Our Friend Judith

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In Doris Lessing’s Our Friend Judith, society affected the author’s purpose by representing the disapproval people face when going against the majority and standing out. The main character Judith, a gorgeous intellectual female that appears to have a fear of commitment and letting people and animals become attached to her, would not let herself stand out on any conditions other than what she could have power over. Judith always had a natural look, and dressed in shabby clothing, constantly trying to appear as simple as her features allowed.

In spite of her attempts to intermingle, society still watched over her and everything she did, even the ones that called themselves her best friends were all up in her doings; calling each other to chitchat on every move that Judith made. Other than men who were in love with her, everyone else judged her for not being like them, a stay at home mom settling down with the norm, children and all. What is so intriguing about the story is that in the beginning, the narrator mentioned that she stopped inviting Judith to meet people due to the enormous amount of questions she brought. Not only were the British trying to understand her need to be alone in order to be her “own person,” strangers from all over the world were questioning about the out of the ordinary woman. This was to allude that all societies hold the same expectations for women.

Overall, society affected the text by using hidden irony. For example, the title was ironic because Judith did not have real friends, only conniving, judgmental people that claimed to be her friends without accepting her for who she was. Text was also affected by society because of the narrative view; there was no better way to show how society felt about Judith than through the eyes of a snooping observer. The author’s purpose was to give her view on how society can greatly influence people; that what society thinks about you does unfortunately matter. This is evidently seen in the...
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