“Debbie and Julie” by Doris Lessing follows a teenage female character as she gives birth to a child in secret and returns home. The short story is structured using traditional plot elements, including an exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.
The title of the short story, “Debbie and Julie”, suggests the plot is going to concern two female characters, but it does not disclose the nature of their relationship. As you start reading the short story, you will notice that Debbie is an absent character, a character that only appears in Julie’s memories.
For the main character, Julie, Debbie was a protector and a friend when she was in need. Julie is the teenage daughter of a British family who gets pregnant and decides to run away from home fearing her parents’ reaction. She meets Debbie in a train station. The woman (who is a prostitute) takes Julie in and helps her without asking for anything in return.
The title is suggestive of the friendship of the two characters and of Debbie’s role as a mentor and protector. The five months spent with Debbie helped Julie grow up, and change her perspective on life, the world, and her parents. Even though Debbie seems to have a...