I avoided D.H. Lawrence for a long time thinking he must be another of those late nineteenth century writers. Then I read Sons and Lovers and boy! was i proved wrong? Absolutely! He is a completely different writer from his generation. He has unusual psychological insight about people.
Women in Love is story about 4 people and their love affairs. Rupert Birkin , Ursula Bragswen , Gudrun Bragswen and Gerald Crich are the people involved. Birkin and Ursula are together while the latter two try to be together. And Rupert and Gerald are together in spirit. This book is a study of notions of contrasting love and happiness. Ursula and Gudrun are as similar and yet very dissimilar to each other. Whole story revolves around these 4 characters and how they evolve with their understanding about life and love. Plot is simple and tragic. The author gives birth to a text with a rich texture and creates settings with a very vivid imagination. 4 characters are really a psychological study in themselves. Mainly as 2 kind of men and women that are to be found or were found in the then society. The novel has mostly a tragic tone in the sense that it ends with a tragedy and also the fact that all the protagonists are spiritually confused and tortured souls who at some point or other are sadistic in their intentions. There is a constant juxtaposition of love and hatred. In fact, the love as a concept in itself is questioned. Nature plays a huge role as the ultimate and the purest thing. Art has been asscoiated with cruelty sometimes.
A wide range of topics and issues have been raised. Right from homosexuality to reality to religion to love and marriage.Sensuality is the key. Love scenes have been described in detail and tastefully. The writing is prolific which sometimes tends to get in a pretty long monologue style and becomes a little boring. Stream of consciousness method has been used as the narrative style.
All in all the book is mind boggling, in all ways. In the sense that it is so prolific that you are boggled, then the content is so complex that one is boggled again. I will have to read it again to grasp many of the ideas.
If you are into psychological insights and studies, this one would be a great read. Conflicts, hatred, love, submission, domination. It is full of things of the mind.
This review would do no justice to the book since it has been written shortly and very weirdly but if there is one thing I can say with certainty is that Lawrence is one of the best writers of all times. His was a brilliant mind. I think he could not write enough about what he felt.