Lessing, in her preface, claimed the most important theme in the novel is fragmentation; the mental breakdown that Anna suffers, perhaps from the compartmentalization of her life reflected in the division of the four notebooks, but also reflecting the fragmentation of society. Her relationship and attempt to draw everything together in the golden notebook at the end of the novel are both the final stage of her intolerable mental breakdown, and her attempt to overcome the fragmentation and madness.
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