Briefing For A Descent Into Hell

             Taken from the novel, Briefing for a Descent Into Hell, the quote, " pulsing dark, crouched, I holding on, clutching tight, ...rocking, somewhere behind the gate, ...and a dark red clotting light and pressure and pain and then OUT into a flat white light where shapes move and things flash and glitter." (135) is a description of the miracle of birth. Birth symbolizes the beginning of an entire lifetime; a lifetime in which a person will have the chance to make important choices that will shape not only his or her future but who they are as an individual. Briefing for a Descent Into Hell is a story about the personality of a professor by the name of Charles Watkins, who is suffering from amnesia. Found wandering the streets, Charles was admitted as a John Doe by the police into Central Intake Hospital of London, England, where he underwent various treatments, struggling to regain not only his forgotten memories of the life he used to live, but the forgotten memories of the person he once was. Throughout the novel, Lessing frequently calls to question who or what forms an individual's personality, and where characteristics and traits are established and acquired to form who a person is. The author Doris Lessing, uses the protagonist's extra sensitivity and perception as a handicap in a society organized as ours is; one that favors conformity, the average, the obedient, however restricting his character, personality and actual self, therefore creating the conflict between achieving the standards and normalities determined by society or maintaining the individuality of one's true self while deviating from the expected; ultimately calling to question personality itself.
             Made up of both physical and personal traits and characteristics, a personality takes shape in many ways. The physical characteristics such as height, hair color, facial features, and weight are all characteristics that we naturally...

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Briefing For A Descent Into Hell. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 05:35, May 18, 2024, from