‘The rectory struck a chill into their hearts as they entered. It seemed ugly, and almost sordid, with that dank air of that middle class, degenerated comfort which has ceased to be comfortable and has turned stuffy, unclean…Roast beef and wet cabbage, cold mutton and mashed potatoes, sour pickles, inexcusable puddings.’
Lawrence’s novella ‘The Virgin and Gypsy’ offers the reader a relentless study of repulsion. We are allied with the consciousness of Yvette, the ‘Virgin’ of the story, and this allegiance is never broken by the third person narrator until the end. Repetition engenders a feeling of claustrophobia and we question the point at which love becomes loathing. Detail undermines the private life of the individual. And we recoil at the intensely realised physicality of repulsion. Yet nothing is more repellent than a ‘furtive’ and dishonest mind in Lawrence. The Noah-like cleansing of the flood at the end of the narrative is a cathartic relief and release for us all – a transcendent orgasm!
Reviewed By: Tusitala
How to analyse a text quickly!
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