How Can a Feminist Reading of 'Lady Chatter-Ley's Lover' Illuminate Lawrence's Depiction of Men and Women?

Topics: Gender, Male, Female Pages: 4 (1507 words) Published: June 20, 2012
How can a feminist reading of 'Lady Chatter-ley's Lover' illuminate Lawrence's depiction of men and women? 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' is renowned for its supposed obscenity and daring nature. Perhaps this obscenity is necessary in exploring Lawrence's message of female liberation as our protagonist escapes her loveless marriage. Yet, through feminist interpretation, it may be viewed that this freedom is no more than Lady Chatterley jumping from one gender constraint to another and so women are portrayed as the subordinate sex. Also, criticisms of the portrayal of men become apparent as they too could be seen as victims of stereotypical gender expectations, such as the dominant and stronger sex. Immediately, it could be seen that the title in itself is a feminist comment that places the female protagonist in a position of power, due to the 'Lover' seeming to belong to 'Lady Chatterley'. From a feminist perspective, women are usually placed as objects of men, hence emphasising the strength of women throughout the novel as Lawrence reverses typical social conventions. Yet, the language used towards the start appears to depict Connie as subservient and tied to her husband, due to the first few paragraphs actually focusing on Clifford: 'Clifford was now a baronet, Sir Clifford'. Therefore, feminists may see an uncomfortable juxtaposition between the title and the apparent subservience of the protagonist, hence foreshadowing her 'awakening' throughout the novel, from which Lady Chatterley gains true gender liberation.
It may be seen that the character of Connie never really achieves this liberation and in fact becomes more reliant on men. In the protagonist's first love affair 'she was utterly incapable of resisting it... she must give him anything, anything", where clearly the Lady feels a need to be submissive to the male character of Michaelis. Furthermore, Connie appears to have made no progression during her long...
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