Extract of the fifth child (p35-36)

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  • Publié le : 17 juin 2010
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Doris Lessing is a famous British writer. In 1988, she wrote the fifth child and in 2007 she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The novel is about a couple,Harriet and David, having a happy life and lot of children. They buy a house, and spend Christmas and Easter holiday every year with their family. Everything is going well, until Christmas 1973 andHarriet’s fifth pregnancy. This new pregnancy makes her suffer, so she goes to see her usual doctor, who has been there for the previous pregnancies, in order to get reassured. First, we’ll analyze Harriet’spain and her relation with David and Ben. And then we’ll analyze Harriet’s relation with Dr Brett and his behavior.

In this extract, Harriet is in pain. The foetus is only a couple months oldand it is already strong. When David touched her belly, he felt “a jolt under his hand, quite a hard movement”. Even David can feel the movements, it means that the foetus is extremely rough. It isunusual for a foetus to be so strong, that’s why David told her: “Can you be further along than you thought?” He thinks that the doctor must have made a mistake with the dates, and asks Harriet tocheck them. He probably believed that the foetus is much more than a few months. All those questions disquiet Harriet. She suffers a lot, because of the foetus that is “poisoning her” and she doesn’t evenknow how old the violent foetus is. Ben keeps on hurting her, like “small drum” line 20. A Drum is an instrument that you have to hit very fast and a lot .It means that he doesn’t stop pushing herwith his feet, and Harriet can’t have a rest. Her insistent pain makes her in a bad mood. As in the extract 3, Harriet feels desperate, she “was weeping again” line 7. So, to soothe the pain, Harrietdoes all the chores of the house “she had been keeping on the move all day”. She doesn’t take a moment to relax, and instead of relaxing, she keeps moving. It is to not think about her pain, she...
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