Doris Lessing’s short story “To Room Nineteen” is a crytical analysis of the role that women play in society. The story follows the main character, Susan, as she tries to juggle her roles as wife, mother, and career woman. While Susan is successful in many ways, she eventually realizes that she is not fulfilled by her domestic life and decides to leave her family to pursue her own interests. “To Room Nineteen” is a powerful story that highlights the struggles that women face in a male-dominated society.
At first glance, Doris Lessing’s short story “To Room Nineteen” would lead one to believe that the protagonist Susan Rawlings is leading a perfect life with her perfect marriage. But upon further inspection, it becomes clear that all is not well in paradise. In fact, Susan gradually starts distancing herself from her home life in an attempt to find solace through independence.
In the end, this ultimately leads to her untimely demise. While on the surface it may seem like Susan’s life was perfect, a closer look reveals that she was actually quite unhappy. In her marriage, she felt stifled and suffocated. She longed for freedom and independence, but didn’t feel like she had that in her current situation. This dissatisfaction eventually led her to seek out solitude in various forms, whether it be through reading or going for walks by herself.
In the end, Susan’s search for freedom and independence ultimately led to her downfall. Unable to find what she was looking for in her everyday life, she attempted to escape reality by retreating into her own world. This eventually led to her untimely death, as she was unable to cope with the demands of reality.
While “To Room Nineteen” may initially seem like a story about a woman who had it all but was still unhappy, it’s actually much more than that. It’s a cautionary tale about the dangers of retreating into one’s own world and neglecting the responsibilities of everyday life. It’s a reminder that we all need to find a balance between our personal desires and the demands of the real world.
Susan’s experience of being trapped in her bedroom is based on how she relates to the various places in her life, such as her lovely house with her family and the tiny hotel room to which she retreats. Yi-Fu Tuan’s Space and Place, along with “To Room Nineteen,” aids us in comprehending Lessing’s counterintuitive ideas about space and freedom.
In short, “To Room Nineteen” is a story about how the spaces we create for ourselves can ultimately trap us.
As the story opens, we are introduced to Susan and her seemingly idyllic life. She is married to Matthew, a successful lawyer, and they have two healthy children. They live in a beautiful house overlooking a park in London. On the surface, it would appear that Susan has everything she could ever want. However, as the story progresses, we begin to see cracks in her perfect façade.
Although she loves her family dearly, Susan feels suffocated by the constrictions of domestic life. Tuan writes that “the home…can be experienced as a prison, a place from which one longs to escape” (Tuan 71). For Susan, the home is a place of duty and obligation. She feels that she must always be the perfect wife and mother, and this role begins to take its toll on her. In an effort to escape the stifling confines of her home life, Susan starts spending more and more time at a small hotel room she has rented.
At first, the hotel room is a welcome respite for Susan. It is a place where she can go to be alone and think about her life. However, as time goes on, the hotel room comes to represent something much darker for her. It becomes a place where she can go to forget about her responsibilities and escape the reality of her life.
The final straw comes when Susan discovers that Matthew has been having an affair. This betrayal is too much for her to bear, and she retreats to her hotel room for good. In the end, the very thing that was supposed to be her refuge ends up becoming her downfall. The hotel room becomes a prison of her own making, and she ultimately takes her own life.
“To Room Nineteen” is a powerful story about the way we relate to the spaces in our lives. By looking at the different ways Susan interacts with her home, her family, and her hotel room, we can see how the spaces we create for ourselves can ultimately have a profound impact on our lives.
Susan appears to have the perfect life on the outside, with a big house and a lovely garden for her children and devoted spouse. However, as the narrative progresses, we see that Susan is becoming more and more “unwilling to enter her magnificent home” (Lessing 530). This same beautiful, picture-perfect house begins to repel Susan as it contains all of Susan’s adult-life and motherhood responsibilities.
In the short story “To Room Nineteen”, Doris lessing explores the idea that as we grow older, we become more and more trapped by our responsibilities until we eventually lose ourselves.
Susan grows up in a time when women were not given many options or voice in society. They were expected to get married and have children, and that was that. Even though she may have felt stifled by these expectations, she followed them anyway. She got married young and had children right away. But even though she was doing what was expected of her, she still didn’t feel fulfilled. In fact, she began to feel quite restless.
Eventually, this restlessness led her to an affair with another man. At first, this affair was exciting and new. It made her feel alive again. But eventually, even this couldn’t fill the void that she was feeling. In the end, she took her own life, unable to bear the weight of her responsibilities any longer.
In “To Room Nineteen”, Doris Lessing shows us that sometimes, we can be so trapped by our obligations that we forget who we are. We become lost in the roles that we play and lose sight of what we really want in life. This is a short story about a woman who tries to find herself but ultimately fails. It is a tragedy, but it is also a reminder that we should all strive to live our lives to the fullest and not let ourselves get lost in the shuffle.