The Summer Before The Dark Analysis

3914 Words 16 Pages
The novel, The Summer before the Dark is an optimistic novel of Doris Lessing as it traces the protagonist’s (Kate Brown) journey from darkness to light. Kate Brown is an extremely talented, intelligent woman who rebels against the stereotypical standards set by the suppressive society on women. Every journey that she undertakes is shown as a stepping stone to find her real ‘self’. She attempts to search her identity through dreams and languages. Her family has always enjoyed her services as mother and wife for the last twenty five summers. This summer, while her family shall be visiting different parts of the world to spend their summer holidays, she is left alone and finally takes a job as a translator as is mentioned in the text that, “She …show more content…
Kate in The Summer before the Dark, analyses herself through exile and introspection. During this phase, she suffers from an intense spiritual crisis and dementia which disturb her appearance as well. Her dress sense, hair colour, and make up, everything changes, as now she hardly cares about it. She finally accepts her real appearance and also confronts the fear of ageing. She realizes that the physical appearance is only a façade and doesn’t reveal the true identity of a real ‘self’. She goes through a number of troublesome phases in search of her real, hidden identity as a woman besides being a mother and wife; she realizes her actual role in the society as an individual complete in itself. She becomes aware of the fact that it is not the visible physical appearance that defines the woman; it is the inner growth and experiences that justify her. In the beginning of the novel, Kate is seen ‘waiting’ passively but at the end of it, she is actually acting. From passive she becomes an active participant in the course of her life and catches hold of her lost life, …show more content…
These are: Mary Finchley, Kate’s neighbourhood friend and Maureen, a young girl from whom she rents a room. Although, both are economically dependent on men, yet both live independent lives. She compares her opinions and ways of life with these two; also she allows herself to voice the silent thoughts or ideas unfamiliar to her. The third person that plays an important role in her progress is Jeffrey Merton, her young and short time lover. His situation resembles that of her’s, and she observes silently his struggle and fragmentation before starting her own journey towards the same

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