Almost Human but Not Quite?: The Impenetrability of Being in Doris Lessing's "Ben, In the World."

Meng-Tsung Hsieh
July 2010
Doris Lessing Studies;Summer2010, Vol. 29 Issue 1, p14
Academic Journal
Literary Criticism
Literary criticism of the naming of the creature Ben Lovatt in the novel "Ben, In the World" by Doris Lessing is presented. The author examines Lessing's choice of the name Ben Lovatt for the protagonist, and traces the character's journey by using examples of Ben's exclusion found in the text as well as analyses by other scholars. Lessing's motives for writing the story, and themes of identity and diaspora are also discussed.


Related Articles

  • Authority, truthtelling, and parody: Doris Lessing and `the book'. Franko, Carol // Papers on Language & Literature;Summer95, Vol. 31 Issue 3, p255 

    Provides a critical interpretation of writer Doris Lessing's fiction. Lessing's ambivalence toward canonical authorities; Heroine's subjectivity as battleground of discourses in `Martha Quest'; Power of language to construct experience; Difference of genre and setting in `The Sun Between Their...

  • Writing in a Minor Key. Watkins, Susan // Doris Lessing Studies;Winter2006, Vol. 25 Issue 2, p6 

    This article explores the concept of minor literature and examines the critical readings of "The Fifth Child," "Mara and Dann" and "Ben, in the World," novels written by Doris Lessing. The characteristics of minor literature are the deterritorialization of language, the connection of the...

  • White Postcolonial Guilt in Doris Lessing's The Grass Is Singing. WANG, JOY // Research in African Literatures;Fall2009, Vol. 40 Issue 3, p37 

    This paper examines representations of historical guilt, agency, and transformation in Doris Lessing's novel The Grass is Singing. In particular, this paper argues that the warped interracial relationship between the novel's white female protagonist, Mary Turner, and her black servant Moses,...

  • Mixed Lessings.  // Prospect;Nov2007, Issue 140, p8 

    The author suggests that despite being awarded the Nobel prize for literature, Doris Lessing has declined as a writer. He suggests literary critics have not pointed out the drop in quality of Lessing's work as she began writing mystical science fiction. He suggests Lessing should have received...

  • The manichean allegories of Doris Lessing's The Grass Is Singing. Fishburn, Katherine // Research in African Literatures;Winter94, Vol. 25 Issue 4, p1 

    Discusses the manichean allegories in the book `The Grass Is Singing,' by Doris Lessing. Realism and vividness of Lessing's portrayal of colonialism; Colonialist's need to perpetuate racial differences; Transition in colonized Africa from the dominant phase to the hegemonic; Plurality of meaning.

  • Language and the politics of despair in Doris Lessing's The Good Terrorist. Scanlan, Margaret // Novel: A Forum on Fiction;Winter90, Vol. 23 Issue 2, p182 

    Presents a critique of Doris Lessing's book `The Good Terrorist.' Background on terrorism and its fiction; Forms of alienation described by Lessing; Story-line.

  • BREAKTHROUGH IN THE GOLDEN NOTEBOOK. Lightfoot, Marjorie J. // Studies in the Novel;Summer75, Vol. 7 Issue 2, p277 

    Presents a critical analysis of Doris Lessing's novel 'The Golden Notebook.' Effect of the chaotic experience of twentieth-century political and social upheaval on individuals; Capacity of the individual to break out of repeated patterns of failure demonstrated in the novel; Origin and purpose...

  • `The words had been right and necessary': Doris Lessing's transformations of utopian and... Tiger, Virginia // Style;Spring93, Vol. 27 Issue 1, p63 

    Focuses on Doris Lessing's work entitled `Marriages Between Zones Three, Four, and Five.' Adoption of margined zone, a spatial metaphor for the sex-gender system; Use of fantastic mode to permit privileging of fluid rather than gender relations; Dissolution of dualisms implicit in feminist...

  • Zimbabwe and the Politics of the Everyday in Doris Lessing's African Laughter. de Mul, Sarah // Thamyris/Intersecting: Place, Sex & Race;2008, Vol. 19 Issue 1, p139 

    A literary criticism of the book "African Laughter" by Doris Lessing is presented. The book represents the transitions in everyday Zimbabwean life. It consists of four chapters and narrates several journeys, which focuses on the aesthetic and political reimagination of Zimbabwe. It also...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics