The Memoirs of a Survivor is a novel about the collapse of the accepted social order, and the fear which such a breakdown engenders. The current citizens are no longer sure of their “place” or their role within the transitional and new orders, and as such part of their identity is threatened as group affiliations dissolve or change, given that group membership is one of the fundamental producers of a subject’s identity. Lessing’s novel explores two responses to this dissolution of authority: first, the formation of tribes which reproduces the sense of security and belonging as a member of such a tribe. But secondly, Lessing offers a solution which does not simply reproduce the status quo, a possibility for those who are willing to explore beyond the grasp of ideological inculcation and the prescriptions of authority—a world where identity is grounded on a universal foundation rather than on tribal affiliation.
臺灣英美文學期刊, 2(2), 27-46 Taiwan journal of English literature