The « fifth child » is a novel written by the British author Doris Lessing and published in 1988. It deals with a young couple whose dream is to have a big family and livehappily in a big mansion. In this passage, Harriet is five months pregnant. This pregnancy, contrary to the previous one is very painful for Harriet. First, we will see that this pregnancy is abnormal.Then, we will analyze the distant relationship after the childbirth.
It seems like Harriet doesn’t like much this baby to be. “This battle with the foetus”.
The doctor (DoctorBrett) doesn’t think that the pregnancy is abnormal: “but not abnormally so”.
But Harriet is convince of the opposite: “was dishonest”. She’s worried. : “have you ever had a case like thisbefore?”, “at five month like this?”
All the same, Doctor Brett gives to Harriet sedative, to soothe her pain: “something to quit the baby”.
But even if she takes moretranquillizers (begged from her sisters and friends) that’s not enough to quit the baby. She’s still suffering: “It was so bad that she would cry out in pain”.
Harriet‘s pain is enormous. She thinksthat her pregnancy is abnormal. However she didn’t have the support of Doctor Brett who thinks that everything’s all right with the baby. So she decided to make her own way / devices. That idea leads usto analyze the consequences of this pregnancy.
A broken relationship
Harriet still suffering. But ill at ease and afraid of asking to Dr Brett (who thinks that her pregnancy isabnormal), she asked tranquillizers to her friends and her family: “shebegged tranquillizers from friends and from her sisters”. An addiction?
Harriet is hiding to David that she takestranquillizers: “she did not tell David how many she was taking”. The end of the fairy tale? : “this was the first time she was hidden anything from him”.
At night, when David heard his...