Theme Of Dogs In Disgrace

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Disgrace is a novel written by the South African writer and Nobel Prize winner J.M. Coetzee and tells the story of the university professor David Lurie, his daughter Lucy and her neighbor Petrus. The novel tells a story about a society that is filled with mistrust and a destructive perspective on life. As dogs are being depicted in different situations in the novel, this essay will examine the stylistic purpose of dogs in Disgrace and the possible connection between the image of dogs and the personal and national problems that are being described throughout the novel.

Throughout the story it is evident that dogs are used as a metaphor to describe human disgrace. Particularly after David moves to the country side, animals and especially dogs play a major role in the novel. Some dogs that Lucy looks after have names and recognizable personalities and Coetzee purposely repeats the emphasis on social status and personal disgrace through the image of dogs. Lucy once says "I don 't want to come back in another existence as a dog or a pig and have to live as dogs or pigs live under us" (74). When Petrus first appears in the book, he introduces himself as the “dog-man” (64) as he helps Lucy in the kennel. Over time, Petrus climbs the social ladder and becomes a land-owner, he presents himself as “not any more the dog-man” (129). This change happens only after Lucy has been raped by people Petrus protects and thus in a disgraceful way. The development in self-description can be
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