When I first started to read "Lady Chatterley's Lover" I was reminded of Flaubert's classic tale of the unsatisfied Madame Bovary, as both novels seemed to examine the women's hungry need for something more than the provincial and trivial rituals their marriages provided them with. However the novels differ greatly on the particular life demands. Where Flaubert's Emma has an undefinable lust for life, Lawrence's Connie suffers from a specific lack of sexual intimacy.
Lawrence's point therefore seems to be, that sexual drive is an essential part of life and an important part of the human identity. Along the lines of Freudian tradition, Lawrence's characters simply fade away without their libido.
This is in fact crucial to the novel as all of the three main characters, Connie, Clifford and Oliver Mellors, try to do without sex, and therefore deny themselves a huge part of life.
"Lady Chatterley's Lover" is a beautiful celebration of sex and love in a time where every woman was regarded as a sexless creature, and the bare mentioning of sex was considered an outrage.
So, what could possibly be wrong with it? Why did I choose to give it just one lonely star?
First of all, Lawrence's sentiment that women with "too much will" only can be considered lesbians or invalids is scandalous, and destroys his entire point. If he really was trying to celebrate sexuality, then why on earth would he start handing out offensive remarks such as that? It demonstrates the very same ugly prejudice he is trying so hard to fight.
Secondly, the sex scenes are flat and boring. And so are the characters; Connie has not even a hint of a personality. She simply just exists.
Thirdly, the whole an-affair-with-a-gardener cliché. Please.
And lastly - there is no need to use 'forbidden words' if there's no point with it. Lawrence seems to wish to provoke simply because he can
, not because there is any meaning behind it.
Of course there are moments of literary magnificence, and Lawrence's nature descriptions are completely lyrical. And the message Lawrence is trying to convey is really an admirable one; it just falls to the ground and leaves a big, massive hole instead.