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by J.M. Coetzee

Disgrace Contrasting Regions Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

Curious that he and her mother, cityfolk, intellectuals, should have produced this throwback, this sturdy young settler. (7.17)

We see the two contrasting regions of East and West, Country and City, played out even just within the Lurie family. This moment also reveals some of David's hidden attitudes about the country: he sees Lucy as a "throwback," as if she's reverting to something more primitive and less civilized.

Quote #2

A group of children pass him on their way home from school. He greets them; they greet him back. Country ways. Already Cape Town is receding into the past. (7.65)

Even early on, David's surroundings seem to have a profound effect on him. Even though he tries to keep himself at a distance from country life, he can't help but slowly become part of it.

Quote #3

He is sitting in the front room, watching soccer on television. The score is nil-all; neither team seems interested in winning. The commentary alternates between Sotho and Xhosa, languages of which he understands not a word. (9.1-2)

Sotho and Xhosa are two of the most commonly-spoken languages in the entire country of South Africa, but as someone from the westernized city of Cape Town, David doesn't speak them; he only speaks English and, we find out, two Romance languages. Language has the power to either alienate those who don't understand or involve those who do understand; in this case, we get an example of the power of language to create outsiders.

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