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by J.M. Coetzee

Disgrace Men and Masculinity Quotes

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

Quote #10

"You don't understand, you weren't there," says Bev Shaw. Well, she is mistaken. Lucy's intuition is right after all: he does understand; he can, if he concentrates, if he loses himself, be there, be the men inhabit them, fill them with the ghost of himself. The question is, does he have it in him to be the woman? (18.114)

There's a lot going on right here. Sure, David can picture the moment. He knows what it is like to be attacked. He knows what it is like to have sex. And, disturbingly enough, he even knows what it is like to have sex with a woman who might not want to have sex with him. He has to try, however, to really know what it is like from Lucy's perspective. He can be one of the men in the situation (which is kind of weird when you think about it, but we're not touching that one right now), but adopting a woman's perspective isn't something with which he has much experience.

Quote #11

He pauses. The pen continues its dance. A sudden little adventure. Men of a certain kind. Does the man behind the desk have adventures? The more he sees of him the more he doubts it. He would not be surprised if Isaacs were something in the church, a deacon or a server, whatever a server is. (19.40)

This part is really interesting because it shows us that there isn't one straightforward masculine "type." David is a different kind of man that Mr. Isaacs is, and so while David might follow certain sexual instincts, it doesn't mean that every man does. It sort of throws any possible arguments about male nature out the window, doesn't it?

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