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Essay about Privacy and Marriage in To Room Nineteen, by Doris Lessing

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“All human beings have three lives: public, private, and secret.”This quotation can have various interpretations. One main idea which Gabriel García Márquez is portraying in this quote is that privacy is vital for a person and gives the individual autonomy and individuality. Without privacy a person would not be able to live normally. However privacy can and is violated in various scenarios, for instance, in marriage.
In the story “To Room Nineteen” written by Doris Lessing the protagonists, Susan Rawlings, privacy was intruded which lead to her suicide. Before Susan married she had a comfortable life with a great career however she was forced to give that all up. In her commentary “In Room Nineteen-Why Did Susan Commit Suicide? Reconsidering Gender Relations from Doris Lessing’s Novel, Wang Ningchuan and Wen Yiping Write: “Marriage for Susan had become a turning point from equality to subordination. The first fault that Susan made after marriage was her voluntary dispossession of her private property, the flat. And then she renounced her job for being expectant. The both symbolized her unintelligent relinquish of material or economic independence, withdrawing her into an inferior or subordinate social position. Nominally, it is due to Susan's reconciliation toward marriage. Ontologically, the reconciliation was surrender to her gender identity, that it was natural for a marital woman not being an individual” (67). She would stay at home and take care of her children, yet she longed for them to grow up so she can have some time of her own. She would tell herself “Soon the twins would go to school, and they would be away from home from nine until four. These hours in Susan's eye; would be the preparation of Susan’s own slow ema...


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...aintain ones privacy, especially in an intimate relationship, such as marriage, it is vital for a person to take time and go somewhere, where they are alone for a short amount of time and can have a sense of identity and autonomy.








Works Cited
Askham, Janet. "Identity and Stability within the Marriage Relationship." Journal of Marriage and Family 38.3 (1976): 535-47. JSTOR. Web. 7 Jan. 2014. .
Lessing, Doris. "To Room Nineteen." 1919. To Room NI. By Lessing. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Print.
Lopata, Helena Znaniecki. "Self Identity in Marriage and Widowhood." Sociological Quarterly 14.3 (1973): 407-18. Print.
Ningchuan, Wang, and Wen Yiping. "In Room Nineteen Why Did Susan Commit Suicide? Reconsidering Gender Relations from a Doris Lessing's Novel." Studies in Literature and Language 4.1 (2012): 65-74. Print.




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