Alvarez Aranguren Romina
Writing Community Assignment # 3: To Room Nineteen
Analyze the themes of freedom and emancipation in the light of the short story. Doris Lessing’s To Room Nineteern tells the story of a middle-aged woman struggling to find her inner self. At first sight, Susan Rawlings seemed to have a perfect life: a loving husband, four healthy children and a gardened house by the river. However, she gradually began to feel confined to her house and overwhelmed by her daily routine and house chores. On top of that, her husband, Mathew confessed he had slept with another woman. This event was a turning point in their relationship and in Susan’s life. From then on, the protagonist began a quest for emancipation that, eventually, led her to commit suicide. Before getting married, Susan had been a successful career woman with a very active social life. Moreover, she had always been economically independent and had had an interesting job that fulfilled her. All this financial stability vanished when she became Mrs. Rawlings and two years later got pregnant. “[…] for the sake of Mathew, the children, the house and the garden[…]” Susan gave up first her flat and later her job. She relinquished her material self dependency and adopted the roles that society imposed onto a married woman and mother. Furthermore, she not only depended on Mathew for money, but also for entertainment: “[…]they lay beside each other talking and he told her about his day, and what he have done, and whom he had met; and she told him about her day (not as interesting, but that was not her fault)[…]. This situation made Susan feel trapped within her own house and above all within social stereotypes. She would have wanted to go back to work and earn her own living, but that would have meant to break away with her social role as woman. In Susan’s and Mathew’s brains was ingrained that a woman had to make some sacrifices for her family. Susan could not emancipate...
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