Free «The Fifth Child» Essay Sample

After reading through the book, “The fifth child” written by Doris Lessing it is more than obvious to conclude that Ben as the Lovatt family’s fifth born child was truly born evil.

David Lovatt and Harriet who are Ben’s parents and also the main characters in the book were ambitious couples who according to the book, lived in seventies in England. They were couples who wished to have a big and happy family even though this was contrary to the trend of the times in which they lived. In order to prepare for this ambition they bought a very big house which they could not easily afford and then they later decide to have at least six children. Harriet conceives the first child and the family was excited and after a very short time she gives birth to the second child and after a span of a short time the couple had successful given birth to four children. Friends and relatives enjoyed staying at the family’s house especially during the holidays. All went on well until Harriet got pregnant with the fifth child who was to be named Ben; this is why it’s justifiable to say that Ben’s evil was initiated right from the time he was in his mother’s womb therefore his bad influence to the livelihood of his family began while he was still in the womb of Harriet.



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Ben evil to her family started long before he physical come to exist in the world, his mother even complained that the unborn Ben kicked and struggled with a lot of ferocity that Harriet believed that hooves were slicing her tender flesh inside her womb. The baby moves in Harriett’s womb as if it was trying to claw its way out and Harriet says that the unborn Ben almost killed her. When Ben was almost eight month old, Harriet starts to dislike him, Harriet says that, the baby is strong, ugly and with cold eyes and full of unusual strength unlike the other four children that Harriet had initially gave birth to. The young Ben doesn’t react to any marks of affection from any member of the family and Harriet starts to view the young Ben as a freak of nature. Harriet thinks that Ben is a goblin or troll or even a hereditary throwback.

Ben unlike other normal children grows up very fast and amazingly by the time he is half a year old he is able to walk a lone with less help, he becomes very aggressive and strong. He starts to portray her physical evil by beating up his brothers and sisters. One day Ben kills Lovatt’s cat and a dog that belonged to the family’s guests. Ben becomes extremely unbearable and makes his brothers and sisters to suffer and due to this behavior the parents decides to enroll Ben to the abnormal children’s school.

After Ben went to this school things went back to normal and the happy family life that had initially existed before Ben was born resumed. But after a few weeks, when Harriet comes back home with Ben after visiting him in school dilutes this happiness as Ben had not changed in any way. Ben continues to hit and destroy everything he lays his hands on and dos not embrace any affection to any member of his family.

Everything went sour when Ben started associating with a young man called John who worked for lovatt’s garden and also looked after Ben. After along friendship with Ben, John eventually decides to introduce him to his friends who were a group of young men with motor bikes. When Ben started taking a lot of time with this newly found group of friends the disturbances he was instilling to his family were no more and lovatt’s problems were some how solved. For a while Ben only spoke to john and they shared much time together with him. Unfortunately one day john gets another job else where and he eventually had no enough time for sharing with Ben.

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When Ben joins higher level of school, he gets to make new friends. Through these new friends he had made, he even enters into another gang which he realizes is not as harmful as that of john. As an active member of this gang, Ben hangs out with the other members for long hours and he even arrives home very late in the night. Sometimes he even comes home after a span of five days, and sometimes he asks his friends to accompany him to his father’s house where they would create a lot of havoc in Lovatt’s house. Ben’s gang occasionally robed stores, stole vehicles, and indulged it self with a lot of crime.

Ben’s ways vents rage at the world. He screams, fights, howls, and even attracts the attention of everyone around him. Soon people almost stopped to visit the Lovatts house and kids in fear of Ben. He creates an atmosphere of unhappiness and fear by his constant disturbances and he at the end of the day mages to destroy his own family.

Although when an individual analyses this story, he or she might be tempted to think that its john who introduced Ben into evil, but the truth is that it’s Ben himself who from the birth portrayed the traits of an evil boy and it is as if he was even born to become a deviant.


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