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Kind, compassionate, and selfless, Bev Shaw devotes herself to helping others, animals and humans alike. Just as Bev guides wounded animals by helping them peacefully pass away, her character also serves as a guide for David. Over the course of their relationship, Bev teaches David compassion. She is also instrumental in helping David grasp, however painfully, that his daughter Lucy is no longer a child, a realization that helps him come to terms with accepting he’s arrived in the later stages of his life. That Bev, one of the most moral characters in Disgrace, has an affair with David, contrasts with her other actions, but is not surprising. Bev is, after all, only human, and her actions here may even be seen as another means by which she helps David navigate and accept the changes in his life. Bev’s relationship with David, readers can hope, also shows him that a woman’s worth isn’t solely tied to her physical appearance, a lesson that may have prompted David to shift the focus of his Byron opera to Teresa in her middle-age.