Disgrace: Parent-Child Relationships Essay

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Family is often a common theme that is shared across many of J.M Coetzee novels. Family members are usually distant to each other or the relationships between parents and children do not succeed in a conventional way. When Coetzee allows for members to engage in relationships with one another they are either “strained” or tainted by “violence” (Splendore 148). This is especially true in his novel Disgrace. In Disgrace David Lurie, an English professor, is arguably forced to resign from his position at the University, because of this Lurie moves to his daughters’ farm in Eastern Cape. The pair appears to have a normal relationship most of the time, but there is some obvious discomfort. As time progresses the relationship begins to …show more content…
Although his life may not be safe it is worth his time if he increases the chances of Lucy’s safety. Later the attackers return and light Lurie on fire, while Lurie is still burning he thinks “if I can die, then so can Lucy, above all Lucy!” (Coetzee 96). Lurie’s life is in immediate danger but he only acknowledges this, but shows concern for what could be happening to Lucy. It seems that Lurie only cares for Lucy’s’ well-being in this situation, while he casts his aside. Lurie’s extensive concern for Lucy, and not himself, shows that he is willing to do anything that he is capable of for her benefit, and ultimately showing that he loves her. Although Lurie’s strongest acts of love are displayed through his thoughts during the attack, they still continue on through his will to protect her.
Throughout the attack Lurie is just as helpless as Lucy, yet he is still “tormented” because he is unable to protect her from the intruders, although he tries very hard (Dooley 163). This is discouraging for him, but it is not his final attempt. Lurie is very suspicious of Petrus and believes he was not oblivious to the attack. Once Petrus returns to the farm Lurie begins to question him, hoping that Petrus will reveal some sort of clue. Lurie becomes angry when Petrus doesn’t react the way that he had anticipated because he is convinced that there is a connection between Petrus and the
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