Disgrace | Study Guide

J.M. Coetzee

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(Course Hero, 2019)



Course Hero. "Disgrace Study Guide." March 15, 2019. Accessed August 10, 2020. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Disgrace/.


Course Hero, "Disgrace Study Guide," March 15, 2019, accessed August 10, 2020, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Disgrace/.

Disgrace | Chapter Summaries

See Chapter Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • After apartheid ends

    Soraya drops David as a client.

    Chapter 1
  • That winter

    David rapes Melanie at her house.

    Chapter 3
  • A few weeks later

    At his inquiry, David refuses to confess or to endorse a prepared statement to save his job.

    Chapter 6
  • Shortly after

    David quits and goes to stay with Lucy, who offers him indefinite "refuge."

    Chapter 7
  • Saturday, days later

    David agrees to help Bev Shaw at the animal clinic.

    Chapter 9
  • Wednesday morning

    Three local men rob the house, rape Lucy, and set David on fire.

    Chapter 11
  • Some time later

    David makes a scene confronting Pollux at Petrus's party.

    Chapter 15
  • Shortly after

    David begins assisting Bev with euthanasia of the dogs.

    Chapter 16
  • Some time later

    Lucy tells David she doesn't need his guidance, and he leaves.

    Chapter 18
  • Shortly after

    David eats dinner with Melanie's family and apologizes.

    Chapter 19
  • Shortly after

    David is consumed by his opera, which he plays on a toy banjo.

    Chapter 20
  • Shortly after

    At Melanie's play, her boyfriend runs David out of the theater.

    Chapter 21
  • Immediately after

    David calms himself by sleeping with an intoxicated young prostitute.

    Chapter 21
  • Spring, some time later

    David returns to the farm and learns of Lucy's pregnancy.

    Chapter 22
  • Shortly after

    Lucy accepts Petrus's marriage deal.

    Chapter 23
  • Shortly after

    David attacks Pollux for peeping at Lucy.

    Chapter 23
  • Immediately after

    Lucy wants David to leave, so he starts living at the animal clinic.

    Chapter 23
  • Shortly after

    David has a spiritual experience watching a pregnant Lucy in the flowers.

    Chapter 24
  • Shortly after

    David euthanizes the dog he has grown close to.

    Chapter 24

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Chapter 1 Disgrace takes place in urban Cape Town and the rural Eastern Cape region of South Africa, shortly after the end of apar... Read More
Chapter 2 Following the end of his relationship with Soraya, David Lurie struggles to occupy himself in his solitude. One evening,... Read More
Chapter 3 The following Sunday, against his better judgment, David Lurie calls Melanie Isaacs using information he copied from her... Read More
Chapter 4 David Lurie has sex with Melanie Isaacs in his daughter Lucy's old bed. Afterward she asks him if he frequently sleeps w... Read More
Chapter 5 On Monday, David Lurie finds a notice in his mailbox that Melanie Isaacs has withdrawn from his class. Her father calls ... Read More
Chapter 6 The inquiry to investigate the two charges brought against David Lurie—Melanie Isaacs's harassment complaint and the fal... Read More
Chapter 7 David Lurie leaves Capetown and drives to his daughter Lucy Lurie's homestead in the town of Salem in the Eastern Cape. ... Read More
Chapter 8 The next morning, David Lurie and Lucy Lurie go for a walk and talk. David suggests he doesn't know why Melanie "denounc... Read More
Chapter 9 On Saturday afternoon, while Petrus watches a soccer game narrated in indigenous languages on TV, David Lurie goes to hi... Read More
Chapter 10 David Lurie goes to the crowded Animal Welfare League building to assist Bev Shaw. He finds her in the inner room lancin... Read More
Chapter 11 On Wednesday morning, David Lurie and his daughter Lucy Lurie go for a walk. She asks to hear his "case" about Melanie. ... Read More
Chapter 12 A neighbor, Ettinger, drives David Lurie and Lucy Lurie to the hospital. Lucy, "all strength, all purposefulness," check... Read More
Chapter 13 As Bev Shaw changes David Lurie's bandages the day after the attack, he probes about Lucy's risk of pregnancy and diseas... Read More
Chapter 14 The next day is Friday. As David Lurie is making repairs, Petrus returns, bringing with him the materials to build his h... Read More
Chapter 15 When David Lurie asks Petrus to move two tethered sheep to a place where they can graze, Petrus refuses. Instead, Petrus... Read More
Chapter 16 The next day, while helping Petrus work, David Lurie asks about the name of the boy from the party. He tells Petrus he w... Read More
Chapter 17 One Sunday, David Lurie and Bev Shaw talk as they finish work. She brings up his dismissal from the university and expre... Read More
Chapter 18 Petrus ploughs his land in an afternoon using a borrowed tractor. He is planning to build a house "overlooking the farmh... Read More
Chapter 19 David Lurie has finally left his daughter's home. On his way back to Cape Town, he goes to the Isaacs's family home seek... Read More
Chapter 20 Returning to Cape Town with visions of himself as a hopeless old man, David Lurie finds his house has been robbed. When ... Read More
Chapter 21 Over coffee, David Lurie's ex-wife Rosalind criticizes him for making a bad impression at his inquiry. David claims he w... Read More
Chapter 22 Talking with his daughter, Lucy, on the phone makes David Lurie suspicious that something has changed in her. He makes a... Read More
Chapter 23 David Lurie returns from walking Katy the bulldog to find Pollux looking in Lucy's window. He strikes the boy from behin... Read More
Chapter 24 David Lurie sits behind the clinic writing and plunking out the story of a worn-out Teresa Guiccioli begging for Lord By... Read More
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