Harrington 2013 Criminal

Title Information

Author: Ashley B. Harrington

Title: The Myth of the Criminal and Animal Subjecthood in J. M. Coetzee's Disgrace

Subtitle: -

Thesis: M.A. Thesis, Florida Atlantic University

Year: May 2013

Pages: 91pp.

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century | South African History | Representations: Literature / J.M. Coetzee

Full Text

Link: Academia.edu (Free Access)

Link: ProQuest (Restricted Access)

Additional Information

Author: Academia.edu

Abstract: »J. M. Coetzee’s brutal novel Disgrace questions popular understandings of criminality and victimhood by establishing parallels between its various characters and their actions. Through close reading of Coetzee’s descriptions of protagonist David Lurie’s behaviors and attitudes towards women, non-human animals, and people of color compared with descriptions of the mysterious trio of men who rape Lurie’s daughter and coldly kill the dogs in her kennels, I argue that the line Disgrace draws between Lurie and these men is deliberately flimsy, ultimately all but disappearing if we look closely enough at their behaviors and descriptions rather than their justifications. I also argue that the novel’s perpetrators rely upon archetypical “rapist” and “criminal” constructs, resulting in an inability for them to ever accurately address their own crimes, despite Coetzee’s descriptive parallels. Ultimately, I read Disgrace as suggesting that there can be no resolution for violence so long as these mythical archetypes persist.« (Source: Thesis)


  An Introduction (p. 1)
  Chapter One. Criminal Mirror: Rape & the Deflection of Blame (p. 17)
  Chapter Two. "Giving Him Up": Coetzee's Dogs & a Regression into Violence (p. 42)
  A Conclusion. Finding the Middle Ground: Coetzee & the Problem of Parallels & Comparisons (p. 71)
  Works Cited (p. 80)

Wikipedia: J. M. Coetzee: Disgrace (novel)

Added: November 8, 2014 – Last updated: November 8, 2014