Study Guide

Disgrace Chapter 15

By J.M. Coetzee

Chapter 15

  • The two sheep that Petrus brought home are making too much noise. Petrus tells David he's going to slaughter them for a party that he's having on Saturday.
  • David unties the sheep so they can graze. He thinks about how they exist to be slaughtered.
  • Lucy is snippy with David. He tells himself that it's because she's still getting over the attack.
  • David asks Lucy if she's hiding anything from him, like medical test results, because she could have picked up something from "those men." Lucy's all like "What men?" but then she says she's kidding. She doesn't know yet (15.18-27).
  • David thinks about how the sheep are spending the end of their lives in the worst way possible. He feels weirdly attached to them and thinks about buying them from Petrus but then decides against it.
  • David asks Lucy if he can skip out on Petrus's party without being rude. He says it's because he's disturbed about the sheep.
  • On Saturday they don't run the stall at the farmer's market. David sees a bunch of women all dressed up. They're there to help get things ready.
  • David thinks he can tell the moment they kill the sheep. He wonders if he should mourn.
  • David takes Katy for a walk.
  • We find out that David grew up in Johannesburg.
  • Lucy asks David if he's going to the party. She's dressed up and lookin' good.
  • They go to the party. They're the only white people there. They can't find Petrus.
  • Petrus shows up. He says, "No more dogs. I am no longer the dog-man" (15.69).
  • Lucy gives Petrus's wife a gift – it is a bedspread with an Ashanti design on it. Petrus calls Lucy their benefactor. This rubs David the wrong way.
  • Petrus's wife is pregnant, so David asks when the baby is due. Petrus says October and that he hopes it's a boy, because girls are "expensive" (15.85). Then he says not Lucy, because Lucy is "as good as a boy. Almost!" (15.88). Lucy is embarrassed and goes to dance.
  • David sits down with a plate of food, including two mutton chops (yup, from those sheep). He decides to "eat it and ask for forgiveness afterwards" (15.95).
  • Lucy comes up and asks if they can leave – she saw one of the intruders at the party. She asks David not to make a big deal of it and he's like, "uh, no."
  • Turns out the boy is there. David confronts him. Then Petrus shows up. David asks him if he knows who the boy is. Petrus avoids the question and says he doesn't know what the trouble is.
  • David says the boy is wanted by the police. The boy screams that it's not true. David says he's lying and that Lucy will back him up. She doesn't. So David says he's going to call the cops.
  • At home, Lucy stops David from calling the cops because it will ruin everything for Petrus. David doesn't know why he should be worried about Petrus if he's not helping them.
  • Lucy tells David to wait until the next day. David tells her it's nice that she's trying to right the wrongs of the past but if she doesn't stick up for herself, she'll "never be able to hold [her] head up again" (15.121).
  • Lucy gets mad and tells David he doesn't know what happened. She goes to bed.
  • David goes back to the party. Everyone stares at him. He's sort of glad that everyone looks uncomfortable.