• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Doris Lessing's

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"The Fifth Child" The character of Ben Lovatt in Doris Lessing's "The Fifth Child" is one that is very powerful, and also extremely interesting. He is violent, and unbelievably strong, yet he would not be able to fend for himself in the "big, bad World". Doris Lessing's use of a very effective mixture of characterisation, symbolism and language use result in a very intriguing and fascinating novel. At the start of the novel, the reader is lulled into a sense of happiness and perfection in the lives of Harriet and David. The description of the house that they buy gives the impression that they have lots of positive plans for the future. When the house is being described, there is a short but very effective sentence, at the end of the paragraph: "Full of space for children, in fact" This does not say that they plan to have children, but it simply suggests. The feeling of happiness and eternal bliss seems to continually get stronger and stronger. A major sign of this happiness is the regular family get-togethers held at the Lovatt's house. These are attended by a large number of people, and all of them have a great time. ...read more.

Middle

There are several occasions where this is shown. Ben is seen "hissing" and "spitting" - both acts that would be associated with a wild animal of some sort. Doris Lessing also makes good use of characterisation with the other characters. All of the other children are clearly heavily affected by Ben entering their family. Jane, Luke, and Helen all go off to live somewhere other than home, either with other relations or at boarding school - anywhere to get away from Ben. Helen starts school a year early, obviously because she wants to be able to get away from where Ben is, for a while. However, the worst case of Ben's effect on a person has to be, undoubtedly, his older brother Paul. From the incident where Paul's arm is badly sprained by Ben, and then on, it is clear to see that Ben is a seriously disturbed little boy. He is a regular patient of psychiatrists. Paul is often crying and he seems to be very insecure and frightened by almost everything even remotely scary. Harriet is dealt with a very difficult dilemma. Should she allow her son to die, and have the benefit of returning to the "happy family" situation that they had before Ben was born, or should she do what her maternal instincts tell her to do, and help Ben? ...read more.

Conclusion

Ben proceeds to destroy all happiness that was previously possessed by the Lovatt family, and scars the lives of his siblings, especially his brother Paul, who becomes very disturbed by Ben's presence. Ben severs all good ties that Harriet had with other relations, by causing Harriet to choose between her maternal instincts and her family, and also causes her to brand herself with the tag of a "criminal". Ben becomes a real "monster" and gets involved in robberies and riots, and becomes a real "menace to society". At the end of the novel, Harriet ponders this strange offspring of the otherwise idyllic middle-class family. Who, or what, was Ben? Beast, goblin, throwback, alien, or a "normal healthy fine baby"? Everyone had different opinions on what Ben was. No-one could quite give Harriet the answer she was looking for; no matter how hard she searched. Doris Lessing deals with these questions without ever quite managing to answer them. She explores the conditions of human acceptance, and what is deemed "normal", and how things that do not match this are treated. Doris Lessing is insistent throughout the novel that Ben is something other than human, by using very negative language and showing very negative viewpoints on Ben. Adam Pomphrett ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Child Development section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Child Development essays

  1. The Lost Boy By David Pelzer

    Timing was imperative, because if his timing was wrong, then he would no doubt be caught. He had to time and plan how long it would take himself to get from his cold and sometimes damp garage stairs, through the house towards the kitchen to steal some food.

  2. Why family structures are changing.

    Another effect this has on families is couples or families having less children, years ago families had large number of families and unlike now they chooses to have few children this is down to other factor such as cost, but families with little numbers of children can effect families in

  1. Definition & Causes - Cerebral Palsy.

    child gets mucus, food, or bacteria in there lungs, often leading to Pneumonia. (Geralis p 73) Urinary infections Children with cerebral palsy are three times more likely to get urinary tract infections causing fever, vomiting, diarrhea, failure to gain weight, abdominal pain, increased frequency or more urgent trips to the bathroom.

  2. Compare the use of fantasy in 'The Poor Relation's Story' and 'Superman and Paula ...

    bullied by the other children and when the war began and her life changes completely. Up to now it had been Superheroes and innocence, but when the war - the reality came, she had to accept it and think differently.

  1. Health Improvement Plan

    also reducing risks of getting diseases, such as heart diseases via lowering levels of blood cholesterol. In addition polyunsaturated fats reduce symptoms of arthritis, other joint problems and certain skin diseases. Food which are rich in polyunsaturated fat are oily fish such as mackerel, salmon, trout, herring and sardines.

  2. Explore the authors approach to the character of Jim Hawkins in the Novel "treasure ...

    there is another side to Silver and Jim being the central character, finds this out when they are all aboard the ship and on their journey to find Treasure Island. It starts by Jim innocently wanting an apple and therefore goes below deck to go into the apple barrel to get one.

  1. Comparing and contrasting 'Cousin Kate' by Christina Rosssetti with 'The Seduction' By Eileen McAuley.

    Also she is unlike the other girl because she is not treated well; she is insulted because she is called 'little slag' which isn't friendly. This is an example of modern vocabulary because 'slag' is used in today's society.

  2. the human lifespan

    It is time when adolescence think in different ways changes from abstract thinking to concrete. At this stage they will be able to solve problems in their head (abstract thinking). Also can think scientifically and work until a problem is solved.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work