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An Ecofeminist Study of J. M. Coetzee’s Disgrace

Author: ZhaoHongXiang
Tutor: NanJianLi
School: Xi'an International Studies University
Course: English Language and Literature
Keywords: John Maxwell Coetzee eocfeminism Apartheid South Africa
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2011
Downloads: 47
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Disgrace, written by South African writer John Maxwell Coetzee, wins him the highest prize for fiction, the Man Booker Prize in 1999. But many people in South Africa criticize the book because they assume it sensationalizes violence and sends very negative image and message of South Africa to the world, and the government of South Africa also denounces the book for it shows a bleak future of the country. However, praised for its honest depiction after the abolishment of apartheid, it is awarded Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003 because of its“well-crafted composition, pregnant dialogue and analytical brilliance”.Disgrace as its name implies, revolves around a series of disgraceful events taking place in South Africa in post-apartheid period. The author of this thesis takes the ecofeminist criticism to interpret Disgrace with the hope of exposing the unjustified domination of women by men and nature by human beings under the patriarchal ideology through exploring the sufferings inflicted on the three females by males and pains inflicted on animals by human beings.From the ecofeminists’point of view, the patriarchal ideology is the very root of the twin oppressions of women and nature. The focus of the thesis is on the exploitation of three females by the male characters and their gradual awakening for the search of self-identity and independence. Through analysing the cause of the domination and oppression of women and nature, this thesis aims to interpret Coetzee’s ecofeministic thoughts and efforts in the deconstruction of patriarchal ideology: only by making compromise and reconciliation can men and women, human beings and other living creatures coexist harmoniously in this world.

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