The End of Disgrace

March 21, 2007

So in the last section of Disgrace we have David leaving the farm as he and Lucy continue to grow further apart.  I thought it was interesting that David goes to the home of Melanie’s family, and then to her father’s office in order to speak with him.  I’m not sure what David felt this visit would accomplish.  I also found it a bit odd how receptive Melanie’s father was to him, going so far as to invite David over to dinner.  It almost seems as if Melanie’s father was enjoying seeing David in the position that he is now in, on page 167 he says to David, “how are the mighty fallen!”  Melanie’s father seems to be relishing this opportunity, it leads me to believe that David had been right before when he figured it was the parents who pushed Melanie into filing the complaint.  And Melanie’s father is admiring the results of his work.

It seems David has learned nothing since his time away.  On his visit to Melanie’s house, he is immediately attracted to and lusts after her younger sister.  David also goes to view the play Melanie is in, and it is at the play David shows that he is not over Melanie and has not been able to let go, “Yet when they laugh at Melanie’s lines he cannot resist a flush of pride.  Mine! he would like to say, turning to them, as if she were his daughter.  And it is there that he runs into the boyfriend again.

We also learn that Lucy has become pregnant as a result of the incident.  When David asks her about it, Lucy explains that she will keep the child despite it being a result of rape.  David is made very uncomfortable by Lucy’s situation, he does not like the fact that Pollux is around all the time, and he is very upset by Petrus’ offer to marry Lucy.  Lucy however seems apathetic to all this.  She is willing to go along with anything and refuses to listen to David about leaving the farm.  On page 208 she tells David, “Everything had settled down, everything was peaceful again, until you came back.  I must have peace around me.  I am prepared to do anything, make any sacrifice, for the sake of peace.”  Lucy is willing to accept the child, accept one of the thugs living near her, and accept Petrus’ offer, not because she wants any of these things but because they will make things simpler. 

There are two passages towards the end which I found interesting.  On page 216 there is a conversation between David and Lucy, “You should try to be a good person too”  “I suspect it is too late for me.  I’m just an old lag serving out my sentence.  But you go ahead.  You are well on your way.”  And then on page 218, “The truth is, he has never had much of an eye for rural life, despite all his reading in Wordsworth.  Not much of an eye for anything, except pretty girls; and where has that got him?  Is it too late to educate his eye?”  I think both of these quotes go back to one from the beginning of the book which stated the temperament as being one of the hardest parts of the body.  In both of these passages, it seems that David is willing to accept the way he is and will make no effort to change or better himself.  The same way Lucy will not do anything to change her situation.  Both of them feel that it is easier to leave thing the way they are.

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One Response to “The End of Disgrace”

  1. bobsaget said

    I was without a doubt shocked by the news that Lucy was pregnant but not as shocked as when I realized David was going back to his old ways. After this entire experience David still returns to his lustful ways and eyeballs melanies sister.I think David really had the oppurtunity to change the way he viewed not onloy women but the world in general. Instead he fits the perfect male stereotype and never changes.

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