The Fifth Child

952 Words 4 Pages
Protagonists: Harriet Lovatt- Wife of David Lovatt & mother to Luke, Helen, Jane, Paul, and Ben.
Ben Lovatt- Fifth child of Harriet & David Lovatt and born with issues and different than the other children.
Antagonists: David Lovatt- Husband of Harriet & father of Luke, Helen, Jane, Paul, and Ben. He dislikes Ben.
Deborah Lovatt- David’s sister
James Lovatt- David & Deborah Lovatt’s father. He pays for most finances for David and Harriet.
Molly- David and Deborah Lovatt’s mother.
Dorothy- Harriet, Sarah, & Angela’s mother and helps out Harriet with the children.
Plot Summary:
The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing is set in the late nineteen-sixty’s and early nineteen-seventy’s. The story is about the fifth child that Harriet and David Lovatt give
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I liked this book because the time, setting, and character development that were put into each chapter. The Lovatts started off pretty well and healthy and changed into a very diverse, cold-hearted family. When Ben Lovatt was born, the older children and father became distant with Harriet Lovatt because she would constantly take care of Ben. This was her job as a mother to make sure her youngest child does not get out of hand or from people who misread him as a mentally ill boy. Harriet in a way wanted to protect Ben from the outside world because of the negative judgements towards him. The other children never got close with Ben because they were afraid he would strangle them or worse. Luke, Helen, and Jane eventually attend private boarding schools and live with extended family to stay distanced from Ben. Paul on the other hand lived with Ben and their parents the longest and dealt with Ben. Paul became weak and not comfortable in the house because of Ben harming him. The extended family was more accepting to Harriet’s sister’s daughter who had down syndrome. They disliked talking about Ben or seeing him. Harriet would keep Ben in his room when the family was visiting until a cousin bought a house just as large as the Lovatt’s. Harriet was relieved, yet sad about not having her happy family anymore. As Ben grows up, he learns several basic skills. He starts to say short sentences and socialize with his older siblings and a group of young adults he becomes acquainted with. This doesn’t concern Harriet and she pays the leader of the young adults to spend time with Ben. This shows readers that a few people can look past his inhumane tendencies. The family never looks past it and Harriet does look past it only certain times. Ben doesn’t suspect an ounce of hate because he’s very reserved. Overall, this story and

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