Various Aspects of Man-woman Relationship in the Selected Novels of D. H Lawrence
The Views of Lawrence
D.H Lawrence was born in 1885; is regarded one of the most influential writers of the 20th century; his upbringing was in the tense atmosphere due to the conflict among his parents. His novels were dominant with the theme of relationships in his major novels like Sons &Lovers; his characters are not easy to explain but are always real and have existed. He portrayed his real life experiences through his characters, Lawrence stated on the condition of England, on social issues, and also on relationships. In the novels Sons and Lovers, Women in Love, Lawrence shows different aspects of a relationship. When it comes to intellectual, spiritual and sexual acquaintances, Lawrence makes it clear that all of these elements must be present in order for a relationship to be successful; it’s either all or none. The relationships in human life are most important, which did not bring harmony in Lawrence’s life but was the source of conflict. His novels are ought to be very defective, which also showed his best in his short stories, his novels showed. Normally, his novels showed the complex reality of the world where he was very outspoken about his characters and depicted his own personality through them. The subject matter of his novels was anti materialistic, increasingly vocal about a relationship which brings out the intensity of his novels. From childhood he was part of the difference between his parents, that was why sex conflict was a gigantic part in his novels. His mother’s possessive behavior did not allow him to be in any relationship. He came up with relations with different women but it was confined with doubts about his manhood. He discusses the nature of women, his experiences and knowing himself in his novels. Some feminists insist upon the primacy of biological sex, that is the distinction between female and male, as the explanation for the oppression of women – that the fundamentally different understandings of women and men in breeding the species has been used as the main aim for continuing inequalities between the sexes; on this part, these experiences are converted, due to which women will continue to be subordinate to men. Other feminists focus not upon biological sex but rather upon the ways in which societies are gendered, i.e. male and female, which explains the differences in the life roles on the basis of gender, men and women. Here the focus is on the cultural meanings attached to the rules learned by children of either sex or which society considers appropriate for women and men. This difference between the political significance of sex and gender informs much of the debate among feminists. (Political Ideology: An Introduction)
The concept of love in Kamala Das’s writing connotes the visualization of a man and a woman through which the partners involved and attain the ultimate goal of their being. For the poet, love is often considered on the one hand an end in itself whereas on the other it is treated as a means to attain greater meaning and significance in life.
On the other hand, as it has been put by Nambiar (2000), that Das also has a sensitive soul which cannot remain content unless the truth is vented out. It is very interesting to note that even the poet could not complete higher educational studies; she knows the fundamental quality of a writer and every writing of the poet brings out that one should be honest to one’s own self. The female self of a poet distinctly takes different roles; one is the ultimate self in poet that cries out honestly which automatically turns out to be a collective cry, and this cry is a cry for freedom. Here the quest for freedom is a predominant theme in the female writers like her. With love, warmth and care from the partner makes a difference, in the reality of present mode and modalities of living when such love is denied, the poems of Kamala Das become the story of her selves, itinerary in search of love and life even outside the home. In fact, in her case it is love as an end which maintains the balance. As the genesis of love is our being in the world, Das’s concept of love does not reject the seat of love the body. In this context, Sunanda Chavan has summarized that Das believes love to be fulfillment of soul realized through body that is experience of sex, beyond sex which is elucidated in the poem like ‘unity’. Relationships for Lawrence do not mean a mere mingling together of two individuals. He insists on a union that is committed, one to one, and intense and in a creative partnership that is akin to manage. A true moralist Lawrence finely declares that the union between a man ruled a woman should be permanent and sacred. This union to him should be based on a dynamic relatedness which is pure, free and spontaneous and not based on promiscuous sex and free love which the modern society unknowingly advocate this fundamental relationship and no man can exist completely unless he enters into a dynamic and spontaneous relatedness with a woman and vice versa. His strong convictions regarding this union are primarily based on the achievement of a complete balance between love and individuality, and between the sensual and the spiritual. The Platonic or romantic type of love which extols the spiritual condemning the physical is unrealistic for Lawrence, as he believes in the blending of the two for achieving wholeness. His views on love, sex, and marriage are so interconnected that they form one whole and cannot be considered in isolation. No other writer could have so explicitly presented this concept as Lawrence.
Sons and Lovers
Sons and Lovers were mainly written in an autobiographical style, which was a masterpiece where e Lawrence distinguished the relationships in all forms. The novel was full of intensity where the feeling of love and hatred is shown, the mother and son relationship became a powerful and intense bond, which gave rise to the hatred for the young man in the society. Lawrence blending the feeling of love and hatred with the bitterness and sensitivity, which presents the fine picture of deep sincerity and a malice towards the human psychology. The upbringing of Lawrence played a significant role in making the novelist of future, Lawrence’s environment as a child and as a young man played an important part in the constructing of future novelist. The novel Sons and Lovers portrays the family where the spiritual woman Gertrude Morel married an illiterate miner Walter Morel. His charm, no – intellectual humor and liveliness captivated her. They were very much happy with each other, but the happiness was short lived till the time she discovered that her husband lied her in order to marry her. Mrs. Lawrence cannot forgive about the lies which Mr. Lawrence told her in order to marry her. Her fixated behavior almost tortures him and he comes home often drunk which puts the burden on their budget. Mr. Morel was treated as an outsider in his family; children didn’t have any respect for their father which was flamed by Mrs. Morel. She turns to her children for emotional satisfaction and stability in life. This reveals the saga of false relationships between husband and wife, man and woman as lovers and parents and children.
In the book “The Novel and the Modern world” by Davis Daiches where he argues: ‘Lawrence’s novels are always about basic human relationships, he is never content to present case history of oddities, everything he presents to us is intended to bear directly and centrally on marriage and true friendship in modern society’. (Daiches 1960:162)
D.H Lawrence wanted to help man to overcome his weakness; he wanted to save man to be the victim of tension in the society but desired a man to regain the spirit and the value. The novel “Rainbow’ brought up the conflict between culture and society where the self -realization of individuals which is one of the important factors for the relationship. The Lawrence characters consciously or unconsciously are on a pursuit to connect the various dimensions of their lives in a period of great social upheaval, themes are strongly related to social concerns. The thirst of characters to achieve fulfilling relationships satisfying work and be connected to the life which is often religious. The characters like Anna at times, and Ursula’s lover, Skrebensky, are seen as failing in life because they deny their spiritual dimension. Anna attacks Will’s exaggerated religious sensibility; Ursula soon sees that Skrebensky’s narrow-mindedness leads him to be a puppet of colonialism, though she does not pinpoint it as a religious lack. The central theme of the novel is marriage, where three generations.
Women in Love
Women in Love again portray the relationship between sexes which is one of the major themes. The novel depicts the theme where the structure and development of its characters connect with the theme and expresses the thinking of modern man by explaining the theory of the relationship between man and woman. The several relationships in Women in Love where Lawrence seeks to differentiate between the true conflicts which leave only scars and damage. According to him men and women are so determined towards each other mentally and emotionally that the conflict between them is more than physical.
‘The man has his pure freedom, the woman hers’, he writes in Women in Love.
Yet the author believes that the sexes can live ideally in balanced harmony with each other, neither claiming possession of the other. Tom and Lydia, perhaps most positively Ursula and Birkin, but also Will and Anna show moments of perfected union, though none of these relationships survive without conflict.
The Lady Chatterley’s Lover
The Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Lawrence in this novel is mainly concerned with human relationships, it is a quest for perfect male –female relationship. It defines the various aspects of human relationships man and woman relationship, the relationship of man, God, and nature, the relationship between parent and the child, the relationship between man and environment, the relationship between instinct and intellect between a man and women, the relationship between instinct and intellect. According to him, the most important relationship is between man and woman; he always wanted a balanced relationship. Physical intimacy is completely absent between Connie and her husband. Lady Chatterley’s Lover is, undoubtedly, one of the most famous of Lawrence’s books. One finds Connie’s growing awareness of dissatisfaction with her way of life.
“Connie and Clifford had now been nearly two years at Wragby, living their vague life of absorption in Clifford and his work. They talked and wrestled in the throes of composition and felt as if something were happening, really happening, really in the void. “And thus far it was life: in a void.” (Lawrence: 1928)
It is a simple and perfect affirmation of life according to Lawrentian principles. The main subject of the novel is not just the evident sensual content but it is the search for integrity and wholeness. It focuses on the incoherence of living a life that is ‘all mind’, which Lawrence saw as particularly true among the members the aristocratic classes. 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 Mellor’s choice to live apart from his wife because of her ‘brutish’ sexual nature They are portrayed as two people who communicate on an intellectual level. He is paralyzed and sexually impotent, causing the marriage to be sterile. The theme of passion overlapping classes, modeled on Lawrence’s childhood situation, is found in several of his works.
As early as in his first novel The White Peacock there is the example of Lettie and George, the lady of higher rank feeling drawn to a farmer’s son. Passion and desire do not stop at class barriers, as Mellor’s and Connie show us in Wragby wood. Set between the lifeless Wragby mansion and the squalid mining village, its unspoiled nature is the breeding place of young life and romance. Whereas Clifford is a man of words and abstract relations Oliver Mellor’s is the symbol of sensuousness and the physical, the natural man who is at one with nature and at home in his hut in the woods where he looks after the pheasants and hens. In ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’, the relationship between men and women seems to resemble the relationship between men and machines. Not only do men and women require an appreciating the sexual and sensual in order to relate to each other properly, they require it even to live happily in the world, as being able to maintain human dignity and individuality in the dehumanizing atmosphere created by modern greed. Lawrence’s characters are not always easy to explain. But they always have a real existence. Sexloomed large in the novels of Lawrence in all its biological, psychological and metaphysical relations. He was most modern in his treatment of sex; there was nothing in him of the Victorian prudery and inhibitions. In “The Rainbow” and its sequel the „Women in Love‟, Lawrence dealt with conflicts, and sons-storms of sex, on an almost epic scale. Each one of his novels is remarkable for its free and frank treatment of sex, so much so that his „The Rainbow‟ and „Lady Chatterley’s Lover‟ were prescribed on grounds of obscenity. In Lawrence’s view, the conflict between man and woman arises from the civilized woman’s having become the desperate antagonist of man, drawing from him his greatest possession, his method or his masculinity and feminizing him and bringing him under the control of her will. In “Aaron’s Road”, he makes one of the characters say, speaking of women in general.
Lawrence wanted to redeem mankind through readjustment of relationship, so that he could live to the full. He believed that fundamental relationship is man–woman relationship. It can help mankind in attaining normalcy, he disapproved the traditional celibacy, an essential pre-requisite to redeem oneself from conflict between nature and culture and to establish the living relationship between oneself and living universe.
- Bruce Steele. Study of Thomas Hardy and other essays 1985, Cambridge University Press.Print.
- Baron, Helen; Baron, Carl, eds. (1992) . Sons and Lovers. Cambridge University Press.
- Lawrence, D. H. The White Peacock. Heinemann.1911.Print
- Lawrence, D. H. Sons and Lovers. Gerald Duckworth and Company Ltd.1913.Print.
- Lawrence, D. H. The Rainbow. Modern Library.1915.Print.
- Lawrence, D. H. Women In Love. Thomas Seltzor.1920.Print(Hardcover and Paperback)
- Lawrence, D. H. Lady Chatterley,s Lovers.Tipografia Giuntina.1928.Print
- Carol Dix, D. H. Lawrence and Women, Macmillan.1980.Print
- Richard Beynon, (ed.) D. H. Lawrence: The Rainbow and Women in Love (Cambridge: Icon Books.1997.Print.
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The Views of Lawrence D.H Lawrence was born in 1885; is regarded one of the most influential writers of the 20th century; his upbringing was in the tense atmosphere due […]