Patriarchy, Monstrosity, and Motherhood in Doris Lessing’s The Fifth Child

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Dr. Ambreen Safder Kharbe


Doris Lessing’s The Fifth Child portrays misfortune in the happy married life of David and Harriet after the birth of their fifth child Ben. Along with the storyline Lessing depicts the role played by David and Harriet after Ben is born with the features of monstrosity. The Fifth Child presents the gruesome issue of abnormality and the set principles of society. The novel symbolizes David as the role player of patriarchy and Harriet as an epitome of Motherhood. Lessing’s The Fifth Child is a clear picture of how both patriarchy and motherhood finally lead to the family’s downfall and how a happy and prosperous family finally turns out to be in devastation and isolation.

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