“She was going to be happy. She had no idea of the life she had to lead”- Explain

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The Grass Is Singing is a notable literary work by Doris Lessing. A complete discussion of this literary work is given, which will help you enhance your literary skills and prepare for the exam. Read the main text, key info, Summary, Themes, Characters, Literary Devices, Quotations, Notes, to various questions of The Grass Is Singing.


“She was going to be happy. She had no idea of the life she had to lead. Poverty, which Dick had warned her of with a scrupulous humility, was another abstraction, nothing to do with he pinched childhood. She saw it as a rather exhilarating fight against odds.”- Explain.

In the quote from Doris Lessing‘s (1919-2013) novel “The Grass is Singing,” the author provides insight into the protagonist’s state of mind as she launches on a new chapter in her life. The quote contrasts her hopeful expectations and the harsh realities she is about to face.

The first sentence, “She was going to be happy,” indicates the protagonist’s initial optimism and eagerness to embrace her future. She is filled with the promise of happiness and positivity. However, this optimism is juxtaposed with the subsequent revelation: “She had no idea of the life she had to lead.” This suggests that her happiness might be short-lived as she remains unaware of the challenges and difficulties ahead.

The mention of poverty, which Dick had warned her about, adds another layer to the narrative. Poverty, for her, is not just an abstract concept but a genuine reality that she is about to encounter. The phrase “scrupulous humility” suggests that Dick, likely a character who has experienced poverty himself, warned her with great care and sincerity. It emphasizes the seriousness of the situation.

The quote describes how she perceives poverty as “another abstraction” and something unrelated to her difficult childhood. This indicates her naivety and the disconnect between her past experiences and upcoming struggles. She views poverty as a thrilling challenge, “a rather exhilarating fight against odds,” highlighting her initial enthusiasm and perhaps a certain degree of romanticism in her outlook.

This quote indicates the protagonist’s journey from hopefulness to a harsh reality check. It underscores the theme of expectations versus reality and sets the stage for exploring societal issues, particularly the impact of poverty, in the novel. The protagonist’s evolving perspective on her future and the challenges she will encounter is a central theme in “The Grass is Singing.”