•                                                    The fifth Child by Doris Lessing-1998

    Extract 1

    In this novel there are two main characters:  Harriet and David. The scene takes place in the 60s at an office party (place where the two persons met ).

    Harriet is a person who's solidly built. She works in the sales departement of a firm and the other people see them as shy and reserved.

    David has grey-blue eyes, a candid face and soft brown hair. He works in the same building that Harriet but in the architct sector. He is see by the other people as simple and slight.


     In the text we can discover several common point between the main characters: each is shy; conservative; unfashionable and are a love at first sight. Moreover, they view of the "ordinary" as conservative, old-fashioned, timid, hard to please.

     The elements which evoking life in the 60s are: noisy, pounding rhythm and the characteristics of "women". Indeed, concerned with clothes: so bizarre; full of colour then dramatic.

    We can notice that Harriet and David knew the new life which is very dinamic. It's the beginning of the bands with music was Rock and Rolls.

     The narrator use to introduce them as technical : The point of view of the couple "Both". Theysaw all the dancers with the face distorted in screams and grimaces. We can understand that the narrator use a technical of the cinema. The travelling to reveal the scene progressively. Doris Lessing, so the author stop on Harriet and David then zoom on the couple. Harriet and David despise the dancers.

     About Harriet

    Doris Lessing described Harriet with a personnality enough special. Indeed, "she seemed a girl merged with her surroundings" so it's a woman reserved. Moreover she was described as a solidly built ; as a bealthy young woman. 

    The narrator's tone is very ironic. For example Harriet was compared to dried grasses and easily forgotten.

    About David

    Doris Lessing described David with serious grey-blue eyes, a candid face and soft brown hair. Furthermore, he seemed slightly younger man.

    " Both had found out who the other was ": this quotation suggest that Harriet and David were bound to fall in love, that destiny is at work.

    We learn concerning their previous experience : that David had a very love affair but  it's was a bad experience "reluctantly". So, David have already knew a story with a girl. 

    Harriet, says "I don't like all this sleeping around, it's not for me"

    In this paragraph, the story evolve bacause Harriet and David look, then to meet one of the other and finally decide to marry.


    To my mind, the two characters were made for each other because they had several common point. Firstly, they met at a party, love at first side and they were different from the people around them...


    Extract of this novel   (link)


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