Thursday, July 15, 2010

Four-letter words

Current book: Lady Chatterley's Lover
Pages read: 205 - 345

Well, the thing is, nothing actually happened in these 140 pages. I mean, things did, but mostly it was just Connie and the gamekeeper having sex. I'm not even kidding. Oh, also, at one point, Clifford goes out in his motorized wheelchair and gets stuck on a hill, acts like a complete child about it, and Connie ends up despising him. We also find out that Connie's going to Venice very shortly, and Mellors, the gamekeeper, is going to try to get a divorce from his long-estranged wife. Other than that, though, sex.

There's a lot of discussion of the human condition, both sexual and economic. The gamekeeper thinks of sex as something that makes him whole, that makes him a man, and likes women who like sex. He considers Clifford to be unmanly, even inhuman, because of his inability to have sex. I have a difficult time telling what Connie thinks of sex. She likes it, but is also afraid of it sometimes, and disgusted by it other times. I suppose that makes sense, what with her negative experiences with Michaelis, and also simply with the complicated nature of sex in an age that views it as sinful.

The economic parts come in regards to the mining town that's nearby. Connie sees it as dirty and depressing - an example of the ruin mankind trails in its wake in pursuit of money and success. (Lawrence consistently refers to success as "the bitch-goddess," which frankly, I find incredibly misogynistic.) Clifford sees it as an opportunity to make money and as an example of the necessity and ingenuity of creating work. They both see the lower class as something to be taken care of, but also as something repugnant. Connie seems to regard the miners as animals, or even golems of a sort, powered by the coal that they dig from the earth. She even thinks of them having children as horrible and unnatural. I'm not sure if this is Lawrence trying to scold the aristocracy for being classist, or if he's trying to show that man is made animal by grinding industrial labor. A little of both, I expect.

I have no idea what's going to happen. Which is kind of awesome, actually. Also, as a side note, Lawrence has used the words fuck and cunt several times, which I didn't actually think people used in the 20s. Learn something every day here at Deus ex Libris.

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