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Thread: D.H. Lawrence's Short Stories Thread

  1. #226
    Shinigami wannabe malwethien's Avatar
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    Hi Janine...good analysis...I think the Prussian is quite jealous with the youth, energy, vigor and life of the young orderly...and it could it be that the Prussian is reminded of his own youth and vigor once...and maybe military life has beat it out of him....

    Also, a new thought comes to mind...from reading those passages you highlighted...it seems to me that the Prussian is a kind of parasite...drawing energy and 'life' from the his orderly....that by having him around and being 'irritated' by him...he (the Prussian) in turn feels alive...and young? And parasites usually don't kill their hosts...they just kind of suck the life right out of them.... I don't know...it just occured to me while reading your post.....
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    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Hey, I'm somewhat back. Sorry.

    I think Janine has already indicated the importance of this paragraph:
    Gradually the officer had become aware of his servant's young, vigorous, unconscious presence about him. He could not get away from the sense of the youth's person, while he was in attendance. It was like a warm flame upon the older man's tense, rigid body, that had become almost unliving, fixed. There was something so free and self-contained about him, and something in the young fellow's movement, that made the officer aware of him. And this irritated the Prussian. He did not choose to be touched into life by his servant. He might easily have changed his man, but he did not. He now very rarely looked direct at his orderly, but kept his face averted, as if to avoid seeing him. And yet as the young soldier moved unthinking about the apartment, the elder watched him, and would notice the movement of his strong young shoulders under the blue cloth, the bend of his neck. And it irritated him. To see the soldier's young, brown, shapely peasant's hand grasp the loaf or the wine-bottle sent a flash of hate or of anger through the elder man's blood. It was not that the youth was clumsy: it was rather the blind, instinctive sureness of movement of an unhampered young animal that irritated the officer to such a degree.
    I think it bears closer scrutiny. This is the first place where we are shown a justification for the hostility between the two. So what caused it? Because the orderly is "free and self-contained?" Because of the way he moves? And because of the way his "young, brown, shapely peasant's hand grasp the loaf or the wine-bottle?" All trivial and I think we can now conclude what we have suspected, that the animosity comes from a subconscious source. Notice the diction: "unconscious presence" about the orderly while the orderly's movemements "made the officer aware of him." Awareness is consciousness and if you read that paragraph again you will see that something is irritating the Officer on a subconscious level and pushing its way to his consciousness. But i don't think we ever really know what that subconcious something is exactly, just that the youth's "sureness of movement of an unhampered young animal" that causes the irritation.

    And later we get this paragraph:
    But the influence of the young soldier's being had penetrated through the officer's stiffened discipline, and perturbed the man in him. He, however, was a gentleman, with long, fine hands and cultivated movements, and was not going to allow such a thing as the stirring of his innate self. He was a man of passionate temper, who had always kept himself suppressed. Occasionally there had been a duel, an outburst before the soldiers. He knew himself to be always on the point of breaking out. But he kept himself hard to the idea of the Service. Whereas the young soldier seemed to live out his warm, full nature, to give it off in his very movements, which had a certain zest, such as wild animals have in free movement. And this irritated the officer more and more.
    So we see that the very differences of their natures compell them to repell: the "suppressed," "hard" " gentleman Officer contrasted against the "free," "warm," "wild" Orderly. Is it just that their psychic natures are incongruous, incompatible, and irritate each other? I think that is one component to this.
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  3. #228
    Our wee Olympic swimmer Janine's Avatar
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    Wow, two replies! I will answer both of your posts tomorrow. I like the ideas in both. I am too tired now, but be patient; I will think clearer tomorrow. J
    "It's so mysterious, the land of tears."

    Chapter 7, The Little Prince ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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    Our wee Olympic swimmer Janine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by malwethien View Post
    Hi Janine...good analysis...I think the Prussian is quite jealous with the youth, energy, vigor and life of the young orderly...and it could it be that the Prussian is reminded of his own youth and vigor once...and maybe military life has beat it out of him....

    Also, a new thought comes to mind...from reading those passages you highlighted...it seems to me that the Prussian is a kind of parasite...drawing energy and 'life' from the his orderly....that by having him around and being 'irritated' by him...he (the Prussian) in turn feels alive...and young? And parasites usually don't kill their hosts...they just kind of suck the life right out of them.... I don't know...it just occured to me while reading your post.....
    malwethien, I quite agree with the jealously element in the story. I think the officer is definitely feeling envy or jealousy for the qualities the youth possesses, that maybe at one time he did possess as you suggested. And if he never did perhaps he wanted to be as the orderly is and never was and this also could make him bitter and resentful. I think he especially envies the youth's freedom of movement or ease in bearing when he first observes him. The youth can let go and be himself when off on his own and the officer cannot. He is trapped inside his own regimented life and personality.
    It is ironic but because of his behavior (officer's) he has now depleted that relaxed feeling about the orderly by putting him on-edge in his presense. In some ways he is parasitic in that he slowly (and as Virgil pointed out - much of this is pychological and subconsious) put the two men in an uncomfortable situation of dominent and passive roles and he is slowly dominating the orderly, in this way drawing out the youth's energy and vigor, he once admired or at least was drawn to subconsicously.
    A had a difficult boss once who did this sort of thing and it was subtle about it. He would just walk into our room and the atmosphere would change drastically - freeze up and become difficult to function freely/creatively in as our daily workplace. In some ways I can relate to this type of subtle bullying. He too was deficient in emotional ways and resented everyone else. I think the officer is resentful of the youth and so he beats up on him both mentally and physically. Abusers are 'parasites', if you care to see them that way. You are right - they get their kicks lording power over another and they don't kill them quickly but slowly...killing their will and spirit first.
    "It's so mysterious, the land of tears."

    Chapter 7, The Little Prince ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  5. #230
    Our wee Olympic swimmer Janine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    Hey, I'm somewhat back. Sorry.

    I think Janine has already indicated the importance of this paragraph:

    Gradually the officer had become aware of his servant's young, vigorous, unconscious presence about him. He could not get away from the sense of the youth's person, while he was in attendance. It was like a warm flame upon the older man's tense, rigid body, that had become almost unliving, fixed. There was something so free and self-contained about him, and something in the young fellow's movement, that made the officer aware of him. And this irritated the Prussian. He did not choose to be touched into life by his servant. He might easily have changed his man, but he did not. He now very rarely looked direct at his orderly, but kept his face averted, as if to avoid seeing him. And yet as the young soldier moved unthinking about the apartment, the elder watched him, and would notice the movement of his strong young shoulders under the blue cloth, the bend of his neck. And it irritated him. To see the soldier's young, brown, shapely peasant's hand grasp the loaf or the wine-bottle sent a flash of hate or of anger through the elder man's blood. It was not that the youth was clumsy: it was rather the blind, instinctive sureness of movement of an unhampered young animal that irritated the officer to such a degree.
    I think it bears closer scrutiny. This is the first place where we are shown a justification for the hostility between the two. So what caused it? Because the orderly is "free and self-contained?" Because of the way he moves? And because of the way his "young, brown, shapely peasant's hand grasp the loaf or the wine-bottle?" All trivial and I think we can now conclude what we have suspected, that the animosity comes from a subconscious source.
    Virgil, I don't think those phrases are trivial at all. I think they are key phrases indicating just how much the officer inwardly (perhaps subconsciously) is attracted to or admires the orderly. I do think much of the feelings going on is subconscious on both parts but I think they can be analysised to some degree - all of course open to individual interpretation of what exactly is going on between the two men. The officer could be fighting a physical attraction with the youth or to the youth. This is even evident in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice were Antonio possesses a deep love for the youth, Bassanio and when Bassanio needs his help to woe Portia, Antonio does all in his power, even risking his own life, for Bassanio's success and happiness in love. Now some might interpret this love of Antonio's for the other Bassanio, as a homosexual love; others may say it is unconditional love for one man to another, more likely the second. As in Antonio's case Bassanio possessed the youth and vigor that Antonio no longer has. This is a major theme in the play. Now in this Lawrence story things could have been as with Antonio and Bassanio, but that the one man is commanding and controlling and not befriending the youth. What the officers motives are are not completely evident, but we know that his personality from the first is a demanding and controlling one, nothing like the kind Antonio. Lawrence choses the reverse - a story of conflict between the older/younger youth and then asks why does the story take this fatal direction?

    Notice the diction: "unconscious presence" about the orderly while the orderly's movemements "made the officer aware of him." Awareness is consciousness and if you read that paragraph again you will see that something is irritating the Officer on a subconscious level and pushing its way to his consciousness. But i don't think we ever really know what that subconcious something is exactly, just that the youth's "sureness of movement of an unhampered young animal" that causes the irritation.
    Yes, definitely L actually uses the word 'unconscious' to plant that idea in our minds. L was a great observer of this sort of thing between people - the subconsious and the pyschological, even in subtlities and in quiet nuanced expressions between them. In "Twilight in Italy" he is often sitting on the train, observing the other people and stating his own impressions and notions about their family structures and interaction with each other - all from his quiet observation point. Lawrence was extremely sensitive and intuitive in this way. He had this sense finely tuned. He could feel what they were feeling and sense, more than most people could, in just one glance. He was truly amazing as an observer.

    Wouldn't this "sureness of movement of an unhampered young animal" of the youth play into L's 'blood' philosophy? You could probably better describe this idea to us. He described his father as being more of the "blood" in that his father in his youth was handsome and danced gracefully and did attract women with his sureness and ease of being...more animalistic. Whereas, L's own mother was more controlling and intellectual. He pitted these two opposities in the categories of the "blood" and the "intellect". I read it in several of my books, but now I don't know if I can locate the exact quotes.

    And later we get this paragraph:

    But the influence of the young soldier's being had penetrated through the officer's stiffened discipline, and perturbed the man in him. He, however, was a gentleman, with long, fine hands and cultivated movements, and was not going to allow such a thing as the stirring of his innate self. He was a man of passionate temper, who had always kept himself suppressed. Occasionally there had been a duel, an outburst before the soldiers. He knew himself to be always on the point of breaking out. But he kept himself hard to the idea of the Service. Whereas the young soldier seemed to live out his warm, full nature, to give it off in his very movements, which had a certain zest, such as wild animals have in free movement. And this irritated the officer more and more.
    So we see that the very differences of their natures compell them to repell: the "suppressed," "hard" " gentleman Officer contrasted against the "free," "warm," "wild" Orderly. Is it just that their psychic natures are incongruous, incompatible, and irritate each other? I think that is one component to this.
    Yes, definitely - a huge component of it. At least on the side of the officer. He cannot let his guard down for a minute or relax one bit. The only way he has ever done this is by violence with 'a dual' or by 'outburst before the soldiers'. He does not know how to let his guard down or relax in a normal way or a non-violent way. He cannot relate to a peaceful or kind way. Therefore "the influence of the young soldier's being had penetrated through the officer's stiffened discipline, and perturbed the man in him". Note the word "perturbed." So the officer has been emotionally affected by the youth but will not acknowledge that he has similiar feelings. Therefore he is repelled by his own feelings and nothing the youth did consciously; then he becomes brutal - the enemy is 'himself', not the youth. The enemy is his dealing with his own feeling in dealing with himself and not the feelings or attitude of the youth. The youth is not a real person to him, but a symbol of these feelings he will not give in to. It is like a man being frustrated at work and then coming home and taking it out on his wife, or the poor dog. So the frustration of the officer is more about his inability to accept his own deepest feelings. This sets up the following scenes of abuse. It is like he is beating away at his own feelings (which confuse and frustrate him), when he finally kicks the youth. You are right in that this is all subconsious. He does not realise what he does, consciously.
    Last edited by Janine; 05-09-2007 at 05:25 PM.
    "It's so mysterious, the land of tears."

    Chapter 7, The Little Prince ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  6. #231
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janine View Post
    Wouldn't this "sureness of movement of an unhampered young animal" of the youth play into L's 'blood' philosophy?
    I don't know if it fits exactly with Lawrence's blood consciousness philosophy, but there may be something to it. That letter was written a year or two later. Here, I'll repost Lawrence's famous letter where he explains it.
    From 8 December 1915 letter to Bertrand Russell,
    page 470 of The Letters of D.H. Lawrence: June 1913-October 1916.

    I have been reading Frazer’s Golden Bough and Totemism and Exogamy. Now I am convinced of what I believed when I was about twenty—that there is another seat of consciousness than the brain and nerve system: there is a blood-consciousness which exists in us independently of the ordinary mental consciousness, which depends on the eye as its source or connector. There is the blood-consciousness, with the sexual connection, holding the same relation as the eye, in seeing, holds to the mental consciousness. One lives, knows, and has one’s being in the blood, without any reference to nerves and brain. This is one half of life, belonging to the darkness. And the tragedy of this our life, and of your life, is that the mental and nerve consciousness exerts a tyranny over the blood-consciousness, and that your will has gone completely over to the mental consciousness, and is engaged in the destruction of your blood-being or blood-consciousness, the final liberating of the one, which is only death in result. Plato was the same. Now it is necessary for us to realise that there is this other great half of our life active in the darkness, the blood-relationship: that when I see, there is a connection between my mental-consciousness and an outside body, forming a precept; but at the same time, there is a transmission through the darkness which is never absent from the light, into my blood-consciousness: but in seeing, the blood-percept is not strong. On the other hand, when I take a woman, then the blood-percept is supreme, my blood-knowing is overwhelming. There is a transmission, I don’t know of what, between her blood and mine, in the act of connection. So that afterwards, even if she goes away, the blood-consciousness persists between us, when the mental consciousness is suspended; and I am formed then by my blood-consciousness, not by my mind or nerves at all.
    The orderly is certainly closer to living by blood-consciousness while the Officer is definitely associated with mental-consciousness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Janine View Post
    Yes, definitely - a huge component of it. At least on the side of the officer. He cannot let his guard down for a minute or relax one bit. The only way he has ever done this is by violence with 'a dual' or by 'outburst before the soldiers'. He does not know how to let his guard down or relax in a normal way or a non-violent way. He cannot relate to a peaceful or kind way. Therefore "the influence of the young soldier's being had penetrated through the officer's stiffened discipline, and perturbed the man in him". Note the word "perturbed." So the officer has been emotionally affected by the youth but will not acknowledge that he has similiar feelings. Therefore he is repelled by his own feelings and nothing the youth did consciously; then he becomes brutal - the enemy is 'himself', not the youth. The enemy is his dealing with his own feeling in dealing with himself and not the feelings or attitude of the youth. The youth is not a real person to him, but a symbol of these feelings he will not give in to. It is like a man being frustrated at work and then coming home and taking it out on his wife, or the poor dog. So the frustration of the officer is more about his inability to accept his own deepest feelings. This sets up the following scenes of abuse. It is like he is beating away at his own feelings (which confuse and frustrate him), when he finally kicks the youth. You are right in that this is all subconsious. He does not realise what he does, consciously.
    Very well said. I think that summarizes it perfectly.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    Books are embalmed minds.

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  7. #232
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janine View Post
    Virgil, I don't think those phrases are trivial at all. I think they are key phrases indicating just how much the officer inwardly (perhaps subconsciously) is attracted to or admires the orderly. I do think much of the feelings going on is subconscious on both parts but I think they can be analysised to some degree - all of course open to individual interpretation of what exactly is going on between the two men. The officer could be fighting a physical attraction with the youth or to the youth.
    OK, let's get to the sexual theme. Certainly when one thinks of subconscious one must consider sexual tension. [First let me say and I have said this in many places on the forum that I don't believe in any of this subconscious stuff in real life. It's a bunch of crap, but lawrence believes it and here we are discussing how he uses it. ] Here are three places in the story where sexuality is suggested. They are not the only places, but I think representative of how Lawrence does it as a writer.

    First:
    The Captain was a tall man of about forty, grey at the temples. He had a handsome, finely knit figure, and was one of the best horsemen in the West. His orderly, having to rub him down, admired the amazing riding-muscles of his loins.
    Second:
    Now and then he [the Officer] took himself a mistress. But after such an event, he returned to duty with his brow still more tense, his eyes still more hostile and irritable. With the men, however, he was merely impersonal, though a devil when roused; so that, on the whole, they feared him, but had no great aversion from him. They accepted him as the inevitable.
    Third:
    Gradually the officer had become aware of his servant's young, vigorous, unconscious presence about him. He could not get away from the sense of the youth's person, while he was in attendance. It was like a warm flame upon the older man's tense, rigid body, that had become almost unliving, fixed. There was something so free and self-contained about him, and something in the young fellow's movement, that made the officer aware of him. And this irritated the Prussian. He did not choose to be touched into life by his servant. He might easily have changed his man, but he did not. He now very rarely looked direct at his orderly, but kept his face averted, as if to avoid seeing him. And yet as the young soldier moved unthinking about the apartment, the elder watched him, and would notice the movement of his strong young shoulders under the blue cloth, the bend of his neck. And it irritated him.
    The first quote is the obvious, the listing of body parts, here the loins. Elsewhere he lists shoulders and hands and eyes and others. Notice however it is not an overt linking of body part to a sexual attraction. L does not say "he was attracted to his shoulders" or "he found his shoulders attractive." He allows the reader to think that the shoulders or whatever are working inside the character's subconscious mind.

    The second quote, as I think Janine has already said, the sexual expression that the Officer experiences is linked to tension, frustration, irritation, and then associated with his "devil" roused anger. It's as if there is a sort of sexual perversion going on inside the Officer's mind that he is not aware of that gets expressed. I think psychologists call it sublimation.

    The third quote has elements of the first two with the addition the sexual tension coming into the Officer's conscousness: "It was like a warm flame upon the older man's tense, rigid body, that had become almost unliving, fixed." And further down: "He did not choose to be touched into life by his servant." Touching, warm flame, these are Lawrence's diction for sexual exhilaration. And again it leads to irritation and anger. Sex for the officer leads to violence and anger.

    Now here's a question: Is the dynamic of what's going on subconsciously between the Officer and the Orderly actually sexual (and that would make it homosexual) or is Lawrence saying that what goes on is similar to sex and he is using it as a metaphor?
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    Books are embalmed minds.

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  8. #233
    Our wee Olympic swimmer Janine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    I don't know if it fits exactly with Lawrence's blood consciousness philosophy, but there may be something to it. That letter was written a year or two later. Here, I'll repost Lawrence's famous letter where he explains it.

    The orderly is certainly closer to living by blood-consciousness while the Officer is definitely associated with mental-consciousness.


    Very well said. I think that summarizes it perfectly.
    Hi, I am actually at home now but the computer is not really running right - it is a wonder I am on here now. It is still so slow and touchy. I read your posts early. This one is good. I recall reading this letter before about the blood-consciousness and so it was not unfamiliar to me. It is good that you posted it for others to read. Was this letter in your thesis? I must read your thesis again soon. Yes, I precisely thought that the orderly represented the blood-consciousness and the Officer the mental-consciousness - letting the mental get in the way of his true feelings or blood-consciousness, let me add this to what you said.
    "It's so mysterious, the land of tears."

    Chapter 7, The Little Prince ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  9. #234
    Our wee Olympic swimmer Janine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    OK, let's get to the sexual theme. Certainly when one thinks of subconscious one must consider sexual tension. [First let me say and I have said this in many places on the forum that I don't believe in any of this subconscious stuff in real life. It's a bunch of crap, but lawrence believes it and here we are discussing how he uses it. ] Here are three places in the story where sexuality is suggested. They are not the only places, but I think representative of how Lawrence does it as a writer.

    First:

    Second:

    Third:

    The first quote is the obvious, the listing of body parts, here the loins. Elsewhere he lists shoulders and hands and eyes and others. Notice however it is not an overt linking of body part to a sexual attraction. L does not say "he was attracted to his shoulders" or "he found his shoulders attractive." He allows the reader to think that the shoulders or whatever are working inside the character's subconscious mind.

    The second quote, as I think Janine has already said, the sexual expression that the Officer experiences is linked to tension, frustration, irritation, and then associated with his "devil" roused anger. It's as if there is a sort of sexual perversion going on inside the Officer's mind that he is not aware of that gets expressed. I think psychologists call it sublimation.

    The third quote has elements of the first two with the addition the sexual tension coming into the Officer's conscousness: "It was like a warm flame upon the older man's tense, rigid body, that had become almost unliving, fixed." And further down: "He did not choose to be touched into life by his servant." Touching, warm flame, these are Lawrence's diction for sexual exhilaration. And again it leads to irritation and anger. Sex for the officer leads to violence and anger.

    Now here's a question: Is the dynamic of what's going on subconsciously between the Officer and the Orderly actually sexual (and that would make it homosexual) or is Lawrence saying that what goes on is similar to sex and he is using it as a metaphor?
    Manny, I forgot to thank you for your compliment "Very well said. I think that summarizes it perfectly." I worked hard to express that, so thanks.
    Everything you wrote here is good. I like the way you have again picked out 'key words' that mean so much like 'touching', 'warm flame', etc. I did not relist the quotes so anyone reading this will have to refer back to your original post. Now it is my turn to say you expressed all of this very well.

    To your last line and question I think many people probably have asked that question about many of Lawrence's writings - the homeosexual possibility or the mere metaphor? It has probably been debated over and over again without a definitive answer. I know it will always remain enigmatic to me. Some people feel that in various books, when Lawrence talked about a equal relationship with a man as well as a woman, he was referring to it in a sexual way, others will say it was most definitely non-sexual. If the man were alive today we might ask him, but for that we have to go to Asa's "Bring Them Back from the Dead" thread... I don't think we will ever know. Some biographers even cite examples of L having had homosexual encounters, of course they enjoy being scandalise for the time. It is something we will never actually know about Lawrence. His writings oft times do point in that direction.
    Last edited by Janine; 05-10-2007 at 10:48 PM.
    "It's so mysterious, the land of tears."

    Chapter 7, The Little Prince ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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    Our wee Olympic swimmer Janine's Avatar
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    Hi all, I am back in the same boat with this 'touchy computer'. I might be on here and I might not be able to assess online stuff at all. I have to play it by ear.
    So Virgil, if you want go onward with the story - maybe post the next paragraphs to discuss. I will definitely be on to answer on Monday - if not on this computer, but on the library's. For now they are closed the whole weekend So just post and continue without me. I will catch up, unless I can get back online tomorrow. For now maybe I will take a little computer break anyway. J
    Last edited by Janine; 05-11-2007 at 11:16 PM.
    "It's so mysterious, the land of tears."

    Chapter 7, The Little Prince ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  11. #236
    Hello everybody, my name is Carlos and I started to learn about english literature, my language of origin is spanish and I am in a hurry trying to finish an essay about a Lawrence essay "The Horse Dealer's Daughter" if somebody can give a hand with some words about it I will be thankfull for the rest of my life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlitos View Post
    Hello everybody, my name is Carlos and I started to learn about english literature, my language of origin is spanish and I am in a hurry trying to finish an essay about a Lawrence essay "The Horse Dealer's Daughter" if somebody can give a hand with some words about it I will be thankfull for the rest of my life.
    Hi Carlos, we discussed the "Horse-Dealer's Daughter" - last, before we started this story's discussion. We really went into depth studying it. If you go back to the beginning of that discussion - many posts back - I am sure there is enough there to give you great ideas on the story. We took it nearly paragraph by paragraph, and analysised it in much detail. The actual beginning is in post #25 which I believe it the second page of this thread. It goes on from there for a number of pages. Mainly Virgil and I discussing that story.
    Last edited by Janine; 05-11-2007 at 11:27 PM.
    "It's so mysterious, the land of tears."

    Chapter 7, The Little Prince ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janine View Post
    To your last line and question I think many people probably have asked that question about many of Lawrence's writings - the homeosexual possibility or the mere metaphor? It has probably been debated over and over again without a definitive answer. I know it will always remain enigmatic to me. Some people feel that in various books, when Lawrence talked about a equal relationship with a man as well as a woman, he was referring to it in a sexual way, others will say it was most definitely non-sexual.
    Well, if you listen to some of these critics you would think that every writer is partly homosexual.

    However, Lwarence does seem to bring men together in a bond with homosexual overtones in several works. I too don't know what exactly he is trying to say with it. I can say that it is not equal in any respect, and if one looks at this story it is characterized as perverse. In no work of L that I'm aware does homosexuality actually reach a fulfilling experience.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

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    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

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    Another point I wish to make about Part I is the loss of control that has come about because of the psychic conflict, at least in the Officer.

    In spite of himself, the Captain could not regain his neutrality of feeling towards his orderly. Nor could he leave the man alone. In spite of himself, he watched him, gave him sharp orders, tried to take up as much of his time as possible. Sometimes he flew into a rage with the young soldier, and bullied him. Then the orderly shut himself off, as it were out of earshot, and waited, with sullen, flushed face, for the end of the noise. The words never pierced to his intelligence, he made himself, protectively, impervious to the feelings of his master.
    What we see is that the subconscious is dictating control over person, in opposition to what the consciousness wants.

    Here again:
    He [the Orderly] had a scar on his left thumb, a deep seam going across the knuckle. The officer had long suffered from it, and wanted to do something to it. Still it was there, ugly and brutal on the young, brown hand. At last the Captain's reserve gave way. One day, as the orderly was smoothing out the tablecloth, the officer pinned down his thumb with a pencil, asking:

    "How did you come by that?"

    The young man winced and drew back at attention.

    "A wood axe, Herr Hauptmann," he answered.

    The officer waited for further explanation. None came. The orderly went about his duties. The elder man was sullenly angry. His servant avoided him. And the next day he had to use all his will-power to avoid seeing the scarred thumb. He wanted to get hold of it and--a hot flame ran in his blood.
    The Captain can't hold back from asking, and even the Orderly can't come out and give a straight answer. And we see here that the rage the Captain feels is starting to become violence. The subconscious desires are beginning to become expressed.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    Books are embalmed minds.

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  15. #240
    Our wee Olympic swimmer Janine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    Well, if you listen to some of these critics you would think that every writer is partly homosexual.

    However, Lwarence does seem to bring men together in a bond with homosexual overtones in several works. I too don't know what exactly he is trying to say with it. I can say that it is not equal in any respect, and if one looks at this story it is characterized as perverse. In no work of L that I'm aware does homosexuality actually reach a fulfilling experience.
    Virgil,
    I know this is true of critics/biographers; they just love to cite examples of possible homeosexual contacts for Lawrence, like the one in Cornwall; I believe it Cornwall, somewhere in the far west of England. There was a young man he befriended on a neighboring farm whom he greatly admired physically. He is much like L's other characters in "White Peacock" and S&L, who were fashioned after the brother of Jessie. Because L admired the man's body he was automatically suspected as being a homosexual. No one knows for sure what he really did in his personal life, nor it it anyone's real business, as is the same with other writers.
    But in L's work particularly the sense of homosexual elements often surface and behavior is definitely evident, although never full-blown. I could cite some passages from WIL, but don't want to ruin that book for you in the future. Just to say that Birkin and Gerald had a very close relationship and I think Birkin's attitudes reflex Lawrence's blood-consciousness, etc.
    There are several stories where things turn perverse and are tied in with sexual tension. I am thinking of "St. Mawr", and some of the commentary I have read during my studies of L and of his biographies. It seems that in St. Mawr a woman rides off and is raped or something violent. I cannot recall the book since I read it ages ago; so if you know more or if I am thinking of the wrong story please let me know.
    Your said "In no work of L that I'm aware does homosexuality actually reach a fulfilling experience". Exactly, interesting to note that, isn't it?
    Last edited by Janine; 05-12-2007 at 10:11 PM.
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