Lady Chatterley's Lover, written by DH. Lawrence was first published in 1928. The novel follows around the protagonist of the story, Lady Constance Chatterley. The story is about how this woman, who is trapped in a loveless and almost sterile marriage, finds emotional and physical love with the gameskeeper of her husband's estate. As a story about the relationships between men and women, I find this book a very nice read, but with Lawrence also using this novel as a way to show his readers the evils of machines and capitalism, at times I find it lacking.
Lawrence has two main themes in this book; first, the relationship between men, women and how they find love; second, industry vs. nature. Both can be discussed to show how they are used to conveniently establish the relationship theme but not the secondary theme of industry vs. nature.
The main theme in Lady Chatterley's Lover is that of the relationship between men and women. Lawrence shows the readers how you must have emotional and physical love, together, in order to have complete love. Through the example of Connie and Clifford's marriage, Lawrence shows the reader that though there is an emotional love between the two, neither is fulfilled. Their relationship can best be summed up by a quote directly from this book, "Time went on. Whatever happened, nothing happened." (19) Neither Connie nor Clifford have a great love for the other, they seam to be just friends who live together. The idea of a strictly physical love is shown briefly through Mellors and his marriage to his first wife. Though the two had a stable marriage based on physical love, it eventually deteriorated to the point of them living separately. Bertha rejected Mellors when he started to show tenderness towards her. Both examples are used by Lawrence to justify that though some marriages/relationships start out well, without the combined physical and emotional fulfillment of both people there can be no "true" love between them.
The idea of complete love is shown through Lady Connie and Mellors relationship. Lawrence shows through these two how love needs to have emotional and physical aspects to be possible. Writing about their evolving relationship and showing how both aspects are started and evolve, he gives us the idea of what he thinks real love is. Lawrence shows how their "true" love and eventual marriage escapes class lines and the industrial world the author despises. In one of the more descriptive sex scenes, Lawrence wants to show that two people who are in real love have no shame.
This theme is also used to try and validate Lawrence's second theme in the book, industry vs. nature. Lady Chatterley's marriage with Clifford is based in the industrial setting of Wragby mansion. The marriage between these two characters revolves around this setting and is therefore shown by Lawrence to be a "fake" marriage since it is not set in a true natural setting. It is based in an industrial society and therefore corrupt. On the other side, Lady Connie's relationship with the gameskeeper, Mellors, is started in the natural setting of the woods surrounding Wragby. As the story ends there is a hope that these two will be married and it will be a "true" marriage because it has both the emotional and physical aspects of love and that it was started in the woods, in nature. I understand why Lawrence tried to use the relationships to justify the nature aspect of industry vs. nature, but I do not agree with it. The natural setting that Lady Chatterley and Mellors met is very romantic and ideal, but I think that if they had possibly met somewhere else, perhaps the mining town, their relationship could also have developed to the point that it was at the end of the book.
The second theme in this novel, industry vs. nature is a theme that Lawrence should not have tried to show in this novel. He never gives clear reasons for the industrial aspect to this story. It is all...
Cited: 1. Bloom, Harold (Editor), Twentieth-Century British Literature Volume 3. Chelsea House: New York, 1986.
2. Bryfonski, Dedria and Hall, Sharon K. (Editors), Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism Volume 2. Gale Research Company: Michigan, 1979
3. Lawrence, D.H. Lady Chatterley 's Lover. 1928. New York: Grover 's Press, 1959.
4. Neruda, Pablo, "Luminous Solitude", Memoirs. 1976. Included in Twentieth-Century British Literature, Volume 3.
5. Nin, Anais. "Lady Chatterley 's Lover" D.H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study. (1932) 1940. Included in Twentieth-Century British Literature, Vol. 3.
6. Porter, Katherine Ann. "A Wreath for the Gamekeeper". Encounter. 1960. Included in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, Vol. 2.
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