J.M. Coetzee's Disgrace and Adrian Nicole LeBlanc's Random Family Essay

J.M. Coetzee's Disgrace and Adrian Nicole LeBlanc's Random Family Essay

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In the books Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee and Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, they show similarities and differences in various aspects of life. In both books, ones self-confidence is a trait that affects ones actions in life. The absence or presence of self-confidence can be a determining factor of how ones life will play out. In some cases the confidence can be beneficial producing success in the workplace, with friends and especially in regards to raising a family. In other cases it can be harmful, causing one to be overpowering or even abusive. In Random Family the confidence in men brings danger to the women in their lives. Most women in the book lack confidence and allow men to take control of their lives therefore treating them like animals. Confidence is not something you are born with, it must be gained, which can be difficult in regards to the families of Random Family. It is clear that Disgrace and Random Family involve difference settings and cultural backgrounds, but regardless of these differences, the characters face similar situations and sometimes respond in similar ways.
One example where the man is emotionally abusive is the relationship between Coco and Cesar. Cesar’s over confidence turns into violence and Coco’s lack of confidence results in self-destructive behavior. Cesar feels that he deserves all the power and demands Coco to do things the way he wants them done. One case is where Cesar writes to Coco about how she must take care of the children and dress the way he wants her to. “Children’s looks reflected the quality of mothering; sloppiness and dirt were physical evidence of failure, of poverty winning its battle against you.” It is shown that one’s confidence in Random Family is not determi...


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...nks. How could I ever have forgotten it?” (194 Coetzee) David says this after he gets his service from the drugged up streetwalker towards the end of the book. The common reaction to using a prostitute would be a sense of shame in ones actions. In a disturbed way, David feels impressed with himself and feels content with what he has done.
Both books end up showing more similarities than originally perceived. Despite all the general differences such as location, cultures and other circumstances, all the characters humans reacting to real life situations. It is interesting to see that even though the characters are round, constantly developing, they continue to lack the confidence they need in order to better themselves in the future.


Works Cited

Coetzee, J.M. Disgrace. NY: Penguin, 1999. Print.
LeBlanc, Adrian Nicole. Random Family. NY: Scribner, 2003. Print.

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