by J.M. Coetzee
Disgrace Justice and Judgment Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
As gently as he can, he offers his question again. "Lucy, my dearest, why don't you want to tell? It was a crime. There is no shame in being the object of a crime. You did not choose to be the object. You are an innocent party." (13.51)
From David's point of view, the disgrace that Lucy feels is getting in the way of her right to seek justice. This is an interesting moment for David, who was once on the receiving end of such a search for justice.
"It was not simply theft, Petrus," he persists. "They did not come just to steal. They did not come just to do this to me." He touches the bandages, touches the eye-shield. "They came to do something else as well. You know what I mean, or if you don't know you can surely guess. After they did what they did, you cannot expect Lucy calmly to go on with her life as before. I am Lucy's father. I want those men to be caught and brought before the law and punished. Am I wrong? Am I wrong to want justice?"
He does not care how he gets the words out of Petrus now, he just wants to hear them. (14.42-43)
When David says he wants justice, he means he wants Petrus to admit that Lucy was raped and to help move the case forward by giving David and the police any information he might have on the intruders. Sorry, David, you're not getting it.
"I have no intention of involving you in the case, Petrus. Tell me the boy's name and whereabouts and I will pass on the information to the police. Then we can leave it to the police to investigate and bring him and his friends to justice. You will not be involved, I will not be involved, it will be a matter for the law." (16.10)
David paints a rather sterilized, emotionless vision of the law here. Nevertheless, as we learned from his experience being tried before the committee, it's never this black and white. Petrus must know this too, because he refuses to cooperate.