Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Doris Lessing's Alfred and Emily (excerpt)

"Emily was in fact badly shocked by William's death and not only because it was unexpected. She had thought of him as young - well, not old, not even middle-aged. He had been fifty, surely not of an age when one thought of anything definite, like retirement, let alone death. But what was throwing her in to perplexity was that her life had become so bound up with his; since they had married everything she had done nd thought had been for William. And where was Emily McVeagh? Not so far away, obviously. But for ten years that was what she had done: she had been William's. And now what? She was forty. She could go back to nursing if she wanted. Already suggestions had been coming her way. She felt torn loose, floating...
She could marry again. But she could not imagine a man she would want to marry. However one put it, she had been married to William for better or for worse. After ten years what kind of profit or loss could be made? She did not know how to start. And if she could not say what had happened to her - and she saw it, felt it, as something, somebody, taking up the strands of her life and twisting them up with his - then how she even think of what to do next? She had been Emily McVeagh, a decided, definite, bold character and now she was nothing; she was something that drifted." 

                       Excerpt from "Alfred and Emily" by Doris Lessing

1 comment:

  1. Lots of women have doubts about her identity. As a younger woman, my goal was to look for a man who could provide me financial & emotional security and built my world around him. If I don't have any expectation that men have to provide for women & instead rely that to myself, I would become a free woman with my own wants & desires. There is a lot of talk why marriages are falling, but how come so many succeed? Some women are too old for a paper route, too young for social security, too clumsy to steal & too tired for an affair. Some were just born into this world married & don't know how to act any different.


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