The fifth child, explication des pages 29 à 31

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We are goind to study an extract from the Fifth Child, a novel by Dorris Lessing. This passage is set at the beginning of the novel. After an office end of year party, Harriet and David, two lovers, decided to get married and buy a house in which they will have many children. In this passage they’re visiting a huge victorian house in the countryside.
However, in this passage, there is clearly achange of mood.
In the first part of the text happiness prevails whereas in the second part we can feel tension and fear.

In the fisrt part, lines 1 to 34 happiness prevails. In order to create an happy atmosphere, Dorris Lessing set this passage in spring, season of love. Indeed we know that “birds singing all around them”, there is a “chilly rain of early spring”. Too, a garden isdescribed by Dorris Lessing, that can make us think of Eden’s Garden of the two lovers Adam and Eve : in the novel Harriet and David can symbolize Eve and Adam, and the garden of their house a peaceful place to live.
Moreover, Harriet and David are represented as an entity “ they stood hand in hand “, therefore we see the house throught Harriet and David’s eyes; Dorris Lessing uses “they” not “she” or“he”, and the words “both”, “theirs” it prove that they are a unit couple. Altought they don’t talk, they looks very happy to be here with the repetition of “smile”, “smiling” ; they’re deeply moved because it’s love at first sight with this house, they have “tears in their eyes”, “their hearts thudding with happiness”, “hardly breathing”, “gently,softy” visiting the house is a moment of intimitcyfor them.
Besides, we know that Harriet and David want a big house because the envisage to have many children so they imagine their future children in each rooms, it’s precise that they can “see and hear” the children they will have. They are, quickly, self-confident about her future and the house seems perfect for them because she's 'old-fashioned" like the lovers. Owing to the lexical field ofhappiness and the pleasant description of the house, we have the impression to read a fairy tale particularly with the expressions “secret magical game” the children wiil do in the attic, “the heart of their kingdom”in which Harriet will be the princess, David her princea nd the house their kingdom, “turned to marvel”, “pleasant Suburbia” : it create a magic atmosphere.

However, we can feeltension and fear when they choose and sprend time in their bedroom.

Dorris Lessing insists more on the bed than on the composition of their bedroom. Indeed, when they enter in this room they are directly attract by the bed, immediatly "they lay down side by side" on the bed : it's like if the bed is bewitched, as if it had the capacity to attract them on and the most frightening is that this bedwas already in this bedroom because it's impossible to dismount it, to change it of room because he's too big : but Harriet and David love this bedroom, so they made love several times. At this moment, the atmosphere starts to become very bizare, frightening : David and Harriet seems to be very in love so, why there is the shadow of a "old lilac", a flower which symbolizes the end of a relation,celibacy ? It's certainly to reinforce the alarming figure of the bedroom.
Just after they made love, Harriet talk for the first time with a panicked tone "No,stop! What are we doing?", she seems to be afraid, she suddenlty come down to earth, it's the end of the fairy tale, she feels afraid : she realizes that she doesn't want children for the moment however, she come down to reality. She isn'ton the pill so she thinks she's pregnant and Dorris Lessing clearly tell us that she's with the metaphor "the old lilac showed its vigorous buds, soon to burst into flowers" which is a sexual description of the fertility of Harriet : spring is the symbol of love, reproduction, birth and curiously Harriet "was at the height of her fertility".
Harriet is really frightened and think that...
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