Study Guide

Disgrace Chapter 21

By J.M. Coetzee

Chapter 21

  • David and Rosalind meet for coffee. She keeps looking at his gross, misshapen ear.
  • Rosalind says she heard about his "trial" at the University and knocks him for not doing a better job defending himself.
  • Then Rosalind tells David that she saw Melanie recently. She disses him for throwing his life away over a young girl like her.
  • David gets all hot and bothered by the mention of Melanie. He wonders if it's over. He feels old and regretful.
  • David goes to Melanie's play. He wishes he could get a sign to tell him what to do. He thinks about Melanie naked.
  • David suddenly remembers a German hitchhiker that he picked up one time and had sex with. He thinks of all the lovers he's had and how they've all changed his life in some way.
  • Then a spitball hits David in the head and he hears someone making hissing noises. It's Ryan, Melanie's boyfriend.
  • David leaves. Ryan follows him into the parking lot. Ryan tells him to "stay with [his] own kind" and that "Melanie will spit in [his] eye if she sees [him]" (21.66-71). David is shocked to hear this.
  • David drives around and finds a hooker. She's clearly either drunk or high. She gives him oral sex in the car. David's like, whoa, I forgot that feeling better can be that easy!