Lady Chatterley's Lover
08英语教育?1?班 李珊珊 080401066
Lady Chatterley's Lover is the peak in the area of literature created by D.H Lawrence. After being published, it got many criticisms because of numerous descriptions of sex. However, people now has realised that this is a sincere and health book, a serious and meaningful work. Also, in terms of art, it is the first modern novel that focuses the topic on beauty appreciation of sex, which has a great influence on modern western literature.
The novel begins with an angle of view which presents human nature twisted by the social conditions and industrial civilization. The story concerns a young married woman, Constance (Lady Chatterley), whose upper-class husband, Clifford Chatterley, has been paralyzed and rendered impotent. Her sexual frustration leads her into an affair with the gamekeeper,
nd Lady Chatterley enjoys an extremely passionate Oliver Mellors. A
relationship with him. This novel is about Constance's realisation that she cannot live with the mind alone; she must also be alive physically.
The story and its sentiments suggest that the sexual relationship is the most profound of all and that it may be debased either by treating it lightly or by viewing it with shame (the attitudes seemingly taken by young and old respectively).
Before reading the story, I felt really confused about the main idea of it, and I began to get clearer and clearer idea about it during the progress of reading and got to be familiar with the characters. After reading this novel, it was the main characters? lady Chatterley, Oliver Mellors as
well as Clifford Chatterley that impress me most.
In the first place, the first person I would like to introduce is Lady Chatterley. Lady Chatterley is the protagonist of the novel. Before her marriage, she is simply Constance Reid, an intellectual and social progressive from a Scottish bourgeois family, the daughter of Sir Malcolm and the sister of Hilda. When she marries Clifford Chatterley, a minor nobleman, Constance (or, as she is known throughout the novel, Connie) assumes his title, becoming Lady Chatterley. Lady Chatterley's Lover
chronicles Connie's maturation as a woman and as a sensual being. She is the crisp flower run over by her husband-- Clifford Chatterley’s
mechanical wheel chair. And during the period of time when she lives with Clifford in Wragby , Connie is totally isolated from the real world. She comes to despise her weak, ineffectual husband, and to love Oliver Mellors, the gamekeeper on her husband's estate. It is what she sees in the backside
of the hut when she comes to the wood arouse her secret longings of being
relived. In the process of leaving her husband and conceiving a child with Mellors, Lady Chatterley moves from the heartless, bloodless world of the intelligentsia and aristocracy into a vital and profound connection rooted in sensuality and sexual fulfillment.
Then, let’s move to Mellors, who is the lover in the novel's title. Mellors is a “natural person” (as he is called in this novel) who opposes
the whole world. He neither belongs to the class of employer and employee nor to the class of miner. In the story, Mellors is the gamekeeper on Clifford Chatterley's estate, Wragby Hall. He is aloof, sarcastic, intelligent and noble, and always full of cynical emotion. He was born near Wragby, and worked as a blacksmith until he ran off to the army to escape an unhappy marriage. In the army, he rose to become a commissioned lieutenant — an unusual position for a member of the working classes —
but was forced to leave the army because of a case of pneumonia, which left him in poor health. Surprisingly, we learn from different characters' accounts that Mellors was in fact finely educated in his childhood, has good table manners, is an extensive reader, and can speak English like a gentleman, but chooses to behave like a commoner and speak broad Derbyshire dialect, probably in an attempt to fit into his own community. Disappointed by a string of unfulfilling love affairs, Mellors lives in quiet isolation, from which he is redeemed by his relationship with Connie: the passion unleashed by their lovemaking forges a profound bond between them. At the end of the novel, Mellors is fired from his job as gamekeeper and works as a laborer on a farm, waiting for a divorce from his old wife so he can marry Connie. Mellors is a man with an innate nobility but who remains impervious to the pettiness and emptiness of conventional society, with access to a primal flame of passion and sensuality.
Last but not least, we cannot ignore the man named Clifford Chatterley . Clifford Chatterley is Connie's husband who is the incarnation of “iron
and coal”. Clifford Chatterley is a young, handsome baronet who becomes paralyzed from the waist down during World War I. As a result of his injury, Clifford is impotent. He retires to his familial estate, Wragby Hall, where he becomes first a successful writer, and then a powerful businessman. But the gap between him and Connie grows ever wider; obsessed with financial success and fame, he is not truly interested in love, and he claims the theory openly and legally that spirit presses the human body. In the name of spirit, he tortures Connie’s flesh life. Connie is very
resentful about Clifford and she feels that he has become passionless and empty. Clifford is portrayed as a weak, vain man, displaying overbearing attitude toward his so called inferiors. He pursues money greedily and gets respected fame through industry and the meaningless manipulation of
words. His impotence is the symbol of his failings as a strong, sensual man, and could also represent the increasing loss of importance and influence of the ruling classes in a modern world.
To sum up, Lady Chatterley's Lover is D. H. Lawrence’s controversial
novel. During his lifetime and even afterwards Lawrence was a controversial figure because of his frank treatment of sex and his outspoken insistence upon a need for a readjustment in the relationship between the sexes. This novel tells the story of an aristocratic woman, Constance (Lady Chatterley), who has an affair with the estate’s gamekeeper when her husband is paralyzed and rendered impotent. Central to the theme of the novel is the need for physical stimulation as well as mental stimulation in order to feel complete as a human being. In Lady
, Lawrence comes full circle to argue once again for Chatterley's Lover
individual regeneration, which can be found only through the relationship between man and woman (and, he asserts sometimes, man and man). Love and personal relationships are the threads that bind this novel together. Richard Hoggart argues that the main subject of Lady Chatterley's Lover
is not the sexual passages that were the subject of such debate but the search for integrity and wholeness. Key to this integrity is cohesion between the mind and the body for "body without mind is brutish; mind without body...is a running away from our double being." The contrast between mind and body can be seen in the dissatisfaction each has with their previous relationships: Constance's lack of intimacy with her husband who is "all mind" and Mellors's choice to live apart from his wife because of her "brutish" sexual nature. These dissatisfactions lead them into a relationship that builds very slowly and is based upon tenderness, physical passion, and mutual respect. As the relationship between Lady Chatterley and Mellors develops, they learn more about the interrelation of the mind and the body; she learns that sex is more than a shameful and disappointing act, and he learns about the spiritual challenges that come from physical love. Besides the evident sexual content of the book, Lady
also presents some views on the British social context Chatterley’s Lover
of the early 20th century. For example, Constance’s social insecurity, arising from being brought up in an upper middle class background, in contrast with Sir Clifford’s social self-assurance, becomes more evident
in 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.The most obvious social contrast in the plot, however, is that of the affair of an aristocratic woman (Connie) with a working class man (Mellors).
There is no doubt that Lawrence was a gifted poet, painter and novelist, although some of his works may be considered pornographic. By writing Lady
D. H. Lawrence intended to criticize the capitalist Chatterley’s lover ,
society, and denounce on destroying the human qualities. Meanwhile, looking for natural and harmonious relationship, he wanted to give publicity to correct sexual concept. And calling for rebirth of human beings and society, he required to change modern people’s living
circumstances. However, some of his paintings in the Warren Gallery in London were seized because they were too obscene. Whether or not Lawrence's fascinations and fixations were too sexual for the general audience, his appeal to the human mind and soul remains unchanged.