D. H. Lawrence

D. H. Lawrence

Themes and Characteristics

From D.H. Lawrence’s point of view, progress is an element of corruption for humanity. He does not believe in democracy and equality either, since he is convinced that individual personality has to be of primary importance in society. This mentality probably derives from the fact that he is the son of a miner and it causes in him a form of hostility towards industrial civilization. In fact he looks for an ideal community in a world way far from mechanization, a world which follows instinct instead of intellect and that is in deep contact with nature.

Nature is a fundamental theme in his works as much as human relationships and sex. His innovation resides in breaking the taboo of sex introducing a view which considers it the only way to respond to the pressures os industrialism and to get closer to a certain cosmic mystery, which is the key to our existence. His view of sex consists in:

  • sexual intercourse with love, otherwise it is just a mechanical action
  • two people whose respective desire is fulfilled  but do not merge into one being 

Quenched, inhuman, his fingers upon her unrevealed nudity were the fingers of silence upon silence, the body of mysterious night upon the body of mysterious night, the night masculine and feminine, never to be seen with the eye, or known with the mind, only known as a palpable revelation of living otherness.

Women in Love, chapter 23

He also contributes to the theme of emancipation of women, especially influenced by the fact that during the First World War women stepped out of their homes to do the work men used to do. The Suffragettes Movement is also a proof of it.

His Style and Devices

D.H. Lawrence writes in a prose marked by repetition and spontaneity. His language is simple and the modern device used is the Free Indirect Thought, through which he’s able to describe what the characters are feeling from an “objective” point of view. He actually does not respect the objectivity of modernism quite much, instead experiences and opinions from his own life are clearly disposed throughout his works.

An example:

There it laid, inert matter, as it had always lain, since the beginning of time, subject to the will of man. the will of man was the determining factor. Man was the arch-god of earth. His mind was obedient to serve his will. Man’s will was the absolute, the only absolute.

Women in Love, chapter 17

Women in Love

Women in Love is a novel wich follows the continuing loves and lives of the Brangwen sisters, Gudrun and Ursula. Gudrun Brangwen, an artist, pursues a destructive relationship with Gerald Crich, an industrialist. Lawrence contrasts this pair with the love that develops between Ursula Brangwen and Rupert Birkin, an alienated intellectual who articulates many opinions associated with the author. The emotional relationships thus established are given further depth and tension by an intense psychological and physical attraction between Gerald and Rupert. 

This was D.H.Lawrence! 😉

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