THE QUEST FOR IDENTITY IN THE SHORTER FICTION OF D. H. LAWRENCE (ONTOLOGY, STORIES, HEIDEGGER, CHRONOLOGY, LICHTENSTEIN)
TOLAN, HOMER COOK TRIMPI
Doctor of Philosophy
D. H. Lawrence's short stories have suffered critically in part because no complete examination of them has been achieved. This thesis divides Lawrence's stories into six separate chronological categories and then approaches each group thematically, utilizing a variety of critical tools to explore the stories. The first two groups are weakest, as might be expected, since they precede Lawrence's commitment to writing, his mother's death, and his alliance with Frieda Weekley. After that time period, the remaining four groups of stories are shown more clearly to deal with essential Lawrentian themes that appear in all his works, including fiction, essays, poems and travel books. For Lawrence more than many other writers, death and regeneration is a part of the process forming a viable identity for self, with which one may then attempt viable relationships--interrelatednesses--with others and the cosmos. The stories offer a good proving ground for this thesis, and demonstrate many ways in which characters both succeed and fail in achieving identity. In summary, it must no longer be overlooked that all of Lawrence's short stories are part of the whole fabric from which the Lawrentian cloth is woven; the stories, even in isolation, reflect the changing nature of Lawrence's polemics over the years, as well as changes in the construction elements of his craft. Examined with a view to his other works, the short stories further amplify Lawrence's historical and philosophical place in the twentieth century context.