Well, I don't see it to "life again," but to a new life. The distinction is important.Personally I usually don't view that as an ideal receipe for a good relationship or a lasting one. They both seem so needy or at least Mabel is. The dunking in the lake and attempted suicide does seem to awaken here to life again.
I'll have to think about "intertia." Their old life does have a mechanical aspect to it, at least Ferguson. Mabel's is more dead than mechanical. Inert implies that they can't get themselves to do something. Mabel does do something.I can therefore see her rebirth as L would have intended it to be. The whole incident shocks her into being less inert -a word we have used often in the Frome discussion. Ah, 'inert' is a good word for aspects in this book as well. Even Fergussen is in a state of 'inertia', being resigned to his professional life.
I think you're thinking in purely realistic terms. This I think is a difference between Hardy and Lawrence. When L uses the word transfiguration (and he specifically used it here in this story), he is saying the character went through a religious experience. This would not be your typical realistic experience. It is not an epiphany. The character is transformed into a new person. You (I'm going to assume) and I (although once perhaps I did come close) have never had such an experience. It is a monumental religious conversion. The Apostles meet Jesus and give up their lives and follow him; Moses sees the Lord God and gives up his life to return to Egypt and lead the Israelites. These are transfigurations. For L, sexual experience (and i don't mean raw, cheap sex, but a loving kind) is a religious matter. That is why he loves Genesis; sex is such an undercurrent and linked to the devine. Mabel will never be the same.There is no great passion or excitement in either of their lives. Hopefully this transfiguration will work out for them, but I feel they have a long way to go to break through their own 'old' selves to achieve it. When we get to the end of the story, I think you will see the tone again changes and doubt sets in - making us wonder if this is a happy or potentially happy ending. Personally I do not think it is.
That is quite right. It does come sudden. She is new, another.In the paragraphs you have quoted, I think Mabel acts very unlike herself in this shock or transfiguration. For a woman so seemingly shy and resigned, I have trouble buying this scene.
I think Lawrence wanted you to see that exactly. She has gone through a "supernatural" experience. She has gone down to death and has risen.This might just be personal, but it seems too sudden to be so aggressive in her actions - what do you think?
Her intuition, perhaps. Her new found enlightenment. She turns out to be correct.Also, she knew that Fergussen was a doctor and so to save her life had to remove her clothes. Yet she acts totally shocked at the gesture or action. I don't understand fully why she thinks this gives her the right now to literally come onto him in this fashion. She seems very clingy to me, and very needy. Also she puzzles me in her persistence in asking him or employing him to love her or say he loves her.
'How does she know? They have both gone down and touched death together and come up. They have touched whatever religion stems from - life, nakedness, death - and so they have to be in love. For Mabel it is a logical conclusion. I think you're lookning at this from a rational mentality, and this for L is definitely not a rational enterprise.You love me,' she murmured, in strange transport, yearning and triumphant and confident. 'You love me. I know you love me, I know.'
Ferguson is probably the last part of this story's discussion. There's probably a lot to respond to above, so let's hold this off for a little, and i'll come back to this.When I first read this story I felt the woman intimidated, scared F to some degree, or amazed him. As with other Lawrence stories, there is a theme of the woman being dominate towards the man (not always a good thing or outcome). This dominance was not an ideal to L. It seems in these passages in the house Mabel has the upper hand and is coercing F to love her or say he does. I feel F is almost under her spell and afraid to answer or act any other way that would oppose M's actions of sudden passion. If he does oppose her, he risks her trying again to end her life, and now he feels a responsibility towards keeping her alive. Doesn't he sacrifice something of himself in this process of being protective towards Mabel?