Doris Lessing

Topics: White people, Black people, South Africa Pages: 2 (825 words) Published: October 13, 2014
We are first introduced to Mary as being an independent young woman. However Lessing’s character soon shows signs of being an insecure woman, who cares deeply what other people think about her. The reader is forced to sympathise with this self-destructing character. Throughout the novel Mary is described as being in a state of tension and under strain. Mary is unable to adapt to her new life on the farm with Dick, she is constantly longing for the town she left behind. The linear plot is about Mary Turner’s life, going back to her childhood and progressing to her characters fatal ending. The narrator tells of Mary being raised by “frustrated parents” and the hatred she felt towards her father. Her body is treated with discust,”She smelt the thick stuff of his trousers”, a possibility that some sort of child abuse occurred, which would account for her arrested sexuality, the fear and repulsion of sex. Mary becomes a friendless character who receives no help from her Husband and no loyalty from the servant. However violent Mary becomes with her servant she never actually commits a crime. Mary is driven to marry Dick after she over hears people mocking her and she feels she is being ostracized. The reader views Mary as a heroine who has lost her struggle. We are told by the narrator that evil was not contained within this woman but that evil was all around her. Throughout the novel the author’s disapproval of sexual and political prejudice and the colonialism in South Africa is constantly reinforced. This in turn influences the reader not to adapt to the main characters viewing of the world. Lessing’s novel can be seen as Mary’s constant struggle to preserve her authenticity and sense of self but she fails to overcome her struggle due to the forces and conditions that surround her. Mary’s failures are rooted in her family and culture that in turn dooms her to her death. Although at the beginning of Mary and Moses’s relationship, Mary exerts all her power...
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