Interpretation and personal opinion „The Fifth Child“
To my mind this book written by Doris Lessing is very difficult to understand. “The Fifth Child” is a very controversial story. It is about a young couple and its five children. Harriet and David want to have a big family and everything is perfect. They live happily together although they have financial difficulties. Family life is rather busy but everything goes its way until Ben – the fifth child – is born. Ben has a very aggressive character and he is emotionally and mentally handicapped. A child who can’t be socialized and thus in the end his behaviour is responsible for the destruction of the whole family.
Doris Lessing plays with her readers’ emotions and their traditional views concerning children and family life.
In general children are regarded as nice human beings who can be easily be loved. But reality shows a different picture. Every family makes the experience that children aren’t always easy to handle but Ben in the “The Fifth Child” is really a monster – a human creature full of aggression and violence and there is no way to change his change his behaviour - a nightmare for every family.
Doris Lessing shows us that it is difficult to integrate some human beings into society. There are many reasons why children / people are socially and emotionally disturbed and it is clear that they produce many problems for their social surrounding as well as for society.
There still remain many important questions for which it is necessary to find answers. i.e. “How can society treat these handicapped people in a human way?” or “What can society do in order to support parents by bringing up handicapped children?” or “How can they be integrated into social life?” or “What are the reasons why people are handicapped? “Is it possible to find solutions for their problems? “What is needed to help them?
Lessing tells us that society is rather unable to deal with these problems and the...
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