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Symbolism In To Room Nineteen By Doris Lessing

Decent Essays
Great Authors use symbols to show an underlying deeper meaning in a story. In “To Room Nineteen”, Susan, a middle-aged woman, revolves her life around her family. Once Susan became pregnant, she quit her job as an advertising artist in order to dedicate her life to taking care of her children, becoming a stay at home mother. Once Susan’s youngest children go off to school for the first time, Susan begins to question her purpose in life. Susan begins to fall into a deep state of depression. Doris Lessing uses symbolism of the devil and a river to foreshadow Susan’s suicide. Lessing used the devil to symbolize suicide to foreshadow Susan’s future. Susan begins to fall into a state of depression, anxiety, and self-questioning when her youngest children go to school. Susan, conforming to social standards, begins to question her purpose in life. With her depression advancing, Susan begins to envision a devil following her. She imagines the devil as a “youngish man or perhaps a middle aged man pretending to be young” (8). Susan portraying the devil as young shows that this may lead Susan to be tempted by him, committing sin. Similarly, Susan’s husband Matthew, previously committed a sin, adultery. Matthew cheated on Susan because “no one could be faithful to one person for a whole lifetime” (3). Showing that Susan understood Matthew’s reasoning for sleeping with another younger woman, suggests that Susan would consider committing this sin of following the devil. Susan sees the
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