Introduction # 4

Doris Lessing’s, The Four-Gated City, is an incredible novel on humanity and the future of the human race. Such a humanistic novel, seems devoid of the emotions that make us human.  Those human qualities which readers expect to find, are replaced with a psychological and philosophical examination of human innate qualities.  The central character, Martha Quest, is searching for an understanding of what society deems to be unusual qualities.  These characteristics are found in her co-searcher, Lynda.  Together, the two excavate the human psyche.   Beneath this can be found a lot of Jungian theory.  It is clear that Carl Jung has had an immense effect on Doris Lessing’s ( and therefore Martha Quest’s) understanding of the human psyche. The struggle between the conscious and the unconscious can be nicely paralleled with the struggle of authority versus autonomy.  The authority being the conscious, which can often be found under strong influence of society.

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