Compare and Contrast "To Room Nineteen" and "Death by Landscape"

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Assignment 3: Comparison and Contrast Essay Two Women Find Themselves Alone, At Ends With Themselves In the short stories “To Room Nineteen” by Doris Lessing and “Death By Landscape” by Margaret Atwood, two women find themselves isolated from the world and the people around them. This paper will compare and contrast each story to show that although both female protagonists are isolated by their circumstances, their individual responses to their circumstances are very different. In “To Room Nineteen” Susan’s isolation is caused by a number of factors: society and the time she lives in, an unfaithful husband in a broken marriage, and her own inability to deal with her unhappy life. “…She knew he had been unfaithful because of…show more content…
Says Cappie softly. Didn’t what, Lois? Lois does the worst thing she begins to cry. Cappie gives her a look like a pounce. She’s got what she wanted.” (p.34) Susan is isolated by her own unhappiness and growing mental instability. She struggles to maintain appearances and live up to societal expectations. “She said to Matthew in their bedroom: I think there must be something wrong with me.” (p.875) Her husband is no support to her and as he continues to carry on an affair, the distance between them increases, as well as her feelings of isolation. Susan hires a nanny to avoid the responsibilities of her family in order to try and escape them. She finds a room at an anonymous inn, which she uses as reprieve but this only amplifies her feelings of isolation and loneliness. The key difference between the two protagonists is that over time, Lois is able to come to terms with her conflict and learn to accept it. She realizes that her friend’s disappearance is not her fault; the camp leader simply needed someone to blame. For Cappie, the idea of having no explanation for Lucy’s disappearance is simply too much to comprehend. Though the experience still haunts her, Lois tries to move on with her life. Susan, however, falls victim to her conflict. She is unable to cope, when her husband confronts her asking if she is having an affair, she cannot face the prospect of coming to terms with the truth and reality of her life. Seeing no end to her

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