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Enlightenment or repression?: the quest for moral equilibrium in Doris Lessing´s works "The Summer before the Dark", "Briefing for a Descent into Hell", "The Four-Gated City" and "The Marriages between Zones Three, Four and Five"
2002 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This C/D essay examines how the author Doris Lessing has been influenced by Sufistic philosophy, and how this has led her to reject conventional attitudes in her fiction. Lessing is critical of modern society and is of the opinion that humankind is unable to find ontological security in a strongly rational and secularised world. Thus,in the selected literary works she advocates a return to archaic thought patterns, where the spiritual realm is not a phenomenon on the periphery of society, but part of the actual foundation of our existence. In Lessing´s case Sufism is the cure for a society who has strayed from its´original purpose. Only by rejecting inauthentic conventions is it possible for humanity to reach its´full potential. Lessing defines conventional patterned-thought and an uncritical belief in medical science and politics as detrimental to the equilibrium of the individual as well as the collective. The Sufi wisdom evident in her works advocates the individual´s responsibility to become a useful and whole member of the collective by getting in touch with her inherent spiritual essence and forgotten knowledge of her interconnectedness with the cosmos.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Social Behaviour Law, Doris Lessing, Sufism, Moral quest, Anti-modernism
Keyword [sv]
Samhälls-, beteendevetenskap, juridik
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-48297ISRN: LTU-C/DUPP--02/14--SELocal ID: 5c0db9d4-648b-47f8-af79-ab09c5150221OAI: diva2:1021638
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 15 credits
Educational program
English, master's level
Validerat; 20101217 (root)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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