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by J.M. Coetzee

Disgrace Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. How do different characters in the novel experience disgrace? Is there anyone who is not affected by disgrace in some way?
  2. Once someone is in a state of disgrace, can they get out of it?
  3. Do you think that David thought his relationship with Melanie was consensual, or do you think he knew he was crossing a line?
  4. After thinking about all the different women that David sleeps with during the novel without forming any feelings of attachment towards them, why do you think Melanie had to be the special one? Is it merely because she was young and beautiful? Was it because she was technically off-limits?
  5. Why do you think Lucy is resistant to the idea of leaving Salem, even though she feels unsafe there? Why doesn't she want to go to Holland or Cape Town, like David suggests?
  6. If you had to give anyone in this novel some advice, who would it be, and what would you tell them?

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