The Fifth Child

by

Doris Lessing

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James Lovatt Character Analysis

James, a wealthy boat builder, is David’s father who funds the Lovatt family through the financial strain of having more children than they can support on their own. James is divorced from Molly and remarried to Jessica, and David felt torn between his parents as a child—ultimately, he chose to live with his mother rather than his father. James is a member of the pragmatic faction of the family who believes that putting Ben in an institution is the best decision, and it’s James who pays the bulk of the cost. James tries to set boundaries for what he’ll pay for when he senses the family’s financial needs becoming excessive, but ultimately, James agrees to pay for boarding school for both Luke and Paul.
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James Lovatt Character Timeline in The Fifth Child

The timeline below shows where the character James Lovatt appears in The Fifth Child. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Pages 3 – 33
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...with his mother, calling his room in her house his truest home. His wealthy father, James, had remarried wealthy Jessica and he lives the life of a jetsetter, relocating regularly. The... (full context)
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...Harriet have planned. At dinner, Molly notes that they’ll have to ask for help from James, which David finds uncomfortable to think about, but knows to be true. Molly comments that... (full context)
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Molly suggests that James should visit, and soon afterwards he arrives with his wife, Jessica. They stand outside the... (full context)
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...but it’s never quite enough because they’re aware that the Lovatts receive financial help from James. In truth, money is always tight. Harriet’s sister, Sarah, casts a shadow on the atmosphere... (full context)
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...after another uncomfortable pregnancy. The family visits for Easter and stays for three weeks, and James needs to write an additional check to pay for it. The children move into one... (full context)
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...type of life most people want. It’s just that they’ve been “brainwashed out of it.” James says that the idea of family life being best is antiquated, but Harriet questions why... (full context)
Pages 33 – 74
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...Harriet begins to shut Ben into his room alone, but he doesn’t seem to mind. James stops through to drop off a check to pay for all the hosting needs. (full context)
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...as abnormal. David asks who will pay for such a thing, and Frederick answers that James will have to pay the majority, but that Frederick and Molly will chip in (the... (full context)
Pages 96 – 133
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...five, Luke (13) and Helen (11) ask to be sent to boarding school. They’ve asked James and Molly, respectively, to pay their school fees. Luke informs them that it will be... (full context)
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At Christmas, Luke stays with James and Helen goes to Molly’s house. Dorothy stays for three days, but takes Jane back... (full context)
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Luke stays mostly with James, though occasionally James brings Luke to visit, sensing that Harriet and David miss him. Helen... (full context)
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...never be, focusing mostly on work and paying all their bills, except for the support James gave to Luke. Harriet, David and Paul leave to visit Helen and Luke, and Dorothy... (full context)
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...to be themselves. Molly and Frederick bring Helen, now an attractive, self-sufficient, if distant, sixteen-year-old. James brings Luke, now a reliable eighteen-year-old observer. Dorothy brings Jane, a non-academic fourteen-year-old. Paul, eleven,... (full context)