Literary Precedents for The Grass Is Singing

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Self-educated after the age of thirteen, Lessing largely read the classics. She has noted that the Russian novelists Fyodor Dostoevsky and Anton Chekhov most influenced her writing. Dostoevsky's books explore the emotional and spiritual mental states of individuals who are plagued by guilt for crimes or moral lassitude. The tension of the deceit, guilt, and retribution of the sexual triangle apparent in The Grass Is Singing appears in The Brothers Karamazov, although the moral codes being broken are between family members.

Both Dostoevsky's and Chekhov's exploration of relations between the sexes and issues of ownership and materialism appear in Lessing's work. Chekhov's The Cherry Tree raises the question of how much one could and should attempt to own. As part of the intelligentsia, Lessing actively embraced Communism until she recognized its shortcomings before World War II. Her political beliefs do appear quite frequently in the narrative...

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This section contains 263 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Grass Is Singing Study Guide
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The Grass Is Singing from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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