Apartheid, the separation of the white and black races, in South Africa is coming to an end in Disgrace. For the first time, blacks are free to vote and own land, and this changes the whole social and political structure of South Africa. David Lurie, the protagonist, must change his ways of dealing with other people due to these changes. His opera represents the only control he still has over anything. David can no longer control the women in his life, and as he's forced to change his viewpoints toward the society in which he lives, he must also change the focus of his opera. David can no longer communicate with the people in his life under his terms; he must now accept the new and different ways imposed upon him.