Study Guide

Disgrace Characters

By J.M. Coetzee

David Lurie

The cool thing about David is that, even though he's not the narrator of the novel per se, we...

Lucy Lurie

When we first meet Lucy, it's sort of a shock that she's even remotely related to David. In...

Petrus

When we meet Petrus, we seem to be meeting a representative of the countryside. David immediately...

Melanie Isaacs

We don't spend a huge chunk of time with Melanie during the course of the novel, but a lot...

Bev Shaw

We meet Bev Shaw when David goes to the market with Lucy for the first time. Bev unambiguously...

Pollux

Pollux is another one of our chief characters who exists solely in the country. The narrator...

The Tall Man

The tall man is one of the three intruders who attack Lucy and David. He is the first one to get...

The Second Man

During the attack on Lucy and David, the second man is the intruder that we get to know the best....

Bill Shaw

Bill Shaw is Bev's husband. Red-faced, pot-bellied, and pretty much made out to be a simple...

Rosalind

David's second wife. She acts as a counselor/advice giver to David. She's not afraid to tell him...

Teresa

Teresa is the main character of David's opera on Byron. She becomes almost like a character in...

Helen

We never meet Helen in person, but we learn that she is Lucy's former lover. She used to live on...

Ettinger

We meet Ettinger, who is Lucy's neighbor, after the attack on Lucy's home. He is a "surly old man...

Mr. Isaacs

Mr. Isaacs is Melanie's dad. He's the principal of the local middle school in George. Though he...

Mrs. Isaacs

Melanie's mom. She doesn't think very highly of David, and David knows it. When David visits the...

Desiree Isaacs

Dezzy is Melanie's little sister. She lets David into the Isaacs' home without batting an...

Ryan

Ryan, who by all accounts is Melanie's boyfriend, appears to be your stereotypical bad boy, or at...

Petrus's Wife

We're talking about the wife who lives with Petrus near Lucy's property – we know from...

Pauline

Pauline is Melanie's cousin, and the two of them live together. We never actually meet Pauline...

Aram Hakim

Hakim and David have known each other for years, both as work colleagues and tennis buddies....

Elaine Winter

Elaine is the chair of David's department at the University. She and David don't really like each...

Farodia Rasool

A professor of Social Sciences at Cape Technical University, Farodia Rasool is one of the...

Manas Mathabane

Manas Mathabane is a professor of Religious Studies at Cape Technical University. He is the chair...

Detective-Sergeant Esterhuyse

He's the detective who tells David that his car has been found and that arrests have been made in...

Ms. Van Wyck

She's the student who watches David's committee hearing.

Desmond Swarts

Desmond Swarts is the Dean of Engineering at Cape Technical University and is one of the three...

A Business Professor

The third member of the committee judging David. David has never met him before.

Soraya

One of the first people we meet in Disgrace, Soraya is the prostitute that David sleeps with...

The other Soraya

After the original Soraya disappears off the face of the earth, David seeks out a new Soraya for...

Dr. Otto

Dr. Otto is the new professor at Cape Technical University who takes over David's office in his...

Dawn

Dawn's the new secretary in David's department whom David sleeps with in Chapter 1. We never see...

Hakim's Secretary

Here's another character who is seen and not heard – all we know is that she's present at...

Tante Miems

One of Lucy's acquaintances at the market. An example of the "local color" – someone who...

Oom Koos

Tante Miems' sidekick. Another example of the locals who hit up the market on Saturdays.

Evelina

Evelina is Lucy's mom. We never actually meet her, but David talks to Bev about her.