by J.M. Coetzee
Character Role Analysis
After reading Disgrace, you might find that you wish you had a Bev in your own life. We first meet her as the healer and death-escort of the suffering animals of the Eastern Cape. Bev herself says, "I don't think we are ready to die, any of us, not without being escorted" (10.31). Bev rapidly progresses from being someone who helps animals to one who guides people – specifically, she acts as a mentor and advisor to David. When David doesn't know how to get through to Lucy, Bev encourages him to talk to her. When he overdoes it, she tells him to back off. When he worries about their relationship, Bev gives him reasons why he shouldn't worry. That isn't to say that Bev is someone who pats David's hand and says everything is going to be OK, because she doesn't; she has no way of knowing how things will turn out. Nevertheless, with her down-to-earth manner and kind friendship, Bev gives offers her wisdom and support to David through what is an extremely difficult time for him.