Novel: Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee
Be aware that you will be writing about a novel, which in its broadest sense is any extended fictional narrative almost always in prose, in which the representation of character is often the focus. Good authors use the elements of fiction, such as plot, theme, setting etc. purposefully, with a very clear goal in mind. One of the paths to literary analysis is to discover what the author’s purpose is with each of his choices. Avoid the problem that many students have, which is to hold the erroneous assumption that simply retelling what happened in detail is good enough (no, it is not). Plot summary is necessary, but not the intended goal in a literary essay.
In addition to being written at college level, your essay must meet the following criteria.
The following are not acceptable sources:
Why not? Because for one, they are not original sources. Encyclopedias and textbooks are useful to provide an overview or introduction to a topic for complete beginners. These are meant to get you started on a subject. They are not research documents.Wikipedia: Many instructors forbid reference to Wikipedia at all. Some professors do allow its use, and the use of encyclopedias in general, but don’t do it. It’s generally reliable for checking routine facts and extremely specialized topics, but Wikipedia, actually all encyclopedias suffer from the problem that they are not a primary sources. Wikipedia has the added problem that although it is working on correcting errors, it still has weak quality control. It is susceptible to deliberate sabotage, vandalism, even censorship. So don’t use it if you’re not familiar enough with the subject matter to spot biases or errors, and don’t cite it in any academic paper at all.
Remember: While you assemble your sources, keep your handbook open (or your online source handy). There are too many details to remember everything.
This is the student now: I already have a topic and approach, a thesis statement and the works I have to cite. YOU MUST FOLLOW THEM AND USE THESE RESOURCES AS I ALREADY SUBMITTED THEM
I chose the topic: the function of setting to reinforce theme and characterization.
The reason I did this is because I am Cuban and I am familiar with the Apartheid era in Africa. Many of my family’s friends passed away or came back with a disability from Angola’s war. From 1975 to 2002 there was a bloody civil war in Angola. Apartheid troops occupied the entire southern region of the country in order to reverse the independence of people of that region. In that war, Cuba contributed with 50,000 soldiers, and helped Angola win in the decisive battle of Cuito Cuanavale against Apartheid forces. This victory over racist troops marked the beginning of the end of Apartheid. Because it triggered that Mandela negotiated with the Angolans and Namibians the independence of South Africa, and later with the ANC (Nelson Mandela’s party) his liberation and the end of the racist government.
I hope I can find more information about Apartheid but in South Africa, and illustrate in my essay how it influences the novel Disgrace.
Should Apartheid be considered as the main setting in which the novel Disgrace takes place or should Cape Town be considered instead?
Cape Town is among the largest cities of South Africa, the second one to be more precise. This is the city where the novel Disgrace takes place. It is particularly different from other South African cities because almost half the population is Caucasian, which brought race conflicts during Apartheid era. Therefore, it is as important when establishing a relationship between the setting of such novel and its plot, to take into account that we are not just in the face of Apartheid, but in that of Cape Town’s racial segregation regime.
Chehabi, H. E. “South Africa and Iran in the Apartheid Era.” Journal of Southern African Studies, vol. 42, no. 4, Aug. 2016, pp. 687–709. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/03057070.2016.1201330.
Coetzee, J.M. Disgrace. New York: Penguin, 1940. Google Book Search. Web 8 Oct. 2018
Geyer, H., and Faizel Mohammed. “Hypersegregation and Class-Based Segregation Processes in Cape Town 2001-2011.” Urban Forum, vol. 27, no. 1, Mar. 2016, pp. 35–58. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s12132-015-9264-6.
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