The Golden Notebook

The Golden Notebook

by

Doris Lessing

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Cy Maitland Character Analysis

Cy Maitland is an American leucotomy surgeon who has an affair with Ella in the yellow notebook. He is energetic and boyish, attractive and proudly uncultured; Ella meets him on their rickety flight from Paris, and they sleep together a handful of times during his stay in London. Cy is sexually inept and unsatisfying, but impressed by Ella’s experience and emotional depth, which leads him to wonder what it would be like to marry “someone like you” instead of his wife. He disapproves of Ella’s communism, affairs, and independence, but feels that he learned from their time together. The tension between Cy’s professional success and juvenile personality reflects the pattern of men’s emotional and interpersonal underdevelopment in this book.

Cy Maitland Quotes in The Golden Notebook

The The Golden Notebook quotes below are all either spoken by Cy Maitland or refer to Cy Maitland. 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.
The Notebooks: 2 Quotes

(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:
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The Golden Notebook PDF

Cy Maitland Character Timeline in The Golden Notebook

The timeline below shows where the character Cy Maitland appears in The Golden Notebook. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Notebooks: 2
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
...as she falls asleep. She spends the next day at home, then meets the American, Cy Maitland, for dinner at “a good solid restaurant,” although only after fielding her son’s complaints... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
...be described by a simple succession of statements” and is upset by her attraction to Cy, even though they are completely unalike—she considered him “a healthy savage” and worries that she... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
At the hotel, Cy makes his twenty calls and shows Ella a picture of his beautiful wife and five... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
...come with this man” and realizes that her sexual integrity required orgasms. Still, she and Cy are both happy, and after she dresses, Cy wonders out loud what marrying “someone like... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
Ella leaves, and the next evening they eat at the same restaurant, where Cy talks about his eventual aspirations to become a senator, and more immediately to interview doctors... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
After sex, they discuss Cy’s specialty, leucotomies. Ella disapproves and mentions that she “once had an affair with a psychiatrist”... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
At home, Ella tells Julia that Cy was “very nice” and she will be “extremely depressed in the morning,” although not because... (full context)