Disgrace: David Lurie as Hero Essay

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Who could ever confuse David Lurie, from the book Disgrace, to be a hero? Heroes never selfishly think of their own personal desires before others. David Lurie's character flaws of selfishness and lust would fit him into the mold of a tragic hero. David continually lusts women causing him to be no typical hero. A tragic hero can be a hero yet have some type of character flaw that brings him down. Therefore David is considered a tragic hero.

In Shakespearean literature the use of a tragic hero has set standards. "The Tragic story leads up, and includes the death of the hero. The suffering and calamity are exceptional. They are themselves of a striking kind. They are as a rule, unexpected. They are contrasted with previous happiness
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We see throughout Disgrace that David tries to help his daughter who he seems to care greatly about. Not only does he help her but he seems to enjoy helping Lucy. Supposedly Lucy and David had a great relationship as Lucy grew up. Yet David tries to control Lucy just as he tries to control all women in the book. David seems to believe that women are his to control and do anything he wants to.

When David goes to live with Lucy he has good intentions to get away from the university and spend time on his Byron play. Yet as he stays there he goes through quite an ordeal of disgrace along with his daughter. His daughter is raped and David is hurt and burned by robbers. The robbers even steal David's car forcing him to stay at Lucy's longer. This is the part in the book that we start to see David's flaw of selfishness come out again. He wants to confront Lucy and tell her to get checked out by a physician and if she is pregnant to abort. Yet Lucy and David never really have this conversation until it is too late and Lucy is pregnant. They fight several times over the issue always ending with David biting his tongue and allowing Lucy to do as she wishes. "I don't agree with what you are doing"(Coetzee, 112). So says David in his disapproval of her actions to not report the rape to the police.

After the rape incident David becomes very selfish and this turns off Lucy to feeling any affection towards him. David wants

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