, David makes the contradiction between the right to desire and reproduction and opposite ideas of undesired love or rape. I will question whether the David’s treatment of women loving or immoral or David has the right to seduce or he goes into unethical areas through his desire. At the end, Coetzee claims that while it is ethical to have right to your own behavior, it is not ethical to harm others.
Coetzee claims David’s inner thoughts which include lust and desire. At the beginning of the Disgrace, David’s relationship with Soraya has ‘‘ solved the problem of sex’’. He believes that how wrong he is about Soraya when he thinks Soraya as ‘‘ too old enough to be her father’’. However, David’s desire is a hindrance in making a moral decision. His temperament is never going to change and he lives in his emotional world. Lurie missed what was going on about Soraya because she denies that she even knows who Lurie is. What urges David to follow the pleasure with her is based on the inner lustful behavior and desires arising from egoistic feelings.
David’s typical mind slides one side to another. The desire of David’s mind appears in the eyes of Soraya. David wishes Soraya to obey his inner imaginary world and says: ‘‘ not liking the stickiness of the makeup, he asked her to wipe it off. She obeyed and has never worn it since’’ (Coetzee 5). David demands have no emotion or deepest one and he wishes to be following his desire. In his description, David approves himself as ‘‘ a man of the city, at home amid a flux of bodies where Eros stalks and glances flash like arrows’’. He continues: ‘‘ The company of women made of him a lover of women and, to an extent, a womanizer’’ and even he sees women as his ‘‘ backbone of his life’’. What drives David be much womanizer and the servant of Eros is the insuppressible feelings increasing in the internal body. In Wright’s article, ‘‘ The basso profundo of Disgrace is that thanks to powerful biological drives expressed as sexuality (and whatever lies behind those drives), we all live subject to a state of potential disgrace, a disgrace servant of Eros- those who yield to the impulse, like David Lurie’’ (Wright, 10). David Lurie is the servant of Eros, we all inclined to be doing wrong because of inner instincts. It is concluded that what makes David immoral in his life is his instinct and...

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