We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.



by J.M. Coetzee

Disgrace Chapter 7 Summary

  • David leaves Cape Town to go stay with his daughter Lucy in Salem.
  • We get a description of the area where she lives. We're not in Kansas anymore (or, we guess, Cape Town). Salem is all dirt roads and stables.
  • We meet Lucy. David hasn't seen her in a year and he almost doesn't recognize her. He notices she's put on a few pounds and is totally becoming a country gal. He is really happy to see her.
  • We learn that Lucy moved into this country house as part of a commune, but everyone except Lucy and her friend Helen has since moved away. Lucy has turned it into a farm.
  • Then we learn that Helen moved to Johannesburg in April. It seems that Helen and Lucy were more than just pals.
  • David unpacks in Helen's deserted room, and then Lucy shows him around. He notices that she has a LOT of dogs. It turns out she's running a kennel and keeps most of the dogs for a short time.
  • We meet Katy, a bulldog who was abandoned by her owners.
  • David thinks about how Lucy shows how history is repeating itself in South Africa, but more modestly – meaning that she's sort of like the old white settlers by living off the land, but she's not dominating anyone.
  • David feels good about having a daughter like Lucy who is down-to-earth and sensible.
  • David tells Lucy about his opera. Then he brings up his affair with Melanie, and Lucy lets him know she's already heard a little bit about it from Rosalind.
  • We meet Petrus. He looks like he's about 40 or 45. He introduces himself as the "gardener and the dog-man" (7.55).
  • We learn that Petrus and his wife live in the old stable on Lucy's property. We also learn he has another wife in Adelaide.
  • David wonders if Lucy will spend her whole life out in the country but hopes it's just a phase. He starts to notice the differences between country ways and city ways.
  • David tells Lucy more about what went down in Cape Town. He gets kind of dramatic. She tells him so.
  • That night all the dogs start barking like crazy. The next morning Lucy tells David he'll get used to it.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...