D. H. Lawrence's political philosophy as expressed in his novels
Tyeryar, Gary Lewis
Master of Arts
As I have indicated in my title, the subject of this thesis is the political philosophy of D. H. Lawrence as expressed in his novels. I had originally intended to present a general, critical analysis of the political philosophy; but as research progressed, it seemed necessary for me to discover exactly what political views Lawrence really held. Therefore, the thesis has become, to a very large extent, a presentation and an organization of the strictly factual material that I have found in Lawrence's novels. In order to be absolutely fair to Lawrence, I have presented this material, as often as possible, in Lawrence's words rather than my own. My concern has been with the facts, rather than with a criticism or an evaluation of the facts. The chief contribution that I have made is in extracting the facts, and organizing them. I have taken the liberty, however, of selecting novels which I consider characteristic of the man. They are: Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow, Women in Love, Aaron's Rod, Kangaroo, The Plumed Serpent, and Lady Chatterley's Lover. Apocalypse and "Reflections on the Death of a Porcupine" are also discussed. The facts have been organized into the following categories: The Genesis of Lawrence's Ideas, Lawrence's Anti-Capitalistic and Anti-Mechanization Views, Lawrence’s Anti-Democratic Leanings and his Attitude Toward War, The Communist and Fascist Questions, and Individual Liberty, Leadership and Power. Throughout his writing, Lawrence often appears guilty of making seemingly inconsistent statements. This is true, in part; because in his mind, Lawrence erroneously equated Industrialism, Capitalism, and Democracy. He felt that all three tended to demoralize men and to destroy individuality through conformity. The result was a mob state, with war as its natural manifestation In his search for a better system, Lawrence demonstrated Communistic and Fascistic tendencies; but it is clear in the novels that he accepted neither system. Some of the life-qualities that Lawrence felt important for the individual to possess are apparent in the powerful, superhuman leaders in the novels. The leader abstains from submitting to the extreme desires of his will. He has, by means of an inner quality which he communicates to his fellow men, the capacity to make men submit to him. Basically, man needs to regain the "electric spark of life" which runs between him and the cosmos.