The murder of Mary in The Grass Is Singing

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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.


Describe the murder of Mary in The Grass Is Singing.

The Grass Is Singing” is a novel written by British author Doris Lessing (1919 – 2013) and published in 1950.  An intimate and illicit relationship grows between Moses and Mary. One day, Tony catches Moses helping Mary to get dressed and is stunned by the possibility that they are having an affair. He decides to tell Dick to fire Moses, but Moses leaves that evening and does not return.

Two nights before Dick and Mary are due to leave the farm, Mary wakes up suddenly. She walks around the house in paranoid deception, swinging wildly between different emotional states. She looks for Moses, convinced he will “finish her” that night. Mary is supposed to spend the next day packing but accidentally falls asleep and wakes up in the late afternoon.

She suddenly feels forced to go to the store and finds Moses there. She runs away screaming and bumps into Tony, who gently tells her that he has suggested that Dick take her to a doctor. That night, Mary doesn’t eat supper with Tony and Dick. In bed, Dick tells her that she is ill, and Mary responds that she has always been ill in her heart.

After Dick is asleep, Mary gets up and sneaks around the house, convinced that Moses is there. She goes to the veranda, where she sees Moses in the distance. He approaches her, puts a hand over her mouth, and stabs her to death. Moses briefly considers claiming innocence before resolving to turn himself in. He waits outside the house until morning.