The Golden Notebook

The Golden Notebook

by

Doris Lessing

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Golden Notebook can help.

Anna Wulf Character Analysis

The protagonist of The Golden Notebook is a novelist and occasional activist in her early thirties, living in London after spending a portion of her life in colonial Africa. Anna’s successful first novel, Frontiers of War, was based on her time in Africa, where she fell in with a group of socialists, including Willi Rodde, her first husband and the father of her daughter Janet. Some years after returning to London, Anna begins a long-term affair with the first man she ever loves, a married psychiatrist named Michael, who leaves her after five years, leaving her devastated and unable to write. Anna records her life in the four colored notebooks that make up the bulk of The Golden Notebook, rigidly compartmentalizing different elements of her life into their corresponding notebooks. After an exiled American writer named Saul Green moves into the spare room in Anna’s house, the pair begin an affair that leads them both to madness; as their relationship becomes increasingly tumultuous, alternating between painful tension and affectionate understanding, Anna seeks to integrate the disparate aspects of herself by combining the four colored journals into a single golden notebook. Although Saul ends up taking this notebook just before he leaves her, he also gives her the first sentence for what becomes her second novel, Free Women, which is also the frame story around which The Golden Notebook is organized. Because Anna’s notebooks contradict one another—and the reader learns at the end of the novel that the seemingly objective picture of Anna’s life offered in Free Women is actually the protagonist’s own fiction—it ultimately becomes difficult to determine which parts of The Golden Notebook, if any, describe Anna’s actual experience and personality, and which parts merely reflect her own self-image or imagination.

Anna Wulf Quotes in The Golden Notebook

The The Golden Notebook quotes below are all either spoken by Anna Wulf or refer to Anna Wulf. 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:
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon and Schuster edition of The Golden Notebook published in 1962.
Free Women: 1 Quotes

“The point is,” said Anna, as her friend came back from the telephone on the landing, “the point is, that as far as I can see, everything’s cracking up.”

Related Characters: Anna Wulf (speaker), Molly Jacobs
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:

Anna laughed. “Men. Women. Bound. Free. Good. Bad. Yes. No. Capitalism. Socialism. Sex. Love …”

Related Characters: Anna Wulf (speaker), Molly Jacobs
Page Number: 43
Explanation and Analysis:
The Notebooks: 1 Quotes

Most novels, if they are successful at all, are original in the sense that they report the existence of an area of society, a type of person, not yet admitted to the general literate consciousness. The novel has become a function of the fragmented society, the fragmented consciousness. Human beings are so divided, are becoming more and more divided, and more subdivided in themselves, reflecting the world, that they reach out desperately, not knowing they do it, for information about other groups inside their own country, let alone about groups in other countries. It is a blind grasping out for their own wholeness, and the novel-report is a means towards it. Inside this country, Britain, the middle-class have no knowledge of the lives of the working-people, and vice-versa; and reports and articles and novels are sold across the frontiers, are read as if savage tribes were being investigated. Those fishermen in Scotland were a different species from the coalminers I stayed with in Yorkshire; and both come from a different world than the housing estate outside London.

Related Characters: Anna Wulf (speaker)
Page Number: 59
Explanation and Analysis:

George said: “No, it’s the responsibility. It’s the gap between what I believe in and what I do.”

Related Characters: George Hounslow (speaker), Anna Wulf, Willi Rodde , Marie
Page Number: 124
Explanation and Analysis:

I was filled with such a dangerous delicious intoxication that I could have walked straight off the steps into the air, climbing on the strength of my own drunkenness into the stars. And the intoxication, as I knew even then, was the recklessness of infinite possibility, of danger, the secret ugly frightening pulse of war itself, of the death that we all wanted, for each other and for ourselves.

Related Characters: Anna Wulf (speaker), Paul Blackenhurst
Page Number: 145
Explanation and Analysis:

Five lonely women going mad quietly by themselves, in spite of husband and children or rather because of them. The quality they all had: self-doubt. A guilt because they were not happy. The phrase they all used: “There must be something wrong with me.” Back in the campaign HQ I mentioned these women to the woman in charge for the afternoon. She said: “Yes, wherever I go canvassing, I get the heeby-jeebies. This country’s full of women going mad all by themselves.” A pause, then she added, with a slight aggressiveness, the other side of the self-doubt, the guilt shown by the women I’d talked to:
“Well, I used to be the same until I joined the Party and got myself a purpose in life.” I’ve been thinking about this — the truth is, these women interest me much more than the election campaign.

Related Characters: Anna Wulf (speaker), Marion
Page Number: 159
Explanation and Analysis:

“How can you separate love-making off from everything else? It doesn't make sense.”

Related Characters: Ella (speaker), Anna Wulf, Michael, George, Paul Tanner
Page Number: 172
Explanation and Analysis:

What Ella lost during those five years was the power to create through naivety.

Related Characters: Anna Wulf (speaker), Mrs Marks / Mother Sugar, Michael, Ella, Paul Tanner
Page Number: 201
Explanation and Analysis:

Literature is analysis after the event.

Related Characters: Anna Wulf (speaker), Ella
Page Number: 216
Explanation and Analysis:
Free Women: 2 Quotes

“It seems to me like this. It’s not a terrible thing — I mean, it may be terrible, but it’s not damaging, it’s not poisoning, to do without something one wants. It’s not bad to say: My work is not what I really want, I’m capable of doing something bigger. Or I’m a person who needs love, and I’m doing without it. What’s terrible is to pretend that the second-rate is first-rate. To pretend that you don’t need love when you do; or you like your work when you know quite well you’re capable of better. It would be very bad if I said, out of guilt or something: I loved Janet’s father, when I know quite well I didn’t. Or for your mother to say: I loved Richard. Or I’m doing work I love …”

Related Characters: Anna Wulf (speaker), Molly Jacobs, Tommy, Richard Portmain, Willi Rodde , Max Wulf
Page Number: 256
Explanation and Analysis:

“It's because I keep trying to write the truth and realising it's not true.”

Related Characters: Anna Wulf (speaker), Tommy
Related Symbols: Anna’s Notebooks
Page Number: 261
Explanation and Analysis:
The Notebooks: 2 Quotes

What is terrible is that after every one of the phases of my life is finished, I am left with no more than some banal commonplace that everyone knows: in this case, that women’s emotions are all still fitted for a kind of society that no longer exists. My deep emotions, my real ones, are to do with my relationship with a man. One man. But I don’t live that kind of life, and I know few women who do. So what I feel is irrelevant and silly … I am always coming to the conclusion that my real emotions are foolish, I am always having, as it were, to cancel myself out. I ought to be like a man, caring more for my work than for people; I ought to put my work first, and take men as they come, or find an ordinary comfortable man for bread and butter reasons — but I won’t do it, I can’t be like that …

Related Characters: Ella (speaker), Anna Wulf, Paul Tanner
Page Number: 300
Explanation and Analysis:

(At this point, Ella detached herself from Ella, and stood to one side, watching and marvelling.)

Related Characters: Anna Wulf (speaker), Ella, Cy Maitland
Page Number: 309
Explanation and Analysis:

And so this is the paradox: I, Anna, reject my own "unhealthy" art; but reject “healthy” art when I see it.

The point is that this writing is essentially impersonal. Its banality is that of impersonality.

Related Characters: Anna Wulf (speaker)
Page Number: 334
Explanation and Analysis:

15th September, 1954

A normal day. During the course of a discussion with John Butte and Jack I decided to leave the Party. I must now be careful not to start hating the Party in the way we do hate stages of our life we have outgrown. Noted signs of it already: moments of disliking Jack which were quite irrational. Janet as usual, no problems. Molly worried, I think with reason, over Tommy. She has a hunch he will marry his new girl. Well, her hunches usually come off. I realized that Michael had finally decided to break it off. I must pull myself together.

Related Characters: Anna Wulf (speaker), Janet Wulf, Molly Jacobs, Tommy, Michael, Jack, Comrade John Butte
Page Number: 352
Explanation and Analysis:
Free Women: 3 Quotes

“Isn’t it odd, Anna? He’s been hovering between life and death. Now he’s going to live. It seems impossible he shouldn’t. But if he had died, then I suppose we’d have felt that was inevitable too?”

Related Characters: Molly Jacobs (speaker), Anna Wulf, Tommy
Page Number: 355
Explanation and Analysis:

She was thinking: If someone cracks up, what does that mean? At what point does a person about to fall to pieces say: I’m cracking up? And if I were to crack up, what form would it take? […] Anna, Anna, I am Anna, she kept repeating; and anyway, I can’t be ill or give way, because of Janet; I could vanish from the world tomorrow, and it wouldn’t matter to anyone except to Janet. What then am I, Anna? — something that is necessary to Janet. But that’s terrible, she thought, her fear becoming worse. That’s bad for Janet. So try again: Who am I, Anna? Now she did not think of Janet, but shut her out. Instead she saw her room, long, white, subdued, with the coloured notebooks on the trestle table. She saw herself, Anna, seated on the music-stool, writing, writing; making an entry in one book, then ruling it off, or crossing it out; she saw the pages patterned with different kinds of writing; divided, bracketed, broken — she felt a swaying nausea; and then saw Tommy, not herself, standing with his lips pursed in concentration, turning the pages of her orderly notebooks.

Related Characters: Anna Wulf (speaker), Janet Wulf, Tommy
Related Symbols: Anna’s Notebooks
Page Number: 373
Explanation and Analysis:
The Notebooks: 3 Quotes

From this point of the novel “the third,” previously Paul’s wife; then Ella’s younger alter ego formed from fantasies about Paul’s wife; then the memory of Paul; becomes Ella herself. As Ella cracks and disintegrates, she holds fast to the idea of Ella whole, healthy and happy. The link between the various “thirds” must be made very clear: the link is normality, but more than that — conventionality, attitudes or emotions proper to the “respectable” life which in fact Ella refuses to have anything to do with.

Related Characters: Anna Wulf (speaker), Michael, Ella, Paul Tanner
Page Number: 429-30
Explanation and Analysis:

“I'm going to make the obvious point that perhaps the word neurotic means the condition of being highly conscious and developed. The essence of neurosis is conflict. But the essence of living now, fully, not blocking off to what goes on, is conflict. In fact I've reached the stage where I look at people and say—he or she, they are whole at all because they've chosen to block off at this stage or that. People stay sane by blocking off, by limiting themselves.”

Related Characters: Anna Wulf (speaker), Mrs Marks / Mother Sugar
Page Number: 449-50
Explanation and Analysis:

“But now I can feel. I’m open to everything. But no sooner do you accomplish that, than you say quickly — put it away, put the pain away where it can’t hurt, turn it into a story or into history. But I don’t want to put it away. Yes, I know what you want me to say — that because I’ve rescued so much private pain-material — because I’m damned if I’ll call it anything else, and ‘worked through it’ and accepted it and made it general, because of that I’m free and strong. Well all right, I’ll accept it and say it. And what now? I’m tired of the wolves and the castle and the forests and the priests. I can cope with them in any form they choose to present themselves. But I’ve told you, I want to walk off, by myself, Anna Freeman.”

Related Characters: Anna Wulf (speaker), Mrs Marks / Mother Sugar
Page Number: 451
Explanation and Analysis:

It occurs to me that what is happening is a breakdown of me, Anna, and this is how I am becoming aware of it. For words are form, and if I am at a pitch where shape, form, expression are nothing, then I am nothing, for it has become clear to me, reading the notebooks, that I remain Anna because of a certain kind of intelligence. This intelligence is dissolving and I am very frightened.

Related Characters: Anna Wulf (speaker)
Related Symbols: Anna’s Notebooks
Page Number: 456
Explanation and Analysis:
Free Women: 4 Quotes

He smiled, as dry as she, and said: “Yes, I know what you mean, but all the same it's true. Do you know what people really want? Everyone, I mean. Everybody in the world is thinking: I wish there was just one other person I could really talk to, who could really understand me, who'd be kind to me. That’s what people really want, if they're telling the truth.”

Related Characters: Tommy (speaker), Anna Wulf, Marion
Page Number: 498
Explanation and Analysis:
The Notebooks: 4 Quotes

Very few people really care about freedom, about liberty, about the truth, very few. Very few people have guts, the kind of guts on which a real democracy has to depend. Without people with that sort of guts a free society dies or cannot be born.

Related Characters: Anna Wulf (speaker), Saul Green
Page Number: 541
Explanation and Analysis:

Then I remembered that when I read my notebooks I didn’t recognize myself. Something strange happens when one writes about oneself. That is, one’s self direct, not one’s self projected. The result is cold, pitiless, judging. […] If Saul said, about his diaries, or, summing his younger self up from his later self: I was a swine, the way I treated women. Or: I’m right to treat women the way I do. Or: I’m simply writing a record of what happened, I’m not making moral judgements about myself — well, whatever he said, it would be irrelevant. Because what is left out of his diaries is vitality, life, charm. “Willi allowed his spectacles to glitter across the room and said …” “Saul, standing foursquare and solid, grinning slightly — grinning derisively at his own seducer’s pose, drawled: Come’n baby, let’s fuck, I like your style.” I went on reading entries, first appalled by the cold ruthlessness of them; then translating them, from knowing Saul, into life. So I found myself continually shifting mood, from anger, a woman’s anger, into the delight one feels at whatever is alive, the delight of recognition.

Related Characters: Anna Wulf (speaker), Willi Rodde , Saul Green
Related Symbols: Anna’s Notebooks
Page Number: 545-6
Explanation and Analysis:

“What's wrong with you?” he said. He came over, knelt beside me, turned my face to his, and said: “For Christ sake's, you must understand sex isn't important to me, it just isn't important.”

I said: “You mean sex is important but who you have it with isn't.”

Related Characters: Anna Wulf (speaker), Saul Green (speaker)
Page Number: 554
Explanation and Analysis:
The Golden Notebook Quotes

Whoever he be who looks in this
He shall be cursed.
That is my wish.
Saul Green, his book. (!!!)

Related Characters: Saul Green (speaker), Anna Wulf
Related Symbols: Anna’s Notebooks
Page Number: 583
Explanation and Analysis:

Still asleep, I read the words off a page I had written: That was about courage, but not the sort of courage I have ever understood. It's a small painful sort of courage which is at the root of every life, because injustice and cruelty is at the root of life. And the reason why I have only given my attention to the heroic or the beautiful or the intelligent is because I won't accept that injustice and the cruelty and so won't accept the small endurance that is bigger than anything.

Related Characters: Anna Wulf (speaker), Mrs Marks / Mother Sugar, Saul Green
Related Symbols: Anna’s Dreams
Page Number: 606
Explanation and Analysis:

“Write down: The two women were alone in the London flat.” […] “On a dry hillside in Algeria, the soldier watched the moonlight glinting on his rifle.”

Related Characters: Anna Wulf (speaker), Saul Green (speaker), Molly Jacobs
Page Number: 610
Explanation and Analysis:
Free Women: 5 Quotes

“No, but let's preserve the forms, the forms at least of . . .” He was gone, with a wave of his hand.

Related Characters: Anna Wulf (speaker), Milt (speaker), Saul Green
Related Symbols: Anna’s Notebooks
Page Number: 633
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Golden Notebook LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Golden Notebook PDF

Anna Wulf Character Timeline in The Golden Notebook

The timeline below shows where the character Anna Wulf appears in The Golden Notebook. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Free Women: 1
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
“The two women were alone in the London flat,” and Anna tells Molly that “everything’s cracking up.” Molly reports that Richard is about to visit, probably... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
...their differences, people tend to see them as the same because they are both unmarried. Anna angrily remarks that they are “free women,” defined by the world in terms of their... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna insists she cannot go back to Mrs Marks, with “all that damned art all over... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
...three boys, and later they all became friends. During Molly’s absence, Richard came to visit Anna to ask about Tommy’s brooding—in fact, he came “about five or six times,” Anna reports,... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
...because of her clever fashion sense—she loves playing different characters in different social contexts. But Anna is happy being her “small, thin, dark, brittle” self, although she is shy and tends... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Out of the first-floor window, Anna and Molly watch the milkman unload his bottles with his son, who has recently won... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
...overdressed in sports clothes as always (even though he never plays sports). He remarks on Anna’s presence and asks about Tommy, criticizing Molly’s lack of discipline with him. There is an... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
...Tommy—especially after she left him at home for a year while she traveled around Europe. Anna says she supports Molly’s decision to give Tommy space to grow, and Richard backs off... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Anna did get Molly and Richard to agree that he should give Tommy a job in... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Richard calls Anna and Molly “extraordinarily naïve” and they joke about his business—Anna has learned he is much... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Molly asks about Marion—Anna reveals that Marion, too, had visited her, but Richard has nothing to say. Anna and... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Anna reveals that Richard visited to ask whether he should “send Marion away to some home... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
...looks, rather than the other way around. Everyone falls silent and watches Tommy eat his berries—Anna feels that he is bullying them and is soon convinced that he listened to the... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
...bringing him up “to believe in certain things.” He “wouldn’t mind being like” Molly and Anna, even though they are often “in such a mess.” At least they are not defined... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Tommy suggests that he might become a writer, but does not have Anna’s “complicated ideas” about it. He thinks her problem is either her loneliness—her fear of exposing... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
...seems a lot of things have been going on while I was away,” starts Molly. Anna explains that she is not having a mere “artistic problem,” but that her notebooks are... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Molly asks about the last year, which Anna admits was full of “complicated living,” including a near-affair with Richard—he brought her to a... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
“Everything’s the same,” Anna insists in the white kitchen, “crammed with order” and covered in steam from the roast... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...comrades,” except for a choice few, who wrote three nearly identical, angry letters complaining about Anna’s criticism of the Soviets, on three separate occasions. Many Party members have quit—Molly scarcely cares... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Molly also asks about Anna herself—she had a visit from Michael, with whom she had broken up three years prior... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna walks back to her five-room flat, where Michael persuaded her to live (instead of with... (full context)
The Notebooks: 1
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna’s four notebooks, black, red, yellow, and blue, are otherwise identical—“order had not immediately imposed itself”... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
In the black notebook, two more journal entries precede the title. In the first, Anna writes about the terror and darkness that overcomes her whenever she tries to write, which... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
...scenes, and sentences, which last only a few pages, while the latter lists the payments Anna received from Frontiers of War. After three years’ worth of “Money,” the left pages restart,... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
On the opposite page, Anna writes that “the man at the synopsis desk was pleased” but wants to make the... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna writes that, during her three months writing reviews, she has realized that “the function of... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
However, Anna finds herself “incapable of writing the only kind of novel which interests me: a book... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna has always hated and still hates Frontiers of War. She remembers writing the novel and... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna remembers the war in terms of Russia’s changing involvement in it. A communist movement developed... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
The black notebook starts following Anna’s involvement in her political “sub-group.” She meets Willi Rodde, who helps her get involved in... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
...The most interesting of them is Paul Blackenhurst, the model for the pilot character in Anna’s novel—he is so charming that people scarcely realize his coldness, or that he is mocking... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
...as Ted and Willi never get along, Ted has no connection to Paul Blackenhurst, and Anna is just “the leader’s girl friend.” (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...trade unions. But, alas, the former do not exist, and the latter are horribly racist. (Anna interjects in the black notebook’s narrative, remarking again that she is breaking into a “self-punishing,... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...and develop industry,” which as progressives the socialist group would have to support! Years later, Anna has come to think “that in all those years of endless analytical discussion,” this was... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Then the roadsman George Hounslow arrives in his caravan—he kisses Maryrose and Anna, leading them to exchange pained smiles they prefer not to think about, before asking Willi... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
This brings Anna back to “this question of ‘personality.’” While some refuse the concept “under pressure of all... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
...George didn’t want anyone near his caravan was because there was a woman in it.” Anna wonders who it might be, and why she has rejected George for so long, despite... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...Blackenhurst asks the cook about his family life, to Mrs Boothby’s disdain—she kicks them out. Anna feels a momentary attraction to Paul, who calls her name and makes her realize how... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
...that he has never been a true homosexual, that he only yearns for Maryrose and Anna. (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
...in tears, and complains to Paul Blackenhurst, who casually mentions that “I’m in love with Anna and my heart is breaking.” Not wanting to deal with George as he sinks deeper... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Willi says George Hounslow has no obligation to his illegitimate son, and Anna has conflicted feelings: she is jealous of the woman but also hates her, she is... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Anna goes inside, past George Hounslow, and meets Maryrose, who has clearly been crying after realizing... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
They dance until about five that night—Paul Blackenhurst with Anna, Willi with Maryrose (on whom George Hounslow was also fixated), and Jimmy, somehow cut and... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
...the mother-and-son roles” with Stanley—and the farmer’s wife, with whom Stanley has set up Johnnie. Anna realizes that she defines her time at Mashopi by its beginning and end, “but that... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
On this last weekend, Mrs Boothby kicks Anna and Paul Blackenhurst out of the kitchen (being there is “against the rules”), where they... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
There is another dance that weekend, and Anna’s “almost asexual” relationship with Willi continues to anchor the “romantic, adolescent relationships” between almost every... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
...at Jackson, who goes home. The dancing resumes, and that night Willi is tense with Anna—both because he is tired of George and because he sees her budding relationship with Paul... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
...Paul Blackenhurst mentions that Jimmy has not returned and goes looking for him along with Anna and George Hounslow. They stumble upon Jackson in the kitchen, “angry and troubled” for the... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
George Hounslow stumbles away, and Anna and Paul Blackenhurst take Jimmy to bed before Paul tries bringing Anna to bed herself,... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
...find Mrs Lattimer crying on the verandah and Mr Lattimer cruelly insulting her from inside. Anna meets Willi inside; he knows what had happened, and for the only time ever “mak[es]... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
“And that was the end of it all,” Anna declares—there is “nothing at all in common” between the truth and the story of Frontiers... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Some months later, Anna writes that she has reread her above account and found it loaded with nostalgia. Actually,... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Molly has told Anna about her reservations with the British Communist Party, which she listed for “dozens of bloody... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
The next day, in a glass office building on King Street, Anna meets Comrade Bill, whose brisk, contemptuous attitude throughout the interview leads Anna to reluctantly accept... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
February 5, 1950: Anna notes that she can only be honest in political discussions with people who have left... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
On September 15, 1951, Anna recounts the story of journalist Jack Briggs, who “moved steadily to the left” during and... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
On January 3, 1952, Anna wonders why she writes so little in the red notebook. She also wonders why all... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Three of Michael’s friends are hanged in Prague, and he insists to Anna that they could not be traitors, but also that the Party would not frame them,... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
The Rosenbergs are executed. Anna wonders why she cares so disproportionately about them, why she feels “responsible for what happens... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna cannot stop thinking about Koestler’s insistence “that any communist in the West who stayed in... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
...for a better world.” This contradicts his previous insistence that the Party is not cynical. Anna wonders whether she seeks wholeness through the Party—but it actually “intensified the split.” That night,... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Anna and Michael go to East Berlin, which is ominous and terrifying. Some old Comrades are... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
“Stalin died today,” leaving Anna and Molly upset but feeling that they should be pleased. They suggest that Stalin might... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
...a hearty joke: “we aren’t going to win enough votes to split the Labour vote.” Anna goes canvassing in Comrade Bill’s working-class neighborhood, adoring the atmosphere of camaraderie. Other women argue... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna remarks that she feels like this novel has already been finished, and that she is... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna remarks on “the difficulty of writing about sex,” which is better the less one analyzes... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Anna has never analyzed her own relationship with Michael—it was “like a curving line on a... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna worries that this story recounts the affair “in terms of what ends it,” which is... (full context)
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
The blue notebook begins: “Tommy appeared to be accusing his mother.” Then, Anna wonders why she begins this way, turning reality into fiction as though to evade it,... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
...after which he accused her of “being a communist and ‘bohemian.’” A few weeks later, Anna explains “the whole long ugly story” of how Richard threatens and bullies Molly. One day,... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Four years before, on October 9, 1946: Anna meets Max in “that horrible hotel room,” sensing his despair as he declares they have... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
On January 10, 1950: Anna writes about going to Mrs Marks for the first time, because “I’ve had experiences that... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
On January 14, 1950: Anna dreams “a great deal.” In one dream, she is “dressed absurdly,” sitting at a grand-piano... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
On January 19, 1950: hearing a baby cry through the wall of her room, Anna remembers waking to the same noise each morning in Africa, and then Michael’s “cold irony,”... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
On January 31, 1950: Anna tells Mrs Marks about numerous recent dreams that have felt like “false art, caricature, illustration,... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Anna adds that, the day of the above entry, she “stopped dreaming as if a magic... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
On March 15, 1950: Anna tells Mrs Marks she is the happiest she has ever been with Michael, but hates... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
On March 27, 1950: Anna finds herself crying at night, which Mrs Marks says “are the only genuine tears.” She... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
For four years, Anna’s blue notebook consists only of newspaper clippings, largely covering the American war in Korea, development... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
On April 2, 1954: Anna realizes that she is “beginning to withdraw” from her “experience” with Mrs Marks, who has... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
On April 7, 1954: Mrs Marks asks Anna if she is taking notes, even though she has not mentioned the diary for three... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
On April 9, 1954: Mrs Marks asks Anna when she is “going to start writing again,” and Anna says, “very likely never,” asking... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
On April 15, 1954: Anna has multiple dreams about Michael leaving, which convince her that he will indeed leave soon.... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
On April 23: during her last appointment, Anna recounts a dream of walking a casket through a room “full of dead pictures and... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Mrs Marks has no reply to this dream, but says Anna should “drop in to see her” if necessary. Anna knows Mrs Marks is already inside... (full context)
Free Women: 2
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Molly calls just after Anna puts Janet to sleep. She asks whether Anna has seen Tommy, who has spent the... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Tommy shows up at Anna’s flat. He is sure his mother would be “upset because of all those madness [psychology]... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
...“people like you and my mother are a hundred times better than he [Richard] is.” Anna feels worried and lost for a moment, then reminds Tommy of his father’s own communist... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Suddenly, Tommy walks over to Anna’s notebooks and asks why there are four. “I don’t know,” she says, “it just happened.”... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Tommy apologizes for his attitude, but Anna seems “aggrieved.” Tommy asks about Janet’s father. Anna says she seldom thinks of him—Tommy’s parents... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Tommy nods and opens the blue notebook, reading an entry in which Anna wrote that Janet was having “a difficult phase.” Tommy remembers once being frightened and anxious... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Finally, Anna says she knows Tommy has come to hear “what we are alive for.” She says... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
After perhaps an hour, Tommy asks why Anna writes different entries differently, and how she decides what is important. She said she does... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Tommy asks why Anna cannot just have one large notebook—“chaos,” Anna explains, which she fears. Tommy finds her fear... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Anna takes gets a call and says she is expecting a visitor—Tommy leaves, thanking her for... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Marion comes upstairs and replaces Tommy in the chair across from Anna. Marion drunkenly slurs something about Anna being fortunate to be so free and asks for... (full context)
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
...and he is about to die. A policeman takes the phone from Molly and tells Anna to come to St Mary’s Hospital. Marion has fallen asleep in her chair; Anna pulls... (full context)
The Notebooks: 2
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
...Reginald Tarbrucke, who wants to talk about turning Frontiers of War into a television play. Anna replies that she has no faith in the genre; they both rehash their positions in... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna has no patience for this proposition and no interest in turning her novel into a... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
...grapples with genuine experience,” but that none can mention “religion, race, politics, or extra-marital sex.” Anna replies that her novel obviously mentions these forbidden themes, but still ends up having dinner... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
At last, Mrs Wright mentions the novel, asking whether the interracial sex can be taken out—Anna thinks it can; Wright grimaces at the American in the corner, clearly hoping Anna would... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Mrs Wright offers Anna limp professional advice and hopes she will visit America; Anna replies that she is a... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
In the red notebook, in an entry dated August 28, 1954, Anna writes that she and Molly want to learn about Quemoy but can find little information.... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna has a wonderful dream about “an enormous web of beautiful fabric” covered with moving images... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
...the night before. They talk diplomatically about Stalin, even though by now they dislike him. Anna thinks his pamphlet is nonsense and wonders about “the break-down of language.” She proposes that... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna’s writing continues: after she reads the story to the group, it falls silent for a... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
The blue notebook continues. In an entry dated September 15, 1954, Anna recounts how Michael declares that their affair is over, but poses it as a question.... (full context)
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
September 17, 1954: Anna writes that she was too unhappy to record her whole day the previous night, but... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Anna’s portrait of her day begins. She wakes early, next to Michael, and wonders whether it... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Anna feels tense and resentful, looking ahead to a day full of meaningless tasks, knowing that... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Anna wakes Michael, who praises her “efficiency and practicality.” She makes breakfast and eats with him... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Anna dons a dress that Michael likes and buys the food she plans to cook for... (full context)
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna also starts worrying about having to write down everything from this day, and especially the... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Anna will be seeing Comrade John, or as she ironically calls him, “Comrade Butte.” The previous... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Anna is a half hour late to the Party office—even though she is unpaid—and washes herself... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
It is clear that Comrade John has already decided to publish the two books—Anna notes that she thinks highly of neither and remembers John’s mild disdain for her as... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
...realizing that the Party’s actual operations in no way match her interesting conversations with Jack, Anna decides that she has to quit. She affirms that “both books will be published” and... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Most of Anna’s work for the Party consists in giving lectures about art—the transformation from communal to individual... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
The bulk of Anna’s work is what Jack jokingly calls “welfare work.” Before she begins work, she goes downstairs... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna turns to her “welfare work,” which gives her “the illusion of doing something useful.” She... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
...of the Party in the Soviet Union—his writings are too truthful to be published. When Anna says she is unsure what to do with herself after leaving the Party, he reminds... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna takes a stuffy bus home through the rain, wishing to bathe and determining to “leave... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna makes veal for Michael and herself, feeling delighted until her happiness disappears into self-doubt and... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Molly returns from the theater and asks if Michael is coming—Anna promises that he is, but Molly doubts her. Anna tells Molly that she will leave... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Anna realizes Michael will not be coming; he calls and says he can’t make it, but... (full context)
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Every word of the above story is crossed through, and Anna writes below: “No, it didn’t come off. A failure as usual.” There is a “more... (full context)
Free Women: 3
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
After she and Anna spend a week with Tommy in the hospital, Molly remarks that it is “odd” that... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Molly returns to work, and Anna stops visiting Tommy, who prefers being alone and to whom she had nothing to say.... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
However, both Anna and Molly feel, and are afraid to mention, “something else” beneath their panic: Anna and... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Molly calls Anna to report that Marion has started visiting Tommy every day, for hours. She has also... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
...too much time with Tommy, talking about politics, and not enough with her own children. Anna suggests he “employ someone” to take care of the children, and Richard worries about the... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
...Tommy, while he introduces his children to his latest mistress, Jean. Molly would not mind, Anna insisted, but Tommy might—he is keeping Molly “as his prisoner.” Enraged, Richard calls Anna and... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Richard complains about Marion “outwitt[ing]” him and “cheat[ing him] out of a normal life.” Anna assures him that “the supply of secretaries is unlimited,” but he worries that Jean wants... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
The rush-hour crowd overwhelms Anna, and she leaves the ticket line to hide by the wall, where she wonders about... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Anna opens her eyes to see a hideous man staring at her, smiling, “looking into my... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Anna is not worried about returning late, since she has Ivor, the upstairs boarder, who has... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Anna hears Ivor reading Janet a story about a girls’ school and feels that he is... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Anna fills a glass of water to calm herself, feeling both that the flat was poisoned... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...feels like “a new person.” Marion asks whether Richard is serious about the divorce—he is, Anna explains—and they agree that his secretary looks just like Marion in her youth. Marion realizes... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna, resenting the “awful dripping coy little girl” that Marion has became, asks what Tommy thinks;... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Marion hopes to unite the three of them, working “for the common cause,” which makes Anna realize that Tommy has “decided to save her soul.” Marion apologizes; Anna gives her the... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Anna has to bring Janet dinner. When she does, Janet asks whether Anna likes Ivor and... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Anna decides that Ronnie is the problem and figures she will tell Ivor to get rid... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Anna finds Ronnie using her lotion in the bathroom, wearing expensive clothes that suggest “he should... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Anna smokes in bed and wonders how “this new frightened vulnerable Anna” has come into being,... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Imagining a dried-out well, Anna determines to dream about water. Instead, she dreams about needing to trek across the desert,... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
That night, Ivor asks that only Ronnie leave, and Anna agrees. Ronnie makes a scene that leads Anna to feel like “a bitch for turning... (full context)
The Notebooks: 3
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
November 12: Anna dreams about the pigeon, realizing only upon waking that it reminds her of a story... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
They walk on through the veld; Anna remembers the distinct kind of heat, which suggests that it must have been October or... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Under the heading “Money”: A New Zealand review asks Anna for stories, which she does not write, and then journals, which she thinks are better... (full context)
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna shows this to “the young American writer James Schafter,” and they add some more entries... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna and Schafter decide to invent another journal, this one written by a middle-aged woman, who... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
...people, with their “superior spiritual status,” get “dragged down into the animal mud of Africa.” Anna’s fictionalized version of herself celebrates the “beautiful experience” with a bath. (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna is apprehensive about her parodied character, whom the editors happily accept. Anna insists that the... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna has pinned in a review of her novel from August, 1952, in Soviet Writing. It... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
...third review, from the Soviet Journal for Literature for Colonial Freedom in 1956, claims that Anna is a “petty psychologiser” of the colonial situation, out of touch with the heroic nationalist... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...continues on November 13, 1955: The Party changes in the two years following Stalin’s death; Anna and four other ex-members meet nine current members “with full trust.” They are deciding how... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
On August 11, 1956: As before in her life, Anna spends “weeks and months in frenzied political activity” but accomplishes “absolutely nothing.” The new group... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
On September 20, 1956: Anna stops attending meetings. The rebellious sect understands the risk of creating two competing parties that... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna’s novel The Shadow of the Third continues in the yellow notebook. “The third” in the... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna, who insists that she is Anna, declares that she is also Ella, but sometimes not... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
...consists of short, factual notes, such as one expounding most of the concrete dates in Anna’s life (birth, death, Africa, marriage, joining and leaving the Party). This is all crossed out,... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
This question of truthfulness is not literary—it’s like psychoanalysis. Anna remembers telling Mother Sugar that the procedure seems to reduce one’s knowledge to the infantile... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna continues recounting the old psychoanalysis session. Mother Sugar asks if Anna is “better or worse”... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna asks whether Mother Sugar thinks she is “ready for the next stage,” by which she... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna repeats that she wants “to walk off, by myself, Anna Freeman,” living in a way... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Mother Sugar frowns, but assures Anna that she fully believes in people’s potential to change. However, Anna insists that Mother Sugar’s... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Mother Sugar says that Anna should be writing, instead of saying this all to her—she could even write their sessions... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
After drawing a black line, Anna recounts buying the table for her notebooks; she never planned to have the four notebooks... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna realizes that she is breaking down—if “words are form,” then she is becoming formless, nothingness,... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna remembers going to a political meeting at Molly’s house a few weeks before. A Jewish... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna ends up sleeping with Nelson, but feels unable to write about it and draws another... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
...than a few seconds, and had never been different.” Yet they develop a trust, and Anna convinces herself she can “cure” him, even though she knows she is really following women’s... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
...they sleep together, he speaks out against all women, then disappears for two weeks, leaving Anna distant and depressed and occasionally calling to make excuses (to “women,” not to her). Then... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Anna is “ashamed and humiliated” to see Nelson’s huge but “tasteless, anonymous” flat, full of friendly,... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Everyone else starts dancing, and Nelson decides to dance with Anna instead of his wife. As a joke, he even propositions her in front of everyone,... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
The following evening, Anna gets stuck on the image of a man and woman wandering around a rooftop. He... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
That morning, Nelson calls to tell Anna he wants to marry her, but then starts yelling at her, as if at his... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
While the dream has not repeated, Anna has rejected a man she met at Molly’s house, for she is afraid of failing... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
After dinner, De Silva insists on telling Anna a story. High on marijuana, he once walked up to a girl in the street... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
...just “to see what would happen, that’s all,” and smiles the exact same smile from Anna’s nightmare. However, his desire “to see what will happen” is something Anna shares, like the... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Anna spends the night with De Silva “because it didn’t matter.” At times, he seems like... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
...Silva calls later and asks to have “a friend of mine” sleep in Janet’s room. Anna is confused, then calls him back to clarify, and he confirms that he was planning... (full context)
Free Women: 4
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Exhausted and irritated that Ronnie has seemingly moved back into the flat without permission, Anna waits for Molly and Richard to come over. They are coming to discuss Marion, who... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
...blindness. Marion attacked the policeman, “shrieking hysterically,” and ended up in the papers. Richard called Anna to accuse everyone of orchestrating the scandal to take him down—she hung up on him... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Going to talk with Marion and Tommy, Anna giggles the same dark giggle that Tommy did before shooting himself—she wonders what happened to... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Marion is delighted to have been arrested and drawn her family’s ire; Anna wonders what, if anything, was wrong with this, and looks around the flat, where she... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna calls Tom Mathlong “a sort of saint,” and her voice cracks as she thinks she... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Marion asks about the other revolutionaries, and Anna mentions Charlie Themba, who “cracked up” lately: he had a breakdown that nobody recognized until... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
...can eat before the big meeting they are planning to attend. Marion tells Tommy that “Anna thinks we are going about things the wrong way,” and for the first time his... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Anna proposes Tommy and Marion go on a vacation and affirms that he is good for... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
When Molly and Richard finally come to Anna’s flat, they are not arguing but “almost like friends.” Anna tells them Marion is definitely... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Anna sits next to her sleeping daughter, feeling her “usual surge of protective love” but wondering... (full context)
The Notebooks: 4
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
...about suffering in Africa in 1955-1957, as well as a single entry from September 1956: Anna dreams there is a television film being made about the people she knew at the... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
The red notebook, too, is full of news in 1956-1957: Anna underlines the word “freedom” wherever she sees it and counts 679 mentions at the end.... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
The yellow notebook opens with Anna’s notes for a series of short stories. First, a woman “deludes herself about the nature... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
In the third story, Anna notes that “nice women” fall for “unworthy men” who “name” them or “have an ambiguous... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Anna’s sixth story details an affair between a woman seeking love and a man seeking refuge.... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
...They have predictable sex. She says she loves him; he leaves and writes, “Left London. Anna reproachful. She hated me.” A few months later, either “Anna married, good” or “Anna committed... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
...tenth story, which should be a film, a person has “lost a sense of time.” Anna would “never have a chance to write it, so there’s no point thinking about it,”... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
...who adapt to the “normal” person’s strong personality. This also goes in the blue notebook; Anna “must keep them separate.” (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna calls the nineteenth story “The Romantic Tough School of Writing.” Three friends are out on... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
The blue notebook includes no more dates, but is not one continuous entry. Anna tries to rent her upstairs room. Two girls come by, but Anna does not want... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Janet is disappointed that Ivor has left, and she wants to go to boarding school—Anna feels “sad and rejected, then angry with myself that I did.” She thinks about Janet’s... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Molly calls to propose a tenant, who is a blacklisted American—Anna worries that he would be writing a novel, getting psychoanalysis, and complaining to her about... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna begins feeling how she had during her time with Mother Sugar seven years before—unfeeling and... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
...comes upstairs from school, at which she chooses to wear the optional, ugly uniform—a decision Anna finds remarkable and troubling. Janet has gone from “a dark, lively, dark-eyed, slight young girl,... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...Green, the American, delays his arrival because he is in the countryside—Molly calls to tell Anna that, actually, a friend is “showing him Soho,” and that Tommy did not like him.... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Anna laughs, thinking about how Janet’s departure to boarding school makes her feel “listless and idle.”... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Saul Green comes to visit, finds the apartment “fine, fine,” and moves in. Anna mentions his day in Soho, and he looks offended and gives a long-winded, improbable explanation.... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna begins including numbered asterisks in her account. (*1) She asks Saul about herself, and he... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Saul grows offended and defensive when Anna sends him out for this meeting, but he later proves deeply understanding about her project—he... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Anna “spent today playing the ‘game,’” hoping to defeat her depression through self-discipline. She might even... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Another morning, Anna wakes up with a stiff neck and difficulty breathing, feeling a knot in her lower... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
...early morning for Saul Green today, but he does not come to his door when Anna knocks—he is fast asleep, so she comes and touches his shoulder. He is pale and... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
In the bathroom, Anna fails to play “the game” and realizes she is “going to fall in love with... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Whenever Anna makes coffee or tea, Saul walks about with a sense of “loneliness, isolation, […] like... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Later, when Saul brings the “friend” back up, Anna asks about why he always talks of “getting laid,” in the passive voice, despite his... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna wrote the above entry three days ago, but has lost all sense of time in... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
A week later, Anna writes that she was (*6) and is still “so happy, so happy.” She feels “a... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Anna “read the last paragraph as if it were written about someone else,” for Saul did... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Some length of time later, Anna describes the previous night: Saul offers a long story about needing to go somewhere, but... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
In the morning, Anna can smell fear on Saul’s neck—she falls back asleep and dreams that she is the... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Saul avoids Anna for a week, and she feels an unfamiliar “terrible, spiteful jealousy.” They have a hostile... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Anna and Saul talk about politics, the cruelty of America and McCarthyism (*9), how Saul was... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
...minutes and comes back downstairs to ask about “a friend’s” parents. He is surprised when Anna knows he is talking about himself (*10)—she realizes that “he had genuinely forgotten he had... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Anna shuts herself in the big room, signaling that she is “not to be disturbed.” Sweating,... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
When Saul returns from his “walk,” he goes to the bathroom (*12) and Anna finally manages to ask him to leave when he comes into the bedroom. He says... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Jane Bond calls early in the morning, and Anna hides in the bathroom while Saul talks with her. He goes to visit Jane after... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Then, one of Saul’s diary entries frightens Anna because it corroborates what she has already written in the yellow notebook. Actually, there are... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Infuriated, Anna jumps to Saul’s writings about her. He writes that he has decided not to stay... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna looks again at Saul’s diary and realizes that he wrote the entry about not enjoying... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Anna recounts the day before. She asks Saul whether he is sick, and he wonders how... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Today Saul criticizes Anna in bed and they debate whether there are different, perhaps national, styles of sex. Spending... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Today, Saul returns and Anna knows he has just been with a woman; he tells her that, unlike her, he... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Anna goes to visit Janet—she knows Saul is with Dorothy at the same moment. Janet seems... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna says that she and Saul should separate for the night; he is shocked, quickly grows... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Anna goes downstairs to make coffee; Saul goes out, waiting for Anna to say something on... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Back inside, Anna explains what Saul is doing in terms of his “mother-trouble”—he has to outwit her, but... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Anna and Saul have sex, coldly, and she feels “he’s making love to someone else.” Saul... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
(*17) For a week, Anna and Saul are happy. They are alone, and Anna feels no need to write anything,... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
...not to go out and heads upstairs to work, then comes down and waits for Anna a few minutes later and says he had “never been like this before, so tied... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Saul orders Anna to bed, then begins touching her over her objections. When she starts crying, he suddenly... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Anna slowly drank whiskey last night in an effort to ease the tension in her lower... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Anna realizes (*18) she is becoming part of Saul and looking for the same mother figure... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
However, words and writing do nothing to capture her “knowledge of destruction as a force.” Anna worries about war, fears for Janet, falls “limp with exhaustion” and gets into bed, feeling... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
This morning, Anna reads the newspapers, unsure which version of Saul would come downstairs. In the last three... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Anna stands by the window, thinking of Janet, feeling herself further descending into chaos. She tries... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Saul wakes up abruptly and yells Anna’s name; they have sex and he goes out, while Anna lies with a great joy... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
In the morning, Saul chastises Anna for letting him sleep in and insists he missed his business lunch, which obviously could... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna looks into the blue notebook but cannot write, so she calls Molly. However, Anna realizes... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
After their conversation, Anna feels the floors and walls moving, and momentarily stands in empty space—she walks carefully to... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
When Anna succeeds in entering her body, she has returned to the Mashopi, with everyone surrounding her;... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Anna is in the old “flying dream” about “joy, joy in light, free movement.” She flies... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
It is the afternoon, and Anna is “changed by the experience of being different people.” She becomes herself “with a weary... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna is sick in the bathroom and goes to sleep, then dreams of “playing roles” against... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna goes grocery shopping and comes across a stationery shop, where she finds a beautiful large... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna spends today inside, looking at the golden notebook and finding that Saul had scribbled a... (full context)
The Golden Notebook
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
After Saul’s “schoolboy’s curse,” the golden notebook starts with Anna turning on lights on a dreary day, to have Saul join her in bed for... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Saul goes out, and suddenly everything is pleasant again, but only momentarily, and then Anna begins moving further from sanity than ever before. She crawls to bed and remembers when... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
The voice implores Anna to fight, to fly, and she manages to escape her cage and join the tiger... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Now in control of her sleep, Anna decides to look back at her own life, check in on it, like when she... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
“The invisible projectionist” behind Anna’s memories switches to another scene: a fight between Paul Tanner from the yellow notebook and... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
The projectionist runs through various films: Mashopi, then Paul Tanner and Ella, then Michael and Anna, Ella and Julia, Anna and Molly. He laughs when it says, “directed by Anna Wulf,”... (full context)
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
The projectionist asks if Anna knows how June Boothby would see their time together, and Anna starts composing a story,... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna wakes up, “exhausted by the dreaming,” but actually, she soon realizes, exhausted because Saul has... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Saul looks at Anna with “anger, dislike, suspicion”; he wants to fight her now, but his real personality will... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Anna watches Saul fight “to refuse entrance to alien personalities,” like she did during the dream.... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Anna calls Molly, but recites their coming conversation to Saul while she waits for Molly to... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
...people who have given up their own path along “the golden road to maturity,” like Anna herself, who is busy pushing a boulder up the “great black mountain” toward the “few... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Anna cries “weak, sodden whisky-diluted tears on behalf of womankind” and watches them both get aroused.... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
...to bed and he says he has to leave, goes for a walk, and asks Anna to stop him—she will not, for it does not matter if he is visiting a... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna thinks about reading Saul’s diary but knows she will never look again. Feeling ill, she... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
The projectionist runs Anna through the films, the same films, which now seem “realistic,” crude, with a new attention... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
...a woman telling herself, “No, I won’t kill myself.” The projectionist will not answer, so Anna turns off the machine, and then (still in her dream) reads her own words from... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna wakes up, needing Saul. “A short story: or a short novel: comic and ironic:” a... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna wonders what it would take to fit Ella into this story; Ella would be more... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Saul comes upstairs, tired and not combative, and announces that it is curious Anna is laughing, and that he has been thinking about her while walking through London. She... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Saul says that Anna needs to start writing again—she will “really crack up” unless she comes to terms with... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
In the morning, Saul looks too ill to go out; Anna wants to tell him this, to insist that “I must look after you. I’ll do... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Saul tells Anna to write the first sentence down. He says they are part of the same team,... (full context)
Free Women: 5
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna is initially reluctant to let Janet go to boarding school, but the girl is adamant... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Alone in her flat, not wanting to let rooms or work, Anna shrinks from the world of people, and “everything seemed to have changed.” Marion and Tommy... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna is busy doing nothing and resolves “that the remedy for her condition was a man.”... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Instead, Anna spends her days carefully reading the news, trying to balance the facts of the world,... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna knows, but does not feel, that she is mad; she knows that she will return... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Listening to jazz, working through the newspapers, Anna “[feels] a new sensation, like a hallucination, a new and hitherto not understood picture of... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
A friend of Molly’s, Milt, calls to see Anna’s spare room but reschedules for the next day, giving an elaborate excuse that a quick... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
They talk about politics; Milt looks at Anna’s walls and tells her about a “red” friend in New York who has spent the... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna goes to put on a dressing-gown and Milt starts pulling the newspaper off her walls,... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Milt puts on jazz and admits that he “can’t sleep with women I like.” Anna finds it sad; he proposes they sleep together; she refuses. He talks about loving his... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna and Milt quickly grow fond of one another and, after five days, Anna tells him... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Janet returns to find Anna looking for a smaller flat and a job. Molly is getting married to “what we... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Fact, Fiction, and Authorship Theme Icon
Anna admits her affair with Milt, the American, to Molly and explains that she is planning... (full context)