Necessary Physical Contant In D.H. Lawrence's Women In Love And Plato's Symposium

2665 words - 11 pages

Necessary Physical Contant in D.H. Lawrence's Women in Love and Plato's Symposium

D.H. Lawrence’s novel, Women in Love, presents a complex model of female-male and male-male relationships. Lawrence’s model relies heavily on a similar model presented in Plato’s Symposium. The difference between the two works lies in the mode of realization; that is, how one goes about achieving a ‘perfect’ love relationship with either sex. Lawrence concentrates on corporal fulfillment, characterized in his recurring reference to obtaining a “blood oath,” while Plato concentrates on a mental, or “divine” bond. Lawrence’s concentration on corporal fulfillment of love only superficially differs from Plato’s concentration on the mind: both come to the same philosophy of bodily exchange as being a necessary component of relations with either sex.

As Barry J. Scherr points out in his article on the relationship between Women in Love and the Symposium, “ ‘Excurse’ [chapter 23] has been recognized by critics as a ‘central chapter’ of Women in Love” (210). The reason for this appraisal is that “Excurse” presents both a realization and articulation of Lawrence’s view of female-male relationships through the characters of Birkin and Ursula.

The transmittance, or “Excurse,” comes through bodily exchange: “[Ursula] traced with her hands the line of his loins and thighs … It was a dark flood of electric passion she released from him, drew into herself. She established a rich new circuit … released from the darkest poles of the body and established in perfect circuit” (358). It is through sexual intercourse, or, in the very least, bodily contact, that the connection between Ursula and Birkin is established. Scherr states that “This scene between Ursula and Birkin parallels the transcendental Platonic phenomenon of the nourishing of the soul” (215). This interpretation does not draw a distinct enough line between Plato and Lawrence’s philosophies: whereas the “dark flood of electric passion” may be transcendental, the connection itself, rooted solely within corporal exchange, is not. Lawrence narrates that the “strange fountains” of Birkin’s body are “more mysterious and potent than any she had imagined or known, more satisfying, ah, finally, mystically-physically satisfying” (359). The mysteriousness of this connection is how, “in touch,” the body functions to bring about “the maximum of unspeakable communication … that can never be transmuted into mind content … the mystic body of reality (366). Lawrence is stating that the body functions much like the soul in Plato’s philosophy in that both are “mystic.” Lawrence’s description of bodily exchange being “mystically-physically satisfying” conveys that both the mind and body are inextricably linked: the body is needed to establish a mental connection.

That mental connection is explained when Ursula describes to Hermione that Birkin “wants [her] to accept him non-emotionally,” and, “He wants [her] to...

Find Another Essay On Necessary Physical Contant in D.H. Lawrence's Women in Love and Plato's Symposium

Elements of Relationship in D.H. Lawrence's Works

2115 words - 8 pages After spending a semester experiencing and analyzing the work of D.H. Lawrence, it has become obvious that he had several messages to convey to his audience. Through his characters, Lawrence commented on the condition of England, on social issues, and also on relationships. In his novels Sons and Lovers, Women in Love, and Lady Chatterley's Lover, Lawrence reveals three important aspects of relationships, and shows his audience the devastating

Accounts of Eros in the Plato's "Symposium"

1797 words - 7 pages The word love carries with it many, many different interpretations. In modern day, our views on what is appropriate love is much different from the views from the time of Socrates and Plato. To them love was eros, a direct translation of the word love.However, the word itself wasn't the only thing that was different about love. In Plato's 'Symposium', there is a celebration for Agathon. He had just won a dramatic contest in Athens, Greece two

The Role of Men in D.H. Lawrence's Virgin and the Gypsy

1479 words - 6 pages The Role of Men in D.H. Lawrence's Virgin and the Gypsy The role of the male characters in The Virgin and the Gypsy by D.H. Lawrence can best be summed up by Yvette's reaction to her sister's philosophy of marriage: 'I'm not sure one shouldn't have one's fling till one is twenty-six , and then give in and marry!' This was Lucille's philosophy, learned from older women. Yvette was twenty-one. It meant she had five years to have this

The Psychology of the Serpent in D.H. Lawrence's Snake

1585 words - 6 pages The Psychology of the Serpent in D.H. Lawrence's 'Snake'       Less than 17% of the world's snakes are poisonous and less than half of these are dangerous to man. The risk of death as a result of snakebite is, in fact, lower than the risk of being struck by lightning (Pinney 138). Nonetheless, cross-culturally and throughout the world, the snake is an object of fascination, fear, and respect for humankind. The serpent is a source of

D.H. Lawrence's use of Language in Odour of Chrysanthemums

699 words - 3 pages Write a study of the opening of D.H. Lawrence’s short story Odour of Chrysanthemums. Comment in detail on the way in which Lawrence’s use of language creates a particular atmosphere and raises certain expectations. The opening of ‘Odour of Chrysanthemums’ tells us about the domination of industry over nature. It presents nature at its worst and the dominance of technology, symbolized by the engine. The focus of the story is on the

Aristophanes' Theory of Love in the Symposium

1100 words - 4 pages Aristophanes' Theory of Love in the Symposium 2. Aristophanes' Theory of love: from Plato's Symposium The love as discussed by the characters in the Symposium is homosexual love. Some assumed that homosexuality alone is capable of satisfying “a man’s highest and noblest aspirations”. Whereas heterosexual love is placed at an inferior level, being described as only existing for carnal reasons; its ultimate purpose being procreation

Interpretation of Love in Plato’s Symposium

2199 words - 9 pages The meaning of love is as intricate and unique as the purpose that it serves. It seems that the nature of love is found in the mind, the body and the soul. In Plato’s Symposium each member of the drinking party gives their own interpretation of love. As each speaker engages in their discourse, the concept of love is evaluated from different angles. According to Phaedrus, homoerotic love is the highest form of love and that sacrificing oneself

The Internal Conflict of Relationships in D.H. Lawrence's The Horse Dealer's Daughter

1675 words - 7 pages The Internal Conflict of Relationships in D.H. Lawrence's The Horse Dealer's Daughter Love is one of the most complex and boundless emotions that human kind experiences. There is no set definition as to what it is or how it is felt by all, to each person it is a very intimate and personal evolution of a bit of the soul. It is for that reason that it is not strange to find both Mable Pervin's and Jack Fergusson's identification of love so

Use of Tone to Create Mood in D.H. Lawrence's The Rocking-Horse Winner

1933 words - 8 pages he achieves this by utilizing the eyes of the boy. We can also see Lawrence's ability to create a mood in his description of the feeling of the house. Lawrence creates a mood of coldness in the house. He shows what little love there is between children and parents and also shows us that the love that is present is for another object, money. His vivid language creates a mood of coldness throughout the story and allows us to understand why

The Effects of Greed in D.H. Lawrence's The Rocking Horse Winner

1247 words - 5 pages In the “Rocking Horse Winner”, a story that represents the vicious effects of greed, D.H. Lawrence uses symbolism to develop the idea that life, love and happiness can be stripped away by the compulsive nature of never being satisfied. Lawrence utilizes the following symbols such as Hester’s character, the house and the rocking horse to portray to the readers the costly effects of materialistic behavior. The powerful presence of symbolism is

An essay on D.H Lawrence's Tickets Please. Used in English GCSE

687 words - 3 pages . " She could tell by the movement of his mouth and eyes, when he flirted with her in the morning in the morning, that he had been walking out with this lass, or the other, the night before. A fine cock-of-the-walk he was. She could some him up pretty well." The part where she says she could tell by the movement of his eyes and his lips show that she must have some interest in him because she must have studied his movements; this shows at the very

Similar Essays

Love In Plato's Symposium Essay

1236 words - 5 pages Love is an emotion that most people feel. Whether it is for a child, sibling, relative, it is felt in some way. But what makes love such a strong emotion? In "The Examined Life," Nozick describes four criteria that need to be matched for something to be better. Those four criteria are it has to have value, meaning, importance and weight. Comparing these four criteria with a situation or belief will help you better understand if something is love

Women In Love: The Chair By D.H. Lawrence

1293 words - 5 pages In the twenty-sixth chapter of D.H. Lawrence's Women in Love, much is shown about the relationship between not only Ursula and Birkin, but also between men and women as a whole. The chapter begins with Ursula and Birkin on an outing, shopping for a piece of furniture. While the novel is usually very descriptive when it comes to facial expressions and personal appearances, it does not usually describe in any detail places visited in the novel

Prose Style In D.H. Lawrence's "Sons And Lovers"

1121 words - 4 pages Prose Style in D.H. Lawrence's Sons and Lovers[1]And after such an evening they both were very still, having known the immensity of passion. [2]They felt small, half afraid, childish, and wondering, like Adam and Eve when they lost their innocence and realized the magnificence of the power which drove them out of Paradise and across the great night and the great day of humanity. [3]It was for each of them an initiation and a satisfaction. [4]To

The Oedipus Complex In D.H. Lawrence's Sons And Lovers

2015 words - 8 pages what the Freudian theory suggests. In the academic journal, "The Oedipus Complex Reflected in D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers- A Great Experience for the 8th Graders" by Adina Lucia Bodgrogean, she claims, that Sigmund Freud described the Oedipus complex as something that begins at the age of three-four years old, and if allowed to manifest, develops into a strong attachment of the child to the opposite sex parent while viewing the same sex parent