Economic Abuse: A Neglect Facet Of Domestic Abuse Against Women In Doris Lessing’s “To Room Nineteen”


  • Nisha Khan
  • Dr. Shriya Goyal


When we talk about domestic violence, the first thing that strikes our mind is physical or sexual abuse but many hidden forms of abuse are difficult to identify like economic abuse against women. Economic abuse is an insidious form of domestic violence that is perpetuated against women. This kind of abuse is significantly associated with physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse. This research paper explores the theme of female independence, autonomy, and economic abuse in the relationship in Doris Lessing's 1963 short story "To Room Nineteen". The story portrays the life of Susan Rawlings, a middle-class woman, who becomes a victim of economic abuse within her marriage. After marriage, her life revolves around her husband, her four children, and her home. The female character, before getting married, had a well-paid job, working in an advertising firm but she was compelled to give up her job because, after the birth of four children, Susan shut herself out from the public sphere and was restricted to private sphere, which was the root cause of sexual inequality between man and woman. That was the beginning of her misfortune. Without work, she had no money and had to rely on her husband. So, by analyzing the text and contextualizing it with relevant social and economic issues, this paper aims to shed light on the subtle yet profound impact of economic control on women's lives.  So, this paper analyzes the theory of "Learned Helplessness" in the context of domestic violence against women by "Martin Seligman” and the Liberal feminism approach by ‘Betty Friedan’.




How to Cite

Khan, N. ., & Goyal, D. S. . (2024). Economic Abuse: A Neglect Facet Of Domestic Abuse Against Women In Doris Lessing’s “To Room Nineteen”. Migration Letters, 21(S8), 558–566. Retrieved from