The Black Madonna Essay, Research Paper
Doris Lessing s
The Black Madonna
Questioning the basis of what you are and who you are, is a vast amount of what Lessing theme is all about. The narrator states There are some countries in which the arts, let alone art, cannot be said to flourish. Why this should be so, it is hard to say, although of course we all have our theories about it (Lessing11). When reading Lessing s The Black Madonna themes of racism and ignorance are repeatedly presented. The thought of how one ethnic group has rendered themselves as superiors to another is a recurring theme. All forms of racism and ignorance are nothing but forms of madness. Melvin Maddocks simply states Lessing is prepared to assume as other have before her that in a world gone mad, those the world calls mad may be only sane ones. What she has forfeited and the loss has to be enormous for any novelist is the scale of humanity (Melvin Maddocks239-240). Lessing sees, understands, identifies and expounds on these particular shortcomings of humanity and incorporates them into her writing.
With the knowledge of humanities shortcomings in this area Lessing should have made her writing more easily comprehendible, it is unnecessarily difficult to read. Her writing should have evoked images of her themes in the readers mind, when all she evoked was an incest need to get to the end of the story. Lessing s The Black Madonna was utterly boring, completely melodramatic and on a whole, very disappointing. Instead of a riveting story, all that was given was a regurgitation of how bad some people can be. James Gindin agrees,
Too often Miss. Lessing s fiction is dissolved in a long sociological or journalistic insertion Her politics are one sided, her characters are limited in conception, and her world resolves in a simple pattern Doris Lessing s intense feeling of political and social responsibility is carefully worked into specific historical situations while the strict allegiance to time and place can limit the range of perception about human beings. Miss. Lessing s kind of intensity is simultaneously her greatest distinction and her principal defect. In much of her work, she lacks a multiple awareness, a sense of comedy, a perception that parts of human experience cannot be categorized or precisely located, a human and intellectual depth. Intense commitment can cut off a whole dimension of human experience (James Gindin 701).
There is a wide range of the opinions that concern Lessing s writing. Some critics have praised Lessing for having insight into human beings. Doris Lessing is often thought of as ponderous, clumsy, a thinker rather than a novelist: which is all nonsense. (Sale239) Miss Lessing, in short, appears to be a versatile and talented writer. (London Times Literary Supplement701)