Invisible Environments: Old Age and its spaces
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Despite the progressive ageing of a worldwide population, negative attitudes towards old age have proliferated thanks to cultural constructs and myths that, for decades, have presented old age as a synonym of decay, deterioration and loss. Moreover, even though every human being knows he/she will age
and that ageing is a process that cannot be stopped, it always seems distant, far off in the future and, therefore, remains invisible. In this paper, I aim to analyse the invisibility of old age and its spaces through two contemporary novels and their ageing females protagonists –Maudie Fowler in Doris Lessing ’s The Diary of a Good Neighbour and Erica March in Rose Tremain ’s The Cupboard. Although invisible to the rest of society, these elderly characters succeed in becoming significant in the lives of younger protagonists who, immersed in their active lives, become aware of the need to enlarge our vision of old age.