Monday, 9 March 2015

Book Review : Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H Lawrence

Author         : D.H Lawrence
Genres         : Romance, Erotic, Classic
Date published : 1928
Edition        : Ebook
Rating         : ♥♥♥♡♡

Lady Chatterley's Lover is about a young married woman Constance 
( Lady Chatterley ). Connie is a Bohemian intellectual. 1917, At the age of 23 she marries the scion of an aristocratic line. Her upper class husband Clifford Chatterley has been paralysed,from the waist down due to a war injury ( World War I ). He is impotent. Due to his physical limitations, his emotional neglect of Constance forces distance between the couple. Clifford writes some really modernist, depressing stories. Modern young men and women come visit and have intellectual conversations. One of these modern young men, Michaelis an Irish man convinces Connie to have sex with him and marry him. 

Connie is getting fed up with an increasingly needy and dependent Clifford so she and her sister, Hilda convince him to hire a nurse, Ivy Bolton. She is incredibly vulgar, but Clifford likes her anyway. His manhood fading into an infantile reliance. This leads her into an affair with Oliver Mellors, the gamekeeper on Clifford's estate, newly returned from serving in the army. Mellors is derisive and aloof and yet Connie feels curiously drawn for him by his natural sensuality, his nobility and his purposeful isolation. The main subject of this novel is the cohesion between the mind and the body.  Eventually, Connie finds herself pregnant. Suprisingly, Clifford has actually told her that he'd be okay with raising another man's child so long as Wragby gets an heir.

Connie goes to Venice with her sister and father with the intention of faking an affair with a more appropriate guy. Gamekeepers are a little fallen or lowered in class. Her sister and father convince her to get a friend of the family to help her file for divorce. At the ranch, Mellor's estranged wife accuses Connie of being his lover. Clifford fires Mellors and Connie heads home, confesses and asks for a divorce. He doesn't care that she had an affair but he is disgusted because she had sex with a servant. For some reason, he refuses to divorce her. Everyone is waiting. Mellors is learning how to farm and waiting for divorce to go through. Connie is waiting for the baby to be born so she can leave Wragby.

Lady Chatterley's Lover was merely one of many banned because of it's threat to public morality. This is the first book i read by D.H Lawrence. I think he is one of those writers you either love or hate. Before Lady Chatterley's Lover, he had earned the reputation of a sexual crusader. His novels caused scandals and had been banned. This book is from a perspective of a woman which is a challenge for any male author. It became a focus of controversy as soon as it was published in Paris in 1929. 

I could see what Lawrence was trying at. Lawrence at one time considered calling the novel Tenderness and that's what Lady Chatterley's lover, Mellors struggle with. He struggles against war, against the hardness of life and he strives so hard to protect the tenderness within. As it turns out this book is not about sex. It concerns the attainment of wholeness through the harmony of sharing. Mellors has been damaged by life and marriage. Lawrence makes sensitive readers understand the importance of tenderness in human relationships.

Connie's husband Clifford is paralysed from an injury at war an impotent. Connie is torn between the old-time conventions which hold her responsible to her husband and her new-born sexual freedom which she finds kindled in Mellors. She is looking to be fulfilled mentally, physically and emotionally. This may have made for a somewhat intresting story. Lawrence was trying to argue that both mind and body must be equally satisfied. Lady Chatterley and her husband didn't have a loving friendship or an otherwise soulful or intellectual connection of some kind. The fact that her husband is paralysed and impotent, their marriage have lacked love and passion.

I had been hoping to read a book about the complexities of what truly defines intimacy and how sudden illness or disability can alter a relationship. But that was definitely not this book.

1. If we can make someone feel good in a genuine way, then that person will never forget you for a very long time, if not forever.

2. We need tenderness, no matter how hard we appear to be on the outside.

3. Look for little positive things about people and let them know. They will feel good about themselves.

4. Sometimes you have to follow your passion, no matter what others say.