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Biplob Prodhan
  • 4 weeks ago
  • 115
The novel The Grass is Singing is a story of failed marriage – Discuss

Ans. The Grass is Singing, written by Doris Lessing, is a powerful novel that explores the breakdown of a marriage in colonial Southern Rhodesia. Set against the backdrop of racial segregation, poverty, and prejudice, the novel tells the story of Mary Turner, a white woman who marries a farmer named Dick Turner. However, the marriage is doomed from the start, and ultimately leads to Mary’s tragic downfall.

One of the main reasons for the failure of Mary and Dick’s marriage is their inability to communicate effectively with one another. From the very beginning of their relationship, there is a lack of intimacy and connection between them. Mary is emotionally distant and detached, while Dick is rough and uncommunicative. As a result, they are unable to establish a strong emotional bond, and their marriage becomes a loveless and lonely union.

Furthermore, their marriage is also marked by a power imbalance. Dick is the dominant partner in the relationship, and Mary is relegated to a subordinate position. This power dynamic is exacerbated by the racial divide between them, with Dick being white and Mary being a member of the lower class. This puts Mary in a vulnerable position, as she is entirely dependent on Dick for her financial security and social status.

As the novel progresses, the tension between Mary and Dick reaches a breaking point. Mary becomes increasingly frustrated with her life on the farm, which is isolated and monotonous. She longs for excitement and stimulation, but Dick is content with the status quo. Mary’s growing restlessness leads her to have an affair with a black servant named Moses, which further destabilizes her relationship with Dick.

Mary’s infidelity is the ultimate catalyst for the breakdown of her marriage. Dick is deeply wounded by her betrayal, and he becomes increasingly hostile and abusive towards her. Mary’s mental state deteriorates rapidly, and she begins to spiral out of control. She becomes paranoid and delusional, imagining that her black servants are plotting against her. Ultimately, her marriage to Dick ends in tragedy, as she is driven to commit a terrible act of violence.

In conclusion, The Grass is Singing is a powerful novel that explores the failure of a marriage in colonial Southern Rhodesia. Mary and Dick’s relationship is marked by a lack of emotional intimacy, a power imbalance, and ultimately, infidelity. These factors combine to create a toxic environment that leads to the breakdown of their marriage and Mary’s tragic downfall. The novel offers a powerful critique of the social and racial structures that underpin colonialism, and it also offers a compelling portrait of a woman struggling to find her place in a world that offers her no real agency or autonomy.

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Biplob Prodhan
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