Doris Lessing – To Room Nineteen

To Room Nineteen is a very dark tale of a woman breaking down under the pressure of her sensible marriage. To an outsider it would seem that she has everything one could hope for, a loving husband, a beautiful house and four happy and healthy children. But she finds herself spiralling further and further out of control as she searches for her personal identity and a meaningful life beyond what society has thought out for her, beyond the prison her life and marriage has become. And as she is distancing herself from the world that she had so willingly and sensibly constructed we enter with her a shabby hotel room, where she is finally herself again. But at the same time she enters a dark place in her mind, maybe she is descending into madness or maybe she is finally waking up, but realising that what she is hoping to find might be too far out of reach. Maybe approaching life sensibly was the biggest mistake of all. As Susan said:

“A high price has to be paid for the happy marriage.”

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