Transgressive Fathering in J.M. Coetzee's Disgrace
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This thesis examines David Lurie’s transgressive thoughts and behaviours in J.M. Coetzee’s Disgrace (1999) and draws conclusions about their function. Using Michel Foucault’s definition of transgression – which classifies it as a productive means to question tacit laws – the central argument maintains that David’s predatory behaviours, paradoxical rationalizations, and unboundaried ideas about fatherhood are necessary efforts to question various social roles in the context of the post-apartheid period. I also contend that David’s conflation of sexual desire and fatherly care in Disgrace points to one of Coetzee’s larger projects: to dismantle glossy ideas about nuclear family structures and to expose the white patriarchal Afrikaner ideals that persist in South Africa even after the end of apartheid.