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by J.M. Coetzee

Disgrace Suffering Quotes

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

Quote #7

Presumably they have until Saturday morning, two days. It seems a miserable way to spend the last two days of one's life. (15.30)

Here, David watches the two suffering sheep that are waiting to be slaughtered for Petrus's party. Do you think David would have thought about their suffering if he hadn't first been exposed to a great deal of pain himself, including thinking he was going to die? Do you think that David's experience with near-death has given him a different perspective on the lives of all living things?

Quote #8

"I am sorry for what I took your daughter through. You have a wonderful family. I apologize for the grief I have caused you and Mrs. Isaacs. I ask for your pardon." (19.102)

When David apologizes to Mr. Isaacs, he acknowledges the suffering that he put Melanie and her whole family through. Do you think it eases their pain or Melanie's pain to know that he is now sorry for what he did?

Quote #9

"In my own terms, I am being punished for what happened between myself and your daughter. I am sunk into a state of disgrace from which it will not be easy to lift myself. It is not a punishment I have refused. I do not murmur against it. On the contrary, I am living it out from day to day, trying to accept disgrace as my state of being. Is it enough for God, do you think, that I live in disgrace without term?" (19.106)

Here we see a connection between suffering and disgrace that is highly personal for David. When he says that he is living out a punishment for what happened between him and Melanie, what do you think he means? Do you think he's started to see his own actions toward Melanie in Lucy's sexual assault?

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