Study Guide

The Tall Man in Disgrace

By J.M. Coetzee

The Tall Man

The tall man is one of the three intruders who attack Lucy and David. He is the first one to get into the house under the pretense of having to use the phone. The narrator describes him as being handsome (11.63). We don't see much of him again until he takes the rifle and shoots all the dogs, in one of the most graphic and disturbing scenes of the novel. Unlike Pollux (the boy), the tall man only appears in the attack scene. Nevertheless, he remains an important and unforgettable, if also distressing, figure in the novel.