Exploring the Works of D.H. Lawrence Essay

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Sometimes man makes more sense to man when he looks like an animal-or another man, or a woman, or just anything other than himself. The human being is the strangest of all animals, because of the phenomenon called thought. Reaching beyond our personal capsule of life might make us completely free. Such is the manic truth, the reflection of himself, that D.H. Lawrence thrusts forward in the collections of essays entitled "Phoenix" and "Phoenix II." The processes of his mind invite inquiry. To Lawrence, conversation with a person is seldom the best way to know that person. Rather, we come to know a person more fully by a process of reading him-absorbing the subtleties of his life, and extrapolating these into a portrait of his mind. In …show more content…
Lawrence's movement of ideas-from dulled English voices to bursting English egos-reveals within him a power of perception that pervades all of his essays, a power that manifests itself in an endless parade of what I will call his "assertions." In the traditional way of discerning things, people reach conclusions based on observations bolstered by damning evidence. Lawrence often leaves the terrain of this last stipulation-the damning evidence-totally untraveled. In "Germans and English," we see him in Florence, struck by the strange presence of the Wandervogels, the irreverent young German tourists. He becomes positively engaged at the mere sight of these strangers; they spawn within him an intricate dialogue that encompasses the spheres of the German, the Italian, and the English alike. Engagements such as this one signal a trend in Lawrence's writing: they make the essays, in large part, snapshots of D. H. Lawrence watching others-watching mainly their idiosyncrasies, their vices-and bringing quick, sweeping indictments of human character.

What runs through Lawrence's body of work like a vein of thought is his sense that England stands at the edge of demise. Scott's rhetorical question burns through him: "Breathes there a man with soul so dead?" Lawrence's perception drives him to answer in the affirmative, on behalf of every man in England-the land of the "darkness that
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