The Fifth Child

by

Doris Lessing

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Frederick Character Analysis

Husband to Molly. Unkempt, academic. Though Frederick normally occupies the role of objective academic, he steps out on a limb to suggest that Ben needs to be removed from the home and put into an institution. He presents this opinion as the only logical solution to the issues of safety developing in the Lovatt home.

Frederick Quotes in The Fifth Child

The The Fifth Child quotes below are all either spoken by Frederick or refer to Frederick . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Nature vs. Nurture Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Fifth Child published in 1988.
Pages 3 – 33 Quotes

She did not realize, as David did, how annoyed these two parents were. Aiming, like all their kind, at an appearance of unconformity, they were in fact the essence of convention, and disliked any manifestation of the spirit of exaggeration, of excess. This house was that.

Related Symbols: The Victorian House
Page Number: 12
Explanation and Analysis:
Pages 33 – 74 Quotes

She thought it not without significance, as they say, that it was Frederick who said, “Now look here, Harriet, you’ve got to face it, he’s got to go into an institution.”

“Then we have to find a doctor who says he’s abnormal,” said Harriet. “Dr. Brett certainly won’t.”

Related Characters: Harriet Lovatt, Frederick , Dr. Brett
Related Symbols: The Institution
Page Number: 71
Explanation and Analysis:
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Frederick Character Timeline in The Fifth Child

The timeline below shows where the character Frederick appears in The Fifth Child. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Pages 3 – 33
Nature vs. Nurture Theme Icon
Biological Families vs. Nontraditional Families Theme Icon
...seven, and David felt split between his homes. His mother, Molly, had remarried an academic, Frederick—both are “kind, if remote,” and they live in Oxford. David spent most of his childhood... (full context)
Idealism vs. Pragmatism Theme Icon
Conformity and Otherness Theme Icon
Biological Families vs. Nontraditional Families Theme Icon
...never has before, unlike his sister who preferred his father’s lifestyle. One afternoon, Molly and Frederick visit, surprised at the size of the house and at the large family that David... (full context)
Pages 33 – 74
Biological Families vs. Nontraditional Families Theme Icon
Happiness vs. Contentment Theme Icon
...and Harriet look for a trained nanny in London, but their search is unsuccessful. Instead, Frederick’s widow cousin Alice, who is down on her luck, comes to help Dorothy, who struggles... (full context)
Nature vs. Nurture Theme Icon
Idealism vs. Pragmatism Theme Icon
Conformity and Otherness Theme Icon
Biological Families vs. Nontraditional Families Theme Icon
Happiness vs. Contentment Theme Icon
After seeing this, Frederick tells Harriet that Ben must be put into an institution and Harriet says they’ll have... (full context)
Pages 74 – 96
Nature vs. Nurture Theme Icon
Idealism vs. Pragmatism Theme Icon
Conformity and Otherness Theme Icon
Biological Families vs. Nontraditional Families Theme Icon
Happiness vs. Contentment Theme Icon
A few days later, Frederick calls to say that a place has been found and a car will come for... (full context)
Nature vs. Nurture Theme Icon
Idealism vs. Pragmatism Theme Icon
Conformity and Otherness Theme Icon
Biological Families vs. Nontraditional Families Theme Icon
Happiness vs. Contentment Theme Icon
...the summer holidays because Harriet has explained that Ben is hardly ever home. Molly and Frederick do not attend, unable to forgive Harriet for bringing Ben home. Among the guests is... (full context)
Pages 96 – 133
Nature vs. Nurture Theme Icon
Idealism vs. Pragmatism Theme Icon
Conformity and Otherness Theme Icon
Biological Families vs. Nontraditional Families Theme Icon
Happiness vs. Contentment Theme Icon
...be better than everyone and David says they wanted only to be themselves. Molly and Frederick bring Helen, now an attractive, self-sufficient, if distant, sixteen-year-old. James brings Luke, now a reliable... (full context)
Idealism vs. Pragmatism Theme Icon
Conformity and Otherness Theme Icon
Biological Families vs. Nontraditional Families Theme Icon
Happiness vs. Contentment Theme Icon
...if he can’t find her. Ben takes the sheet of paper, marked with Molly and Frederick’s address, but Harriet finds the note discarded on the floor and she doesn’t try to... (full context)