Merging the Shattered Selves: The Question of Self Realization in Disgrace By J. M Coetzee


  • Aleena Rosmin Abraham Student, School of Letters Mahatma Gandhi University Kottayam India


Trauma, Rape, Disgrace, Coetzee, Violence


According to Lenore Terr, “psychic trauma occurs when a sudden, unexpected, overwhelming intense emotional blow or a series of blows assaults the person from outside. Traumatic events are external, but they quickly become incorporated into the mind” (Too Scared to Cry: Psychic Trauma in Childhood, 8). Here, in this study I attempt to analyze  J M Coetzee’s  Disgrace as rape trauma narrative and how this external act of rape (which also inflicts physical injury) becomes incorporated into the mind of the victim and how this event forms itself as a background for trauma. This story focuses not on the attack so much, but rather on its responses and also the trauma associated with rape. In this novel,  Disgrace, there is a  female protagonist who fall victim to the brutal act of rape and she, even though chooses to remain silent and to cope with the situation by enduring the pain that rape had inflicted upon her, fought back and analyzed the reasons behind the act ( which is not justifiable however much they try) and decided to move on with her life.. Lucy restructure the traditional concept which portrays the victims as guilty and expected them to live their lives with a bowed head. Instead, she represent the strength of women who are capable of facing and  fighting any atrocities forced on them. Thus, Lucy and Melanie encapsulate the idea of a strong and determined woman within them. In this study I am focussing on the psychological impacts of rape, society’s attitude towards rape victims, the trauma associated with rape both in the premarital and marital contexts and also how women are capable of handling any situations bravely. Issues such as gender inequality, colonialism, patriarchy and apartheid, and the manner in which these issues form themselves as a background and justification for that brutal act will also be analyzed in this project, though the main focus will be on the trauma of rape and its aftermath.


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How to Cite

Abraham, A. R. (2018). Merging the Shattered Selves: The Question of Self Realization in Disgrace By J. M Coetzee. SMART MOVES JOURNAL IJELLH, 6(5), 12. Retrieved from