• Ericka's main ideas

    Fifth extract of The Fifth Child (Doris Lessing):

    Pbq: Why can we say that Ben's birth will have a deep impact on the Lovatt's family life?

    Main ideas:

    Pregnancy denial: " And as she walked, strode, ran along the country lanes, she fantasised that she took the big kitchen knife, cut open her own stomach,lifted out the child" on line 1 to line 3.

    Idea that the pains were stronger that in the past ( very hard pregnancy for Harriet): "By the time she was there,there were strong wrenching pains, worse, she knew, than ever in the past" on line 10.

    Idea of a real oblivion at the end of the pregnancy. Indeed on line 16/17 it is written: "When at last the moment came when she could be given oblivion, she cried out, "Thank God, thank God, it's over at last".

    Idea that Ben doesn't looks like a real baby (contrary to his siblings) because on line 30 it is written: " He did not look like a baby at all".

    Idea that Ben is rejecting his siblings since his birth: "Jane, the four-year-old, took one of his feet in her hand, then in her two hands, but he vigorously kicked her away" on line 93.

    Futur animal side of Ben which appear in this extract with the word "roar" on line 64.

    Various feelings of Harriet toward Ben such as guilt or fear for example (" And her heart contracted with pity for him: poor little beast, his mother disliking him so much..." on line 42/43.

    Material bond which doesn't seem to be normal ( " And she cuddled him to make up" on line 45).

    Idea that according to Harriet, Ben seems to be happy to make her suffer: " A strong sucking reflex, and then hard gums clamped down on her nipple, and she winced. The child looked at her and bit, hard" on line 56 to line 59.

    Opposition between Ben's physical appearance and Paul's physical appearance.

    The name Ben means pain or suffering: " We are going to call him Ben," said Harriet. " Are we? said David. "Yes, it suits him" ( from line 87 to line 89).

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