by J.M. Coetzee
Disgrace Hate Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"We never thought we were sending our daughter into a nest of vipers. No, Professor Lurie, you may be high and mighty and have all kinds of degrees, but if I was you I'd be very ashamed of myself, so help me God." (5.23)
Hate takes on many forms in Disgrace, and this is one of the quieter examples we get. Mr. Isaacs might reprimand David in somewhat benign terms – and seriously, he's not, like, throwing a chair at him or anything, Jerry Springer-style – but you can tell he's probably shooting daggers at David with his eyes.
The gossip-mill, he thinks, turning day and night, grinding reputations. The community of the righteous, holding their sessions in corners, over the telephone, behind closed doors. Gleeful whispers. Schadenfreude. First the sentence, then the trial. (5.57)
Schadenfreude is a fun term that you might want to remember for later, just in case you want to impress your teachers or some local philosophy-reading hipsters. It's a German term for the pleasure we get from the misfortunes of others. Imagine your rival asking your crush out and getting shot down. You'd probably feel a healthy dose of Schadenfreude. Now imagine David's coworkers feeling thrilled to see him suffer. If you were David, wouldn't you just despise them?
A flurry of anger runs through him, strong enough to take him by surprise. He picks up his spade and strikes whole strips of mud and weed from the dam-bottom, flinging them over his shoulder, over the wall. You are whipping yourself into a rage, he admonishes himself: Stop it! Yet at this moment he would like to take Petrus by the throat. (14.45)
David knows he shouldn't hate Petrus, but he just can't help it. Wouldn't you want to throttle someone who doesn't seem to care that your daughter was viciously assaulted?