"Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. The cataclysm has happened, we are among the ruins, we start to build up new little habitats, to have new little hopes. It is rather hard work. There is now no smooth road into the future: but we go round, or scramble over the obstacles. We've got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen."
Welcome to post 1 of 2 for the readalong of Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence hosted here at A Literary Odyssey. This is a title I have been anxious to read, after hearing so many interesting reactions to the scandalous story.
Before continuing on, I want to apologize for this post being up late. I am recovering from being sick and well, I slept most of the day. :) Sometimes, you just need your sleep.
Anyway, onward to the book discussion!
Like I said, I was excited and anxious to dive into this title. I have only had on previous experience with Lawrence, and that was with Sons and Lovers. While I enjoyed Lawrence's writing style, I really couldn't stand the story. I read it last winter and it took me quite some time to get through it.
This title, on the other hand, seems to be more famous than the other, and much more scandalous. When it was first released, there was a lot of outcry against the blatant sexual nature. Copies were confiscated and destroyed. When it was finally released and protected, it shocked many readers.
Obviously, going into reading this one, I was looking forward to seeing what about this title was so controversial and comparing it to some of the things that we might consider scandalous today.
Again, I was drawn into the beauty of Lawrence's writing. I find his style easy to read and comforting. He doesn't cover up his meaning with a lot of bells and whistles, if you know what I mean. But from the beginning, the novel explodes around the concept of sexual relationships between men and women. Lawrence certainly points out the differences in how men and women view sex, and its impact on the relationship.
Connie, our main character, is married to Clifford. When they first married, he was home on leave from the war, but when he went back, he was injured and has lost all feeling from the waist down. Obviously they have to have a different, less physical, relationship as man and wife. But here is where we can see that the two are clearly friends. Connie takes care of her husband, and she seems willing to do anything to make him happy.
She gradually begins to wilt from lack of a physical connection. Her husband even has a conversation with her, urging her to find a man so she may have a child. So she begins to wander and eventually begins to find the sexual, physical relationship she seems to need. The novel is more about relationships than sex, but sex is still a major part of that. You can see that Lawrence is showing that sex, love, and a healthy relationship seem to go hand in hand. I won't argue either way, because honestly, I don't want to go there.
I will say I was surprised at how often sex was brought up in the novel between characters. It reminded me of being in high school and overhearing teenage boys-know what I mean? That silly fascination with a scandalous and outlawed act? But it is talked about, and sometimes in terms that made me squirm. I will say that it wasn't graphic or overdone. I have read worse, and I am sure you have too. But it is CLEAR why the novel has been controversial since the time it was written. The characters have sex. It is talked about. There are controversial words to describe the act. Going into this, know that.
In any case, I am enjoying it. I like the play between the aspects of relationships and what is necessary to have happiness. I hope that those of you who are joining in are seeing those same things. :)
If you are participating in the readalong, please comment below with a link to your post so I can link it here. I will see you back here at the end of the month for the second post!
Lit Addicted Brit
Hi Allie, here is my post for Lady Chatterley's Lover:ReplyDelete
Hey there! Here's my post for the first half. Thanks for hosting the readalong!ReplyDelete
Glad you're enjoying it! It's his writing that bothers me, I believe, though it's been a long time since I read this one. I need to give him another chance, probably (ironically) with Sons & Lovers.ReplyDelete
I really need to read this!ReplyDelete
Woohoo, my first post for my first readalong! Thanks for hosting this!ReplyDelete
I totally agree with your point about the sex not being overly graphic - I think that it always seems to fit the characters and the plot. I can, however, see why 1920-30s England got it's knickers in a twist, so to speak!ReplyDelete
I'm looking forward to the second half!
Some of the scenes did have that 'high school boy' feel to them, didn't they? It is a thought provoking read though and a lot of the issues they discuss concerning sex and relationships are issues we have today. The simple and contemporary language will make this a classic that will withstand the test of time.ReplyDelete
Great post and I hope you are starting to feel better!