To Room Nineteen Questions and Answers
by Doris Lessing

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What is the importance of the following passage from "To Room Nineteen" by Doris Lessing? How does it contribute to theme, character, conflict, and/or setting? Susan did not tell Matthew of these thoughts. They were not sensible. She did not recognise herself in them. What should she say to her dear friend and husband, Matthew? "When I go into the garden, that is, if the children are not there, I feel as if there is an enemy there waiting to invade me." "What enemy, Susan darling?" "Well I don't know, really..." "Perhaps you should see a doctor?"   No, clearly this conversation should not take place. The holidays began and Susan welcomed them. Four children, lively, energetic, intelligent, demanding. She was never, not for a moment of her day, alone. If she was in room, they would be in the next room, or waiting for her to do something for them, or it would soon be time for lunch or tea, or to take one of them to the dentist, something to do five weeks of it thank goodness.

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To Room Nineteen” is a short story by Doris Lessing. It was first published in 1963. In this story, Lessing explores the life of Susan Rawlings, wife to Matthew Rawlings and mother of four children. In short, one could say that the short story is about the emotional difficulties that women face in modern day society.

The passage you have chosen could be interpreted as an important indication of how unhappy Susan is with her life, which ultimately will culminate in her suicide later in the story. You could argue...

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