Sunday, October 30, 2016
Women in love
The novel tells of the relationships of two sisters, Ursula and Gudrun, who live in a Midland colliery town in the years before the First World War. Ursula falls in love with Birkin (a thinly disguised portrait of Lawrence himself) and Gudrun has an intense but tragic affair with Gerald, the son of a local colliery owner. (www.goodreads.com)
The description above is short but to the point.
Women in love is about two sisters who think they know what love is and both strive to perfect its art.
Ursula, the more romantic of the two sisters, has set her sights on Birkin, a rather quaint and seclusive man bend on suffering and searching in vain for an ultimate connection.
He demands a sacrifice of Ursula, the sacrifice of being her own person with her own thoughts and wishes. Instead she needs to be part of him, an extension that will expand his vision instead of a barrier to which his ideas might break and wither away.
Gudrun, who is remote and cold in comparison to Ursula, falls under the thrall of Gerald, a local from a wealthy family. He's a kind of don Juan, willing women to find him attractive.
As they both try to form some kind of bond, both are unwilling to sacrifice anything to build something together.
Gudrun wants to be understood without giving the slightest indications, while Gerald thinks love is about possessing. Both are so sure of their way of the world, that the least change will scare them away.
Both sisters start out the same. Single and with a stubborn attitude towards society and what is expected of them.
By the end of this novel, their lives couldn't have been more different.
All the while Lawrence sets out to point out every little detail of their emotional life. Nothing much happens, but everything is wrought with emotion so even the smallest detail can have the most significance in the end.
I'm glad I've read it. It never felt like an assignment I had to get through.
It felt like a very emotional briefing of two relationships. I didn't always agree with the views of the author but he did realise to create four characters with completely different ideas which isn't easy.
It's a good example of novels of that age, so I would recommend it if you liked other novels from the early 20's.