What role does Lucy play in the action of the story, Disgrace?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that Lucy plays a rather significant role in Coetzee's work.  It is through Lucy that the different lens through which South African life and politics is viewed.  Her understanding of consciousness and of justice is what challenges Lurie to begin to adopt different lenses with which to view his own existence.  The idea of the fluid state of South Africa, where what was is not what is, is brought out through Lucy.  Her view of what happened to her is similar to how different political realities are enveloping South Africa.  Her presence in the novel helps to bring much in light for Lurie, and helps to confirm to him that what is present for him is one where he must learn to embrace change in order for his life and his nation to not pass him entirely.  It is through his daughter, Lucy, where this lesson is forcefully brought home to him, making her quite significant.