Fantasy Versus Authenticity in Doris Lessing’s the Fifth Child


Doris Lessing, the Nobel Laureate, one of the most prominent British novelists, and adorned with many achievements, focuses on identity as a major issue, though here both the protagonists (Harriet and David) fail to build their own identity. The aim of this paper is to show the importance of dreams or fantasies in our practical life. In The Fifth Child the novelist has merged reality and imagination altogether. Unlike the new generation David and Harriet have fantasy to have a big (traditional) family and neglect its drawbacks. This paper elucidates the changing mentality of the protagonists and how the circumstances affect their mind. Harriet and David’s relation becomes bitter and troublesome due to Ben, their fifth child. They feel the reality of life quite different from their imagination. Taking Ben back from the orphanage becomes more problematic. Neither of the parents can love Ben because they are afraid of him and his monstrous activities. This study is relevant to expatiate the moral hollowness, faltering and stumbling faith in mutual relations which indicate towards a new dawn of moral values. Thus, this paper emphasizes to enunciate and illustrate subconscious state of mind and a consciousness through the fantasies or dreams – a major problem of present day society. Moreover, this study indicates towards the reality of life and changing mentality to point out the factors responsible for this change resulting into bitterness of relations. Keywords- Fantasy, reality, monstrous, drawbacks, faltering, problematic, sub consciousness, identity, consciousness.

Author Information
Arvind Kumar Sharma, AlJouf University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Paper Information
Conference: LibrAsia2015
Stream: Literature - European Literature

This paper is part of the LibrAsia2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon