A Lacanian Reading of Kate’s Self-Discovery in The Summer Before the Dark

Yechun ZHANG


Doris Lessing is a prolific and prominent female writer in English literature. When she is in middle age, Lessing focuses on the living situation and spiritual crisis of middle-aged women, depicting their inner worlds and bewilderment of marriage, family and self. There are many researches focusing on Lessing’s works, but few on The Summer Before the Dark. This thesis employs Lacan’s theory of mirror stage to interpret Kate’s mirror image, its causes and its destruction, Kate’s self-recognition and self-discovery in order to disclose her spiritual journey from confusion and agony to awaken and rebirth. Moreover, through Kate’s story, Lessing not only expresses her sympathy for the dilemma of the middle-aged women, but also helps them to find a way to deal with the relationship with the male, with marriage and with the family properly.


Mirror stage; The Summer Before the Dark; Angel; Self-discovery

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/9540


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