After having heard a lot about D.H Lawrence and his way of writing, I grabbed the much acclaimed novel ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ from my father’s book shelf. A book originally published in the year 1928, has been talked and criticized, for the blatant way in which it puts across the sentiments of someone, affected much by the so called event that caused a shift in the world – the industrial revolution.
How men are becoming inexorably greedy about ‘money’, fretting about when they do not have enough ‘money’ and the deplorable state they find themselves in when no option is left to earn ‘money’, becomes a key point in and throughout the novel. Though the protagonist is Lady Chatterley or Constance; Clifford, her husband and Mellors- her lover and Cliffords game keeper, do have powerful roles to play in the novel.
Mellors – someone who represents the lower class, having served in the army and having come back to serve the Wragby, shows us the real world through his words, that strive to work for the upper class- capitalists and earn the little that is offered to them. The colliers who slog like the engine of a train, according to Mellors, only live a life devoid of passion and love. They appear to be “cold hearted” and seem to get worked up at the slightest mention of money. He believes men should really live to actually live and not obsess over something as trivial as a material possession like money. Clifford on the other hand is an upper class lord, who owns Tevershall, and is a silent domination over everyone present around him, especially his wife, Constance or Connie. Being half crippled, paralyzed below his knee, he still manages to exercise power over his wife, without having to shout or use strength. However Connie is frustrated of having lived in the Wragby for all these years and feels a kind of upheaval inside her mind which forces her to leave her life with Clifford, which was only a life involving their minds and not their bodies, and find shelter in the cottage and the mind of Mellors who was as well, equally thwarted in the relationship front, considering the recent break up he had had with his wife. After many crests and troughs that the story journeys through, it finally gets to a point where Connie admits of the relationship with the game keeper and exits the Wragby household, leaving Clifford all alone.
The novel however ends on a happy note with Mellors working in a farm, so as to be able to support Connie and their child, which would ensue in a life of blissful togetherness that Mellors and Connie always wished for, away from the materialistic life everyone else led.
Though written in 1928, the plot and the characters hold true, even in this age. It seems like, Lawrence really had foreseen the world of today where people toiled their brows for money, and ended up not having a normal and happy life, instead more money culminated in more misery. Keeping aside the eroticism present in the novel, that many would point out as a fault, I feel it is a must read for everyone, who associates life with money and in turn forgets to live. It could give you a deeper look into what you really are, and how you really live.
Lawrence tries to put forth, how many people engage themselves in the institution called marriage- just for the sake of money, power, fame and so on; but the loss they would have to come up against with in an oppressed marriage like that is far more than just the absence of love and care. It is a life, they would have to put up with, having absolutely no connection at all between the bodies- a loss that cannot be restored, ever. What would follow is a break away like Connie and Mellors, into the illegitimate, to find solace in someone who would really love them, not just intellectually but emotionally and physically as well.
The novel and the fascinating character of Mellors brought the concept of Carpe Diem into my mind which sort of enlightens people to really seize the day, to live each day as it comes and not to agitate themselves over something so trifle as money.