Sunday, December 20, 2015

2269 : David Lurie from JM Coetzee's Disgrace

The other character that I relate to completely (from within fiction) is David from JM Coetzee's Disgrace.

Here is the quick summary of David (I am writing from memory so excuse my errors)
- A good successful professor at a South African College.
- He falls in love with a student (which clearly is a taboo there).
- He not only has a passionate affair, but he also helps her falsify her grades.
- At one point because of pressure from her father and boyfriend, she accuses him of rape.
- Instead of defending himself, David accepts all of it upon himself - to the point that one inch at a time - his life rapidly begins to unwind.
- He loses his job, his respect, his credibility - inshort his complete integration into society.

And instead of fighting back, David chooses to accept the collective judgement thrust upon him and he walks away. He almost makes it look like "if this is the price I had to pay for doing what I thought was right at that point, then I am willing to pay the price. I would rather accept my fate, than live by your rules."

He never actually says anything like this, he never rationalizes his behavior for us through the book, but you can see it if you read between the lines.

In the last 15 years I have truly become like David, I will not fight to fit into a world - whose rules I might inherently not agree. Everytime I am faced with such a dilemma, I always accept the judgement and walk away.

It makes me more and more on the fringe, but it also makes me more and more sharper, clearer that the world I belong to will grind me to coarse earth in its attempt to make me fit in, and I, owe this responsibility to my own cells - I need to be true to myself, more than fitting in.

We all die alone, and when I die - in those last moments I do want to look back and feel that I lived a life of honor, that I was honest to myself, never compromised on my own values, and I never bend to fit in. If at that moment, I can recall any incident where I had bend over, I will die a very unhappy man.

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