What are the other themes that can be seen throughout the novel Disgrace besides "change"?
I need to understand that "yes" the book involes a lot of changes but what else does it show the readers? This is really important as I don't get it.
I believe everything is to do with changes and nothing else. Please prove me wrong. :-)
1 Answer | Add Yours
There are a number of themes we can point to in Disgrace, some of which are well-developed and others which serve to support the larger concepts of the novel. The idea of change, certainly, is central to the text but arguably is on par with the theme of personal rights in this novel.
The rights of both Melanie and Lucy are violated, yet they are also given re-definition in the aftermath of the violation. After Lurie's affair with Melanie is ended, there is a reinforcement of the social boundaries which are meant to protect her from people like him (in positions of power at the university e.g., professors). Lucy has a chance to direclty define her own values regarding privacy and her rights, which are contrasting to those of her father.
Lucy's independence mirrors that of her father, and when they are placed together, their interaction demonstrates the way immovable forces interact.
The issue of this definition is, perhaps, the heart of the second half of the novel. It is up to Lucy to determine what she claims as her own rights and therefore what she understands as justice.
Another two themes of the novel are abstraction and isolation, as Lurie engages with Byron and moves in his own intellectual space. He also joins Lucy in the isolation which she has chosen and which for him is an exile, living as an alien in a space that is undefined, for him, and dangerous.
We can also look at usurpation and invasion as themes in Disgrace. In this country Lurie and Lucy are decidedly non-native and can therefore be considered intruders. Lurie also intrudes into the life of Melanie and Soroya.
Sex and power can be viewed as a coupled theme as well. Sex, in Disgrace, can be seen as a "way of exerting power over others" both in the case of Lurie and his girlfriends and in the example of Lucy's rape.
We’ve answered 319,811 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question