Reading the story again after looking at KMansfield’s study in marital horror – ‘A Married Man’s Story.’ Fascinating to notice the similar preoccupation with airlessness and the outside. DHlawrence renders his heroine trapped in a world of stagnant domestic interiors. A world where words are repetitive and silencing.
And the gypsy works as an ideal. He is the emobodiment of mobility and freedom. Surely the experience of TB made DHL aware of his adult destiny as social pariah and outcast? He travelled extensively in search of better ‘air’ better health. The ‘loose limbed’ gypsy is the nemesis of Granny and all that the Vicarage represents. Stasis versus transience and freedom. he rescuse the Virgin from a world of oppression and disease.He ‘cures’ Yvette and heals her tortured soul. An avenging Archangel
DHL wrote this when he was very ill. He was all too aware of his escalating ill health. In fact he weighed 6 stone when he died. Hardly surprsing then that he yearned for physical well being and sexual vitality. The heroic gypsy with his resourceful energy and physical beauty perhaps embodies all that the terminal DHL might have wished for himself: a land as far away as good health.
In this way the flood is easily read as rebirth in mortal and immortal terms.
The Woman in Black
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