Firstly I want to say that ALL the information contained in this paper is extracted from a book called "Lawrence" by Frank Kermode, so there is nothing mine in it. The information has been extracted from “Lawrence” by Frank Kermode 1973. Originally published in English by William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd, under the title “Lawrence”. Published in Spain by Editorial Gedisa Barcelona, Spain. Colección Esquinas, under the title: Frank Kermode, D. H. Lawrence. Biografia Literaria.
This paper is focused on the human relations in Lawrence's "Lady Chatterley's Lover" so I'm going to show you Frank Kermode's opinions about it, ( remember you can consult his book for more information ).
"Lawrence considered "Lady Chatteley's Lover" : "the most inappropiate novel I had wroten" ( C.L.1028 ), but he refused it were pornography ( "it is a declaration of the phallic reality" ).
In this novel, Lawrence wanted to " make an adjustment in relation to the basic phallic realities" ( C.L.1111 ). His attitude was puritanical, he respected the natural impulses but he hated "that pathological condition when mind is absorbed in sex". It is true that Lawrence was possessed by the topic of sex, but in a different way, his possession was like the possession of a doctor that wants to treat ( Earl Webster, N.III.135 ).
He was awared of the problem that his last effort would cause to him "to make the sexual relation were valid and beautiful instead of shameful"
( C.L.972 ).
"Lady Chatterley's Lover" is about the need of a rebirth of the phallic conscience conceived as the only resource for the personal and national regeneration. Constance Chatterley becomes, to some extent, in a representation of England as a sleeping beautiful that only would revive due to the gros baiser of a phallic prince.
There is the sexuality of death ( Chatterley's impotence, the "love" of Michaelis" ) and there's something more, but the word "sex" is insufficient to express it, and that's the reason because of, when Lawrence thought in Mellors, he didn't talk about sex, but the phallus as something beyond the sex.
This novel has features of the puritanism inherited from his mother, and there are evidences of his "thirst" of revenge, he wants to take revenge of his mother, and of all women that have wrecked England; for them Connie would be the sinful woman, for him, Connie is the woman dressed with the sun.
In spite of Chatterley considers sex as an organic process atavico , his impotence is a result of the war. Chatterleys' relationship is an asexual relationship that is not like the positive chastity of Connie and Mellors at the end of the novel; it is no "valid and beatiful" it is only death.
The relationship between Connie and Michaelis is another aspect of the deep degeneration that Lawrence sometimes associated to the race ( Michaelis was Irish ), he represents the fascinating racial corruption of the last days.
On the other hand, when Connie and Mellors make love for the first time, Connie conforms without an orgasm, it is sufficient to be on the point of the recognition in that machanical and frictional world. Later on Lawrence must try to find a prose that could represent a genuine orgasm; and later on, Connie has to pass to the next stage, the stage of a passional knowledge, a conscience of the phallic mistery that includes the reverent fear of the man. Meanwhile, world seems more terrible with its irrelevant
excesses, but Connie goes on with her initiation and "borns woman"
( XII ), she has come back to life but the process has not finished yet.
There is still the last stage, the "necessary sensuality to burn the false shames and to purify the most heavy minerals of the body": the exploration of the phallus of "the most deep hollows of the organic shame" ( XV ).
They have to go beyond the tenderness, in spite of, when experience finishes, Connie begs Mellors not to forget tenderness forever.
Chapter XV contains the most polemic passage of all Lawrence's novels.
For a long time it was ignored that a sodomy act is described. Like in "Women in Love" the highlight sexual act is a sodomy act, conceived as a way to eliminate shame. The invasion of the genital through the excremental, the contamination of the happiness trough the shame, and the life trough the death, it was the strategy to beat the last enemy.
Lawrence fights against the shame inspired in women that has whiten the sexual conscience, that has turn women frivolous and that has castrated men.
This is the most important sexual meeting. For Chatterley, the reputation of Mellors ( it was said that he had practised sodomy with his wife ) was a mere demostration of the " strange avidity of men for unusual sexual postures" ( XVII ); but Lawrence, generally, didn't have the same opinion.
This was a very risky thing, and it is obvious that it was important for Lawrence. For him the imperfection of Chatterley symbolized " the deeply emotinal or passional paralysis of the most of the men of his type now"
( P.II.514 ).
"Lady Chatterley's Lover" has amazing lapses, but it is a great success, not only in itself but in the change that helped to provoke in Lawrence.
Lawrence wrote "Lady Chattreley's Lover" and "A Propos" as contributions to a needed passional revolution, because of that the restoration of the sexual vocabulary, and the purpose to justify it in the panflet "Prnography And Obscenity". For Lawrence, pornography should be censored because it defiles sex, and here, Lawrence uses a theory: " flow of sex and flow of excrement is the same thing for them, this happens when psyque is damaged and the most deep instincts are disintegrated. Then, sex is dirtiness and dirtiness is sex, and the sexual excitement converts a game with dirtiness".( P.I.176 ).
© Verónica Escamilla López
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