The Golden Notebook

The Golden Notebook

by

Doris Lessing

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Ted Brown Character Analysis

In the black notebook, Ted Brown is “the most original” of the Oxford airmen who party at the Mashopi Hotel and “the only genuine socialist of the three,” as well as the only one from the working class. He is energetic, passionate, and selfless, which leads him to give his possessions and time to help those around them—especially the younger men he mentors, like Stanley Lett, whose resistance to Ted’s advice leads Ted to invest more and more in him. While he is saddened by the group’s infighting, Ted gets along with none of its members in particular. After the war, he intentionally fails his military exams to be with Stanley, which does not go over well, and eventually ends up married, teaching English in Germany.
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Ted Brown Character Timeline in The Golden Notebook

The timeline below shows where the character Ted Brown appears in The Golden Notebook. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Notebooks: 1
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
“The most original” is the working-class Ted Brown, who went to Oxford on scholarship and is “the only genuine socialist of the... (full context)
Gender, Labor, and Power Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...Paul has already won the affection of a farmer’s daughter and managed to further alienate Ted, who is already frustrated with him. The “full-bodied” and polite Mrs Boothby brings them to... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...to the city for another tiresome month. They then return for a long weekend with “Ted’s new protégé, Stanley Lett” and his friend, a jazz pianist named Johnnie, to find the... (full context)
Communism and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...explains his views on the area’s leftist groups to George Hounslow, but Paul Blackenhurst and Ted take over, proposing in jest that they start a revolution from the Mashopi Hotel and... (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
...“the obvious key man” in their revolutionary plans, and George is furious at them all. Ted and Paul try convincing George to go, but he refuses, and they drunkenly stumble away... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
...time.” Indeed, Stanley is a ruthless lawbreaker, keen to use people for his own benefit—except Ted, whose care he finds flattering but inexplicable. All day, Johnnie improvises on the tunes Ted... (full context)
Fragmentation, Breakdown, and Unity Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Action, Freedom, and Moral Courage Theme Icon
...white spectators that he is willing to place his hand on the black man’s shoulder. Ted, jealous of Stanley, who is all too aware of his intentions, tries to convince him... (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
...leave and never return. Soon thereafter, Paul Blackenhurst dies and Jimmy is deployed to Germany; Ted purposefully fails his exams to be with Stanley, who “told him he was a fool.”... (full context)