DHSS | Analyse | Doris Lessing

Prejudiced caused by social classes, a literary analysis of DHSS

Social classes play a vital role in society. The definition of social class is ambiguous and there is no strict division between the classes. However, there is different aspects of a person’s life, that indicates which social class one belongs to.

Such as social status, education, money and attitude are things, that make up an individual social class. In a simple layout of the classes, there would be three clear classes; the lower-, middle-, and upper-class.

Some believe that these different classes have created a gap of conflicts between people. It fills upper-class people’s minds with the idea that poor people from the lower-class are criminals.

Additionally, it fills lower-class people’s minds with the idea of upper-class people being highly arrogant and only cares about themselves.

In the short story DHSS, written by Doris Lessing, we meet people from each social class, and gets an idea of the lower-classes struggles and the prejudice and thoughts they have about each other.

The woman is distrustful and skeptical over the people she meets, also to those who intend to help her. It is portrayed, when the man gives her money and offers her to sit down and have a coffee on his account, and she replies:

“Don’t think you’re going to get something out of this because you won’t…” (p. 3 l. 3) Because of her experience with the DHSS and her feeling of carelessness from the government and the company’s side, she has gained trust issues.

She has lost the belief in kindness and therefore acts disbelievingly and skeptical when she gets a 10-pound note, as well as when the man offers her coffee and a ride home.

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