Study Guide

Disgrace Chapter 16

By J.M. Coetzee

Chapter 16

  • Petrus shows up at the front door, but not to talk about what happened at the party. Instead he said he's there to lay down some pipes. He asks David to help.
  • While they work, Petrus still doesn't say anything about the boy or what happened at the party.
  • So then of course David brings it up. He asks who the boy is.
  • Petrus says the boy isn't too happy that David's calling him a thief. David says that if Petrus just gives him the boy's name they can leave everything up to the police.
  • David asks Petrus if the boy is related to him or something. Petrus ignores the question and says that the boy is sixteen and can't be tried as an adult. David's like: that's not the point.
  • Petrus says that everything that happened was a big mistake but that it's all in the past.
  • David goes to see Bev Shaw. He says he would have gone back to Cape Town but he's afraid to leave Lucy alone on the farm and she won't leave it. Bev tells David that he should let Lucy go.
  • Bev says that, without Petrus, Lucy wouldn't have anything that she has – he got her that space at the market and everything. Bev says that Lucy owes Petrus a lot.
  • Bev also says that David doesn't know what Lucy has been through. David feels like an outsider.
  • David watches TV and works in the garden and thinks about his opera.
  • David works in the Animal Welfare Clinic and helps Bev put dogs to sleep. It really bums him out.
  • Since Bev's in charge of giving the lethal injections, David takes care of dumping their remains. Basically he loads them up in Lucy's truck and takes them to the incinerator at the hospital.
  • David makes it a point to burn the dogs himself; he doesn't want them to be left around with other trash because it would be a dishonor. He thinks about how he has to do it because nobody else will.