Power and Status in Coetzee's Disgrace

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Maisarah Maisarah


This article aims to discuss the symbols which may have direct relationship with power and status in a novel, Disgrace. The setting of this novel is in South Africa where the transition era was taken place from apartheid to democracy. In this era, power and status are becoming important issue to discuss. To emphasize the two issues in a literary work, the author uses symbols. There are many symbols that can be found in this novel. Among the symbols which exist, three of them have correlation with power and status. Those symbols are sex, dogs and one of the characters in this novel, Peter. Those three symbols will be analyzed by using Stuart Hall’s theory about representation. This study comes to conclusion that the first symbol, sex, is a representation of man’s power over woman. The second symbol, dog, is a representation of lower social status. The third symbol, Petrus, is a representation of changing status of Black people in South Africa.

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