Recent Post

July 17, 2013

Essay on Lady Chatterley's Lover

Lady Chatterley’s Lover
The novel “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” written by D.H Lawrence was met with sharp criticism from different segments of the society for its sexual overtones. The book is riddled with the social, cultural and political implications as well. Although love remains the focal theme of the story but the social inequities and politics of post-war England are accurately described. The forbidden love pits the Lady Chatterley against the society and its norms.
Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence observes the demoralizing human condition in the modern era.  Intensified by the experiences of the novel's characters, Lady Chatterley's Lover comes up with techniques to deal with the pressing demands and norms of the modern society. The characters are compelled to retreat from society engaging in phallic sex. However, the function of these techniques is challenging as phallic sex dictates the rejection of social convention while withdrawing from society conflicts with phallic sex.

            Lawrence's strategy of withdrawing from society and engaging in phallic sex can be considered as an attempt to respond to the conditions that he had observed in England.  A difficulty that upsets the English people in Lawrence's novel is the demands of social convention that lead individuals to live unhappy and unfulfilled lives.  For instance, Lawrence probes deeper into the lives of colliers:  "The iron and the coal had eaten deep into the bodies and souls of the men" (159). 

Lady Chatterley is the major protagonist of the novel. Prior to her marriage, she is merely Constance Reid, an intellectual and social progressive from a Scottish bourgeois family, the daughter of Sir Malcolm and the sister of Hilda. When she weds Clifford Chatterley, a minor nobleman, Constance as she is identified throughout the novel, Conies naturally assumes the title of Lady Chatterley. This is precisely the point when her conflicts with society caused by her free will (the choice to marry a man below her status) begins. The novel records Connie's maturation as a woman and as a sensual being. She begins to spurn her heartless and bloodless husband after falling in love with Oliver Mellors, the gamekeeper on her husband's estate.
She abandons her husband and conceives a child with Mellors. Commentators identify this as a transition from the heartless and bloodless world to a vicarious and profound bond entrenched in sensuality and sexual fulfillment.
Clifford Chatterley is Connie's husband. Clifford Chatterley is a youthful, handsome baronet who becomes paralyzed from the waist down during World War I. This leaves him as an impotent man. Consequently, he goes on to become a successful writer and then a business man but he remains disinterested in keeping a passionate love with his wife. The gap between them further widens because he is merely obsessed with material success and fame.
Their relationship can be analyzed as a conflict between sexual freedom and economic liberalism. Lawrence, through their relationship, successfully advocates the greater sexual freedom and reinforces this notion by involving the analysis of social classes. The union of an aristocrat and a commoner is the most striking symbol.
It also delivers throughout the narrative, acerbic social critique of the exploitation of mine (his father was himself a mine) by the aristocracy: "It was a world of iron and coal, the cruelty of iron and of coal smoke and the ceaseless and endless greed that controlled everything. Nothing but greed, greed and endless controlled everything.”(Lawrence, 2008)

He indicates the emergence of the industry that had gradually replaced the English countryside. The industry mechanized man, dehumanizes and thus opposed to the organic world, he idealizes.
We also note some reflections on the concept of "race" social (which was already in "Women in Love") and social determinism as his words of Clifford: "What counts is not the man who
begets us, but where fate places us. Put any child among the ruling classes, and he becomes to the extent of its boundaries, capable of leading. Put the children of kings and dukes in the middle of the masses, and they become little plebeians, mass products. It is the irresistible influence of the medium.” The society heavily influences the lives of individual and so often individuals are defeated in the process of defying it.

"Lady Chatterley's Lover" is a novel that can be read and analyzed on many levels and should not be reduced to a single scandal. Some readers have also complained that other considerations (economic and social "narratives in the story") parasitize the history between Constance and guard. But the author, though sometimes a bit verbose and perhaps too demonstrative managed instead to make them live together in a logical way and even make them converge. The twenty-first century, we can still ask the question of modernity. Despite the liberalization of morals, we realize that the ideas it may not have lost their relevance, in particular the difficulty for both sexes to fulfill their wishes in the society that imposes its own will on them.
Through all his writings "Women in Love," "Lovers and son", "Kangaroo" Lawrence seeks to rehabilitate the carnal, the natural state of man who would, he said, destroyed by a perverted approach too cerebral and too civilized sexuality. His work advocates a return to "primitive sacred."
He expresses his rejection of Puritan England of the 20s. He writes ironically at the beginning of the novel: "The conversations, discussions, here is what mattered: the carnal knowledge and love were nothing more than a return to instinct, and even a sort of fallout. This case was indeed a sex report of slavery of the oldest and most sordid."

Mellors, "a man with balls" is so superior to that poor Clifford and his friends, scholars and followers of lengthy discussions by the fire ... "The mind can only be analyzed through reasoning. Let the spirit and reason rule the rest, they can smother any criticism. So we live life, we participate in a sense, the universal life organically. As soon as one enters the mental life, we pick the apple. It broke the link between the apple and the tree: the organic link. And if you have nothing else in your life that mental life, you're nothing but a plucked apple ... you've fallen from the tree. So it is necessary and logical to be nasty, as is natural and necessary that a rotten apple picked. “(Lawrence, 2008)

Connie is thus presented as a prisoner of his word walls that surround it (the issue which Mellors "Poor Connie! Over the years, which touched it was fear of the void in his life. The intellectual life of Clifford forces him to descend into the abyss of pure nothingness. Their marriage, their integrated life based on habit and intimacy which he spoke, became certain days, absolutely empty, nothing. Words, many words and that was it. The only reality was nothingness, and over, the hypocrisy of words.  

At the end of the novel, the reality is revealed to himself, Lawrence will make him say: "What liars poets and others are! They believe we need to feel. But what we need is this sensuality piercing, consuming, rather awful. "(Lawrence, 2008)
In addition to the sexual overtones of content of the book, Lady Chatterley’s Lover also reveals his views on the British social context of the early 20th century. For example, Constance’s social insecurity, resulting from her upbringing in an upper middle class background as opposed to Sir Clifford’s social self-confidence becomes more glaring in the passages such as
Clifford Chatterley was more upper-class than Connie. Connie was well-to-do intelligentsia, but he was aristocracy. Not the big sort, but still it. His father was a baronet, and his mother had been a viscount’s daughter.(Rolph, 2006)
There are also signs of discontent and bitterness of the Tevershall coal pit’s workers, the colliers, against Clifford, who owned the mines. By the time Clifford and Connie had relocated to Wragby Hall, Clifford's father's estate in Nottinghamshire, the coal industry in England seemed to be on decay, although the coal pit was still a big part in the life of the neighboring town of Tevershall.
The most self-evident social disparity in the plot, nonetheless, is that of the affair of an aristocratic woman Connie with a working class man Mellors. Mark Schorer, an American writer and literary critic, considers a familiar construction in D.H. Lawrence's works the forbidden love of a woman of relatively superior social situation who is drawn to an "outsider" a man of lower social rank or a foreigner, in which the woman either resists her impulse or yields to it.[12] Schorer believes the two possibilities were embodied, respectively, in the situation into which Lawrence was born, and that into which Lawrence married, consequently becoming a favorite topic in his work.(Rolph, 2006) This argument makes a lot of sense because Lawrence’s novel cannot be analyzed without considering the treatment of social class issues.
            All in all, the themes of social inequities and the unpleasant consequences of socially uneven marriage run through Lawrence’s genre.  He also dwells on the dehumanizing effects in post-industrial era. In Lady Chatterley’s Lover, the lovers go beyond the norms of society to fulfill their sexual desires and such a tendency puts into direct conflict with the society.

 Lawrence, D.H (2008) “Lady Chatterley’s Publishing

Rolph, C.H (2006) “The Trial of Lady Chatterley” Oxford University Press


Post a Comment