Necessary Physical Contant in D.H. Lawrence's Women in Love and Plato's Symposium

2555 Words 11 Pages
Necessary Physical Contant in D.H. Lawrence's Women in Love and Plato's Symposium

D.H. Lawrence’s novel, Women in Love, presents a complex model of female-male and male-male relationships. Lawrence’s model relies heavily on a similar model presented in Plato’s Symposium. The difference between the two works lies in the mode of realization; that is, how one goes about achieving a ‘perfect’ love relationship with either sex. Lawrence concentrates on corporal fulfillment, characterized in his recurring reference to obtaining a “blood oath,” while Plato concentrates on a mental, or “divine” bond. Lawrence’s concentration on corporal fulfillment of love only superficially differs from Plato’s concentration on the mind: both come to the
…show more content…
This interpretation does not draw a distinct enough line between Plato and Lawrence’s philosophies: whereas the “dark flood of electric passion” may be transcendental, the connection itself, rooted solely within corporal exchange, is not. Lawrence narrates that the “strange fountains” of Birkin’s body are “more mysterious and potent than any she had imagined or known, more satisfying, ah, finally, mystically-physically satisfying” (359). The mysteriousness of this connection is how, “in touch,” the body functions to bring about “the maximum of unspeakable communication … that can never be transmuted into mind content … the mystic body of reality (366). Lawrence is stating that the body functions much like the soul in Plato’s philosophy in that both are “mystic.” Lawrence’s description of bodily exchange being “mystically-physically satisfying” conveys that both the mind and body are inextricably linked: the body is needed to establish a mental connection.

That mental connection is explained when Ursula describes to Hermione that Birkin “wants [her] to accept him non-emotionally,” and, “He wants [her] to accept him as … an absolute (333). In other words, Lawrence’s view of a perfect union comprises of two human beings accepting each other as they are: neither has to conform to the other: they exist as separate and distinct entities. When their love is finally consummated, Lawrence states that “[Ursula] acquiesced—but it was accomplished without her
Open Document