The Woman Who Rode Away And Other Stories
This is the first volume of Lawrence's collected short stories. It contains thirteen tales set in both England and America, including "The Rocking-Horse Winner", Lawrence's most popular short story. (From feedbooks.com)
The curriculet is being added to your library
THE WOMAN WHO RODE AWAY
As you read through this curriculet, make sure to take advantage of the "define" tool that is available by highlighting a word and selecting the define option. You will need to use this tool occasionally to explore the use of words in these stories. Let's practice. Look up the word "quailed." Does the definition of "quailed" change your view of how you read and understand this sentence?
The author uses details about the setting to convey a sense of wonder and isolation. Which of the following lines from the story best reflects this sense?
Notice the use of repetition in this paragraph; "dead," "thrice-dead," and "deadness." D.H. Lawrence uses variations of the word "death" to emphasize that the setting into which the character is going lacks life. Sometimes authors will use repetition of words, objects, or ideas to serve as motifs or connections to larger themes. As you read, look for more uses of death or other repeated words and ideas. The following video will help you better understand the concept of motifs. (This annotation contains a video)
The following video discusses point of view and cultural perspective. As you read this collection of short stories, you will be asked to consider the ways in which D.H. Lawrence tells each story and the unique perspective that is told through the lens of the narrator. (This annotation contains a video)
What seems to be the main reason the woman from Berkeley is not satisfied in her marriage?
Here's an example of a different cultural perspective. The perspective of this particular character, not necessarily that of the author, is a stereotypical view of Native Americans. Up to this day, Native Americans are still stereotyped. Think for a moment about why stereotypes exist. How and why do they start?
Which details from the story would be considered a stereotypical view of Native Americans? Cite at least three phrases to support your response.
Notice how the author conveys the woman's pent-up frustration. We know she feels isolated, alone, and restless. This outburst, though, is the first dramatic step she has taken towards asserting her independence and will.
In what way is the motif of death used again to expand a central theme in this story about the woman?
Notice how quickly the mood of the story changes. The woman first had "bubbling elation within her." Now she has "no will of her own" and is close to giving up. What do you think caused such a sudden shift in the character's mood?
The themes in this selection have begun to emerge throughout this chapter. The current theme being addressed has to do with the young woman feeling "confident" in a world that she is intrigued by but hardly understands. Do you think she is in over her head?
Which of the following is an event in this section of the story that creates a mood of suspense?
Look up the meaning of the word, "inimical." Based on its meaning answer the following question: Why would the Indians most likely feel inimical towards this woman?
The motif of death reappears here. When you see this phrase, though, you might have a few questions. Does this mean she literally thinks she is going to die? Does this mean she is dying to her restrained, boring life? As a reader you must interpret whether or not you believe this highlighted section is figurative, literal, or both.
Explain how the author is using the motif of death to connect to a larger theme within this story about the woman. Cite evidence from the text that supports your response.
Think for a moment about why the woman is not seen as a "woman at all" or why "her whiteness took away her womanhood." The author has painted a picture of this woman as one who is entitled and has expectations for how a woman should be treated by society, by men, and by people that she thinks are less than her. When her expectations don't quite match with her reality in this new setting, she experiences a cultural shock, so to speak. How do you predict this indifference she receives from the Indians will affect her?
It appears as if this intense struggle causes the woman to want to kill herself. Which of the following themes is the woman most likely learning as she journeys onward?
The men in the story are most likely dressed like those pictured below. They are wearing both headdresses and sarapes, or brightly colored shawls. (This annotation contains an image)
This woman has been conditioned by her society in which women were sexual objects to be desired, pursued, and sought in different ways than women in this Indian tribe.
What effect does the isolated, unfamiliar setting have on the reader?
The motif of eternity appears frequently throughout this story. Consider how the woman is seeing her experience in terms of polar opposites--death and eternity.
Which of the following moods does the motif of eternity seem to create?
How does the woman "die" in this experience with the tribal elders? Cite evidence from the text to support your response.
Native Americans did not, and still do not, have an easy time assimilating into American culture. Many prejudices still exist around their culture and race. This young man was likely an easy target for racism when he traveled abroad.
What does the young Indian man reveal about the woman?
The transformation of this woman involves losing her sense of identity which has been deeply formed by the societal and cultural expectations of her time. One of D.H. Lawrence's biggest criticisms about his time focuses on the individual who only cares about his or her own desires and interests. In this more communal setting, the individual is not as important as the group or community.
Why does the woman most likely have "an icy pang of fear" at her heart?
Native American tribes have a profound respect for nature. Their gods and goddesses and religious beliefs are tied closely to nature. They also believe in the ideas of balance and harmony. The sun and moon analogy that is explained here has to do with the historical injustices that occurred to virtually every tribe in America--the white man came to America and took, destroyed, altered, and controlled the tribes and their land. The religious prophecy that the young Indian offers here is a belief that someday balance and justice will be restored.
A huge misunderstanding seems to exist between the woman and the young man. She thinks they hate her; they claim they don't. Using evidence from the text, explain why this woman does not seem to understand the position that the tribe has towards her and other white people.
A common theme in literature centers around man leaving his society, his customs, stripping himself of all his cultural baggage, and leading a simplistic life. "Dances with Wolves," a movie about an American soldier who wants to explore the American frontier, is similar to the story told here. Watch the following trailer below, and think about the similarities that exist between the woman and the soldier in this film. (This annotation contains a video)
The woman's acute sense of her setting, nature, and her trance-like state are all indicative of which of the following ideas about her development?
According to the young man, the woman will be sacrificed in order to pass into death where she can communicate with the gods and bring peace to the tribe.
As a reader, we have the advantage of using our objective reasoning to draw a conclusion about what is going on with this girl. You might have guessed early on that the tribe had always planned on sacrificing her. But what you probably did not know was how this woman would accept her fate once she was told what would happen to her. Whether you figured this out early, or didn't, what clues did the author provide that hinted towards this outcome?
The mystical experience that the woman goes through here can be attributed to the drug that she has become addicted to over time. One could argue that under normal circumstances she would have recognized her fate sooner and left had it not been for the drug that numbed her senses. Now the question can be asked: is this the fate this woman really wants?
Why doesn't the woman care that she is going to die? Cite evidence from the text to support your response.
Why does the author repeatedly refer to the ice as "fangs"?
It is clear throughout this story that the woman would die, but when she does, Lawrence tries to hammer home a disturbing moral to this story--it was perfectly acceptable for this tribe to kill this woman to strengthen their gods. How does the complex ending of this story contribute to its overall meaning?
TWO BLUE BIRDS
Lawrence was admired for his fresh use of language. Like Shakespeare, he is a master of pairing words in new ways or using words in unique ways that draw upon their subtle shades of meanings. Think for a moment about the highlighted phrase. Reread the context surrounding it. What effect does the juxtaposition of these words have on you?
Lot, Abraham's cousin (from the Old Testament), had to flee Sodom, a wicked city that God was going to destroy. God told those leaving not to look back, and Lot's wife did. She was turned into a pillar of salt for looking back and disobeying God. The moral of the story with Lot's wife is to listen to God (and her husband), and not regret your decisions to obey Him. The allusion in this story might mean that the woman feels there is nothing wrong with her having a strained relationship with her husband. The image below shows Lot's wife. (This annotation contains an image)
Which two words best describe the relationship that this husband and wife have with each other?
Think for a moment about the meaning of the highlighted lines. A good way to understand metaphors or figurative language is to try to reword the idea in modern language. How might you word the idea that Lawrence describes here?
Lawrence has used the highlighted phrase several times to describe the husband and wife's activities. What tone is the author conveying in his use of the word, "gallant"?
The woman is trying to put the thoughts of her husband and his secretary out of her mind, but it seems the more she tries to forget it, the more it bothers her.
One of Jesus' miracles, as recorded in the New Testament, is that he multiplied just a few fish and bread loaves for hundreds of people who came to hear him speak.
A similar work during the early 20th century was written by Ford Maddox Ford. It was entitled "The Good Soldier." In this novel, Edward Ashburnham is a model citizen, revered by many, generous to all around him, yet had a propensity for sleeping around. His jealous wife never left him because of her Catholic beliefs against divorce, and she also took care of his finances, but eventually grew to hate him more and more. A common theme of this era in literature reveals that many women felt stuck in bad marriages, unable to escape, and angry at the preferential treatment men get when it comes to matters of morality. Think about the first two stories in this book and how they relate to this theme.
What is the meaning of the figurative language used in the highlighted line?
"Aplomb" is another word for self-confidence. Many words, like this one, are informal and not widely used today.
Does the highlighted comment seem strange to you? It should. The point of this comment is to make you question the enigmatic idea that the author puts forward. Maybe he means that when you know someone for who they really are, you see all their faults--this makes them repulsive to you. What do you think this statement means?
What has happened between the husband and the wife that has caused her to feel like a "super-guest" in her own house? Use evidence from the text to support your response.
Notice how the setting helps convey the mood of the story by contrasting the beautiful, vivacious season of spring with the woman who feels dull and lifeless inside. Lawrence uses the setting, as we have seen elsewhere in this story, to relate thematic elements and central ideas.
The image below is shorthand, a form of writing (which looks like scribble) that helps a person take down notes quickly. The shorthand writer takes notes, then later comes back and writes them down with plain letters. Court reporters and other professionals who have to write quickly used to use this form of quick note-taking. (This annotation contains an image)
Which emotion does the wife exude during her confrontation with her husband and the secretary?
If you read between the lines, you will notice that the husband and wife have quite a sarcastic way of speaking to each other. Imagine yourself overhearing this heated conversation between the dueling couple and what their body language and facial expressions might look like as they tear each other apart with words.
Hamlet, the tragic figure in one of Shakespeare's most famous plays, is a man of indecision. His tragic flaw was not acting upon his instincts. He let his guilt and fear paralyze him into inaction.
What detail does the author provide that leads the reader to sense the secretary's infatuation with the husband?
You can see how this story gets its title, now. The two women are the two blue birds. Their conflict is the focus of this short story.
What is the intent of Mrs. Gee's badgering of Miss Wrexall?
Miss Wrexall, though obviously not as confident as Mrs. Gee, is a figure of naivety. She doesn't realize how much Mr. Gee uses her, she doesn't realize how much strain she puts on his marriage, and she feels she can fix this broken situation.
Who is the villain in this story? If you had to pick one, explain who it would be and use evidence from the text to show how the author lets you decide who the "bad guy" will be.
The Hudson Bay, part of the Atlantic Ocean, lies on the eastern side of Canada. (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following is not a descriptive element used in the first part of this story to evoke tension and suspense?
This is the third consecutive story in which we are to hear about a broken marriage. Notice, though, that the motifs used throughout to describe each couple is different. The couple in the previous story were compared to birds (along with the secretary). What motif does the author seem to be using here to describe the tension between this couple?
The sun, like the unknown lands of Native Americans in the first story, draws this seemingly miserable woman out of her misery. If you haven't noticed, Lawrence is painting quite a few pictures of unhappy women. Some critics of his work argue that he was a misogynist and painted all women in a bad light. Others thought he was bold enough to tell the truth about what men AND women were really like during his time--no holds bar. What do you think he is trying to accomplish?
Lawrence has also been criticized (and praised) for the use of images, language, and symbols to create a mood of eroticism. Back in a day when women in most parts of the world were expected to keep even their shoulders and legs hidden, this type of literature was highly controversial.
In what way does the experience with the sun most importantly contribute to the development of the young lady?
The mystic experience that the mom is having with the sun, has allowed her to feel free of her burden of motherhood. One can infer, that the setting where she was before, contributed to her depressed state based on what she says. However, if you have been paying attention to the female figures in these stories, you will note that, although they seek happiness in new settings, the root of their unhappiness lies elsewhere. What do you think really makes this woman unhappy?
What theme does the highlighted motif best connect to?
Lawrence uses a variety of literary techniques to convey a stronger sense of this woman's sexuality and connection with the sun. Watch the following video to learn about one of these techniques; personification. (This annotation contains a video)
What can one infer about this woman's husband based on her development and desires in this story?
The woman in "The Woman who Rode Away" and the woman in "The Sun" have similar experiences in their new settings. What common reason prompted them to leave their husbands and what new perspective do they form about their sense of self? Use evidence from both texts to support your response.
From a medical perspective, the sun is a healing catalyst in a variety of ways. It provides Vitamin D, heals depression, and helps people sweat out toxins.
What has most likely driven this woman away from society?
What does the last line of this chapter signify?
Which word best describes how the woman feels at this moment?
Use the define tool to look up the meaning of the highlighted word. Think about why the woman would have a "biting chagrin."
This repeated phrase has become a motif in this story. Having a womb that is open to someone, is a euphemism, or a nicer way, of saying she sexually desires him. Think about why the author would use this type of language rather than just literally saying how this woman felt.
What is the intended effect of the highlighted simile?
Below is a picture of a lotus flower, another deeply symbolic object used in this story. Notice the contrast between the dark, murky pond and the clean, white flower. The flower also reacts to the sun in a unique way: it sinks into the water at night and opens to the sun in the daylight. Why do you think Lawrence would use this type of flower in this story? (This annotation contains an image)
What element does the author include in this encounter to show how uncomfortable Maurice feels when he sees his wife?
The contrast between the wildness of the woman's sun-soaked life and the neat, cold features of the husband provide insight into more than just the feelings and physical features of the husband and wife. If you were to guess what the author is trying to do here, what would say? This passage should give you insight into a larger theme that involves the fragmented nature of love and marriage, typical of Lawrence's time.
The highlighted phrase is a metaphor for which of the following?
Although we cannot be sure, it seems as if Juliet suffered from postpartum depression--a psychological condition that makes mothers of newborns enter a state of despair and helplessness. Not all women experience this, and it is unknown what happens before a birth to make it occur. Women with this condition, though, need counseling and support to make it through this phase of motherhood.
What is Juliet up to with the peasant, his wife, and her own husband? Use evidence from the text to explain what her motives appear to be.
This is a more interesting way to say that the peasant is not going to make a move until Juliet does. He will think of nothing else, but her, in the meantime.
Perseus is a mythological Greek hero who killed the infamous Gorgon, Medusa (see image below). Perseus is also known for rescuing, and later marrying, Andromeda from a monster by cutting her free from a rock to which she was tied by a monster. He claimed her as his bride after rescuing her. You might also recall that this particular story is set within Greece (home of Perseus' mythology). (This annotation contains an image)
This phrase is a recurrence of which literary element?
Ophelia's husband is thinking about her death, but shows little emotion or true concern. We know he is estranged, and, like the author intends, this fact begs the question, "Why?"
Matthew fears his wife has discovered something (even though she's dead). What is he afraid of and why? Explain using evidence from the text.
"Mea culpa!" means "I'm guilty!" Perhaps Matthew feels guilty for his inappropriate smile and laughter. Or he could feel guilty about something else. Why do you think he exclaims this?
Notice that the motif of birds has been consistently used throughout this story. Birds have many meanings, depending on the context and the culture, but here they are used to represent freedom (or its opposite, depending on your view). The man notices that the nun's hands are like birds because of their wing-like motion. Matthew feels a sense of freedom because his wife is dead, like he can fly away from his bad marriage and live a happy life. He, therefore, sees "birds" in everything around him.
Is the last line of this story meant to be read literally or is there another meaning? Defend your position using evidence from the text to support your response.
THE BORDER LINE
A "Boche" is a slang term used for a German person. This term is not used much anymore, just like Europeans no longer refer to Americans as "Yanks."
Have you noticed how Lawrence uses the highlighted term as an adjective again and again to describe how these Frenchmen act around the Boche? This repetition is intentional, and it's meant to show how everything they do for her gives them satisfaction.
The motif of birds is used again here to describe someone. What is the author attempting to say in this description of the "somebodies"?
Alan possesses the trait of being unyielding or very strong about his convictions. On the other hand, one could call this a fault, as Lawrence hints at, because it can also be stubbornness--which makes someone prideful and unwilling to compromise. Other men admire Alan's trait, while women find it difficult in a relationship. Can someone's virtue also be his or her vice?
The French and English both formed an alliance to fight against Nazi Germany during World War I. This comment is a reference to this historical event.
What does Katherine realize in this moment?
Just like Matthew in the last story you read, Katherine feels freed from a marriage she didn't want to be in.
Lachesis, one of the three Greek mythological fates, determines each person his or her life span. She also chooses each person's destiny. Do you know which one she is below? (This annotation contains an image)
What significant change does Katherine experience after she marries Philip?
Take a moment and carefully reread this line a few times. Think about what it means. Which of the following statements is most likely true?
The grass is not always greener on the other side. This is an important theme in this story, as well as others in this collection of stories.
Why is the cathedral personified as a "vast silent beast with teeth of stone" as Katherine looks upon it?
The following video explains how particular themes emerge in a story. In this story, the highlighted passage conveys an emerging theme. It has to do with how women relate to their husbands. Can you figure out what it is? (This annotation contains a video)
Katherine feels that she must find her fulfillment in life by trying to follow and please her husband. In what ways has the author shown this theme to be a struggle for her? (Hint: what techniques has he used to show her fear). Use evidence from the text to support your response
The Rhine River serves as a border between France and Germany. It is pictured below, and, as you can see, it only serves as a partial border. (This annotation contains an image)
The contextual borderline--between the French and German--is symbolic of the borderline that Katherine experiences between her two husbands (or men, in general). As you read, think about how she feels within the context of her love life and self.
What does the tone of this passage convey about Katherine?
D.H. Lawrence is known for his oftentimes cryptic writing. He mentions the "root pulse" a few lines before this one as a way to extend a metaphor. The combination of these two words are juxtaposed--one doesn't associate a root with a pulse (only a heart when it beats). The metaphor means that life doesn't feel bad for you--you just have to enjoy it and not be afraid of inevitably dying.
In what way does the author contrast Katherine and Philip?
These lines highlight the conflict Katherine feels--duty and desire. Her duteous self wants to take care of her husband because it is the "right thing to do." Her passionate self feels constrained by him. This internal conflict is yet another example of a woman torn between what she wants or needs and what she feels she has to do.
Which of the following does not suggest that Alan is haunting Katherine?
In what way does the author show Katherine's contempt for Philip?
The reader is left to infer what happened here. What do you think occurred? Use evidence from the text to support your response.
This German phrase refers to a person who is not interested in being part of a revolution. We might call this person today "backwards."
What ideal did Katherine not live up to that ultimately caused her death?
JIMMY AND THE DESPERATE WOMAN
This verse is from the Old Testament: Deuteronomy 29:18"Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood." In the context of the Old Testament, it referred to a "poisonous" mindset where the people of Israel would stop serving their God. In the context of this story, this allusion refers to a man who is emboldened by being able to divorce his wife and find another.
All of these women are famous literary characters. They all are strong females with different traits that make them strong.
What major theme does Jimmy's attitude convey that resonates with other overarching themes of the stories you have read so far?
The image below shows the most famous satyr and god, Pan. He played a flute and charmed animals and men alike. He is known as the god of nature. He is frivolous, light-hearted, and always ready to charm. (This annotation contains an image)
Which emotion best characterizes Jimmy's view of himself?
This woman is in obvious need of being rescued. Knowing what Jimmy is looking for in a woman, what do you predict will happen?
Which tone do these collected poems best convey?
The unique descriptive language used here creates a hellish atmosphere. The use of the word "demonish" should be enough to push a reader toward this conclusion about Jimmy's perception of his surroundings. What other words make this place seem like hell?
The highlighted passage is an allusion to Ulysses, who stars in Homer's famous poem, The Odyssey. Why is this literary figure compared to Jimmy?
The author draws a clear distinction between the two conflicted feelings Jimmy has--one of inferiority (because of his size) and one of superiority (because of his wits and spirit). The woman he thought would empower him, actually does the opposite. This is a good example of irony.
Which statement best reflects the theme that the author is trying to impart through the characters opposite the main character in most stories?
Jimmy's behavior may sound strange by the way it is described. But take a moment and think about some of the phrases and statements that Lawrence makes, such as, "a ghost moving inside his own consciousness." Or, "he spoke like a drunken man, his eyes turned inward talking to himself." Jimmy seems to have some grand ideas that may be more idealistic than practical.
Mephistopheles, a demon or the devil in some circles, first appears in Goethe's Faust, a German story about a man who makes a deal with the devil. (This annotation contains an image)
The longer that Jimmy is in this coal-mining town, a thematic contrast begins to develop. What thematic contrast is most obvious through the characters' interactions with one another?
Which aspect of this scene best aligns with the motif that Lawrence has been developing about the hellish existence of the people Jimmy visits?
Notice how tense this scene becomes. As the author adjusts the mood of the story, it should make you inclined to predict what might happen. Based on what you've read so far, how do you think this "showdown" between Jimmy and the coal miner will end?
If the coal miner and his wife have such a strained relationship, what seems to be the reason they are still together? Use evidence from the text to support your response.
Sometimes people become so used to the way things are that they forget to take into account that people change. The husband arrogantly (foolishly) thought his wife would stay with him out of duty. She feels otherwise. The tragedy in this story is that neither spouse spent much time sharing or caring about each others' feelings.
Jimmy's visit certainly is going differently than planned. He probably thought he'd quickly take Emily and Jane away, but here he is socializing with the husband of the woman he is taking--and both know it! What's even more uncomfortable is that Jimmy is really getting deep into the messy, emotional turmoil that exists between this husband and wife.
What is the underlying message the author is trying to depict through the way Jimmy says this phrase? Use textual evidence to support your response.
THE LAST LAUGH
This woman is not literally "deaf"--she wants to tune out the men, who can't seem to stop talking, and take in the winter whiteness around her.
Which descriptive detail juxtaposes the characterization of this young man in a bowler hat?
Notice the contrast, too, between her physical stature and his. She is standing upright; he is slouched. What do you think this difference means about them?
Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian inventor who pioneered transistor radio, also invented something of a hearing aid. The machine mentioned in this story looked similar to the image shown below. (This annotation contains an image)
The painting below shows nymphs swarming around a faun. These highly sexualized mythical characters form an undertone in this story. Does the satyr look happy? Is the tone in this painting similar to the one in this story? (This annotation contains an image)
What mood does the author create through the dialogue and the action in this story? Use evidence from the text to support your response.
This story is somewhat a coming-of-age tale, in which the young, inexperienced girl begins to sense how much influence she can have over men. The boundaries of innocence and passion are being explored in this story. Think for a moment about why the author describes her the way he does.
Does this story seem strange to you? In order to understand the story, you must realize that D.H. Lawrence is infusing Pan, the mythological god of sex and nature, into this story. He was one of the only gods to die, but he appears to have been resurrected here in this story, causing confusion and chaos on the lives of these average people. An sculpture of Pan is shown below. (This annotation contains an image)
What does the condition of the church most likely symbolize in this story?
Make an inference about what happened to Marchbanks here. Use evidence from the text to support your response.
Pan is the god of nature and wilderness. The almond blossom most likely refers to his presence in this story.
What does the "worried look" on Hester's face most likely represent?
Similar to other couples in this story, many women (and men) are encouraged to marry out of convenience, family interests, and other reasons not related to love. When this happens, one or more people in the relationship develop contradictory feelings--obligations to be married but realization that there is no love for that person.
The metaphor of a car and a mechanic are used to describe Hester and Joe, respectively. Think for a moment about what Lawrence implies by using a car and mechanic to represent this couple. What does that mean about Hester?
Why does Hester ask Joe to play piano?
Hester feels guilty for being mean and rude to Joe. You can tell by what she says and does that her behaviors and thoughts are a little extreme. This, though, is the consequence of her not being honest about her feelings.
How is Henrietta used in this story to advance the conflict between Hester and Joe? Use evidence from the text to support your response.
Some of Lawrence's female characters are portrayed negatively. Hester might qualify as one of these because of how she treats her fiance. It seems like she's selfish, but can you see the other side of the story? What justifies Hester for feeling doubts about marrying Joe?
Young love often doesn't tolerate the other partner being too "in love." Many couples break up because one person feels smothered. This is partly a game of power; partly a game of not wanting to be vulnerable. Can you think of a time when you felt vulnerable in a relationship by loving someone who didn't reciprocate? This is how Joe felt, but his honesty ends up winning Hester back. She realizes how much his love really means to her.
Part II Quiz
THE MAN WHO LOVED ISLANDS
Abraham, a patriarch in the Old Testament, was promised by God to have more descendants than stars in the sky. The odds were always stacked against him, but God provided for him when he couldn't do it on his own.
Which literary technique helps the author create a mood of intrigue and wonder?
Lawrence begins to express one of his common themes, the consequences of isolation, in a different light. What are the effects of isolation that he has described so far?
The intense feelings of self-awareness, of existence, are a common theme in Lawrence's writings. In "The Woman who Rode Away" and "The Man who Loved Islands," both characters have a heightened sense of existence when they pursue what they think is their destiny. You already know how things turned out for the woman. What do you predict will become of this man?
The setting is an important way that Lawrence brings the reader into this story. He uses imagery and paints a picture of this world that the Master has created. Watch the following video on imagery, and be prepared to answer questions about this topic in the upcoming stories. (This annotation contains a video)
The imagery that is used to describe the setting of this island can best be described as which of the following?
Why don't many characters in this story implicate themselves with the Master?
In what ways do the setting and events on this first island show how the Master is losing control of his "paradise"? Cite textual evidence to support your response.
Similar to other Lawrence stories, many people have idealistic views on how they want the world to be, or their lives to be, or someone else to be. More often than not, putting one's stock in dreams, in Lawrence's view, results in tragedy and disappointment. What is it about all of his characters that make them want things they can never have?
The Master's glance back at his former island most likely symbolizes what?
The ghosts of past races, people, and tribes haunted the Master on the last island. On this island, it appears to be the ocean. Each "ghost" symbolizes something. The ghosts on the first island symbolized the Master's inevitable encounter with anger, hatred, and envy. What do you think this island and its ghost of the sea will hold in store for him?
What is the most significant way that the Master has changed?
Gossamer is a type of delicate cob-web spun around plants during autumn time. This image, though, is used to convey more--it's meant to show the impermanence with which the Master views the world. He senses how delicate and fragile his effects are upon the world. (This annotation contains an image)
What image is used consistently throughout this story as a symbol of life?
The true-self versus the automatic, ritualistic, dutiful part of a person is another theme Lawrence explores in these stories. Think back to "In Love" where a young woman begins to despise her fiance because he smothers her. She wrestles with her true feelings, and doesn't discover them until the end. Does the Master know his true self?
What does the author suggest in this highlighted phrase?
Why does the Master leave the second island? Why does he leave his newborn child and wife? Use evidence from the text to support your response.
The Master's failures, as he sees them, have put him into a downward spiral. His tendency to isolate himself has put him on an island with just himself. He doesn't think his isolation hurts others but it does. Click the link below to read the following poem by John Donne, "No Man is An Island." Compare the message in the poem to this story. (This annotation contains a link)
What does the lack of plant life on this island represent?
Describe the reason why Lawrence uses this highlighted phrase to characterize the Master. Cite textual evidence to support your response.
Take a moment to soak in the imagery of this scene that the author paints. Think about snow falling on the ocean's waves. Think about "motionless obscurity." Although Lawrence's images are formed of words not often paired together, it gives the reader something to think about and imagine.
Refer back to the John Donne poem that is included in the first annotation for this chapter. In what ways is the poet's warning similar to the Cathcart (the Master)?
What effect does the imagery in this scene have on you? If you notice, you will see recurring phrases like death, and funeral throughout. The Master is not dying of a physical disease, but we get the sense that his soul is.
Man versus nature is a common conflict in literature. The Master in this story, though, seems to place himself here. Most people avoid conflict. What makes the Master want to strand himself on an island and fight against the snow?
Thwaite is a village in Yorkshire, England. It is a rural part of the country, and is often associated with its artists and photographers who focused on nature and the elements. (This annotation contains an image)
Use the define feature to look up the definition of the highlighted word. Which of the following statements is the narrator trying to make about Carlotta Fell?
Take a moment to ponder what this curious comment means. What is "the quick body"?
The narrator mentions this concept of a hidden life again. Which of the following best summarizes what he is referring to?
Much of D.H. Lawrence's work examines the effects that culture, society, rules, norms, industrialization--all aspects of a civilized world--have on people. If you haven't noticed, many of his characters feel stifled by society and norms. People are always wanting to question norms, test boundaries, push the limits, and explore inner-desires that are considered taboo.
Use the define tool to determine the meaning of the highlighted word. Based on the meaning of the word "sansculotte," which of the following can you infer about the narrator?
The narrator's point of view about Lord Lathkill reveals his insecurities about himself. Notice how he is dissecting this individual (just like he does himself and others, by the way). Have you ever picked someone apart? If so, what motivated you to do so?
What does the dialogue between the narrator and Carlotta reveal about her feelings towards her husband? Use evidence from the text to support your response.
The details that are used to describe the characters in this story suggest that their lives are falling apart. Lawrence would argue that the war, and other facets of English culture, like the idea that people had to be married (instead of wanting to be married out of love), caused decay in relationships and life. Think for a moment about how these characters' lives are decaying?
Earlier in the story, Carlotta and the narrator discussed Lord Lathkill's bad luck. The narrator also mentioned that he thought Lord Lathkill could not endure challenges and struggles in life. It appears many of his "circumstances" are not so sure any more.
The Derbyshire hills are one of the more beautiful sites in England to see. Long rolling green hills with farmland spread across the area, make it an idyllic and pastoral setting. (This annotation contains an image)
Why is the narrator placed into this room, and not any of the others?
Although the tone in this passage is one of humor between Mark and Lord Lathkill, Mark's point of view is more along the lines of, "What did I get myself into?" It is important to notice when a narrator's point of view differs from what is actually said or happens.
This metaphor probably means someone who is in the company of greater people and feels insignificant next to them.
A white ermine, or stoat, is a type of weasel. Here it is shown in its winter coat of white. For Mark to describe Lady Lathkill as a weasel, he must feel that she looks or acts like a weasel. (This annotation contains an image)
What is the intended effect of the motif used in this highlighted passage?
Have you ever been around a group of people who simply cannot stand each other? Well, this is probably what Mark feels like, judging by the imagery he uses to describe the action and characters around him. He has used primarily images of death and winter--both not very warm or inviting.
The first line of this song alludes to an Old Testament scripture: Come," each one cries, "let me get wine! Let us drink our fill of beer! And tomorrow will be like today, or even far better (Isaiah 56:12). It is a song that wishes French soldiers good luck. It's a sort of toast.
What secret does the Colonel admit to in his dinner conversation?
To the outsider looking in (and the narrator, too), Colonel Hale appears to be crazy. Now we know why his present wife won't talk--she feels absolutely unwanted because her husband would rather be with his dead wife's ghost.
What appears to be the cause of the "unlucky" state that these people find themselves in?
Spiritualism is a popular sub-culture that emerged in England and Europe during the late 19th century. It brought forth a variety of beliefs, but most centered around the idea that man was spirit, man died and became a spirit-ghost, and that man in the living world could communicate with the dead through a medium, a person who could talk to the dead.
A Victrola, as shown below, is a brand of a record player. It's an early version of the boom box. Think about how much audio players have changed over the years. (This annotation contains an image)
If you have read The Great Gatsby, you will notice the similarities between this story and one of the most famous American novels. Daisy and Gatsby are, in a way, very similar to Carlotta and Mark. Mark feels destined to have Carlotta; Gatsby feels destined to have Daisy. Both women, though, are married to war veterans who are hardened by life and not totally in love with their wives. The Great Gatsby ends in tragedy. It makes me wonder how this love story will end.
What event has made Mark feel more deeply intimate with Carlotta?
Similar to what you might see in a horror movie, a "chill in the air" probably represents that a spirit is present. As of now, though, we are left with the mystery of not knowing what is really going on.
Based on what you've read so far, what seems to be the most toxic agent that is causing so much decay in these people's lives?
The lines between spiritual and physical existence are being explored in this story. Being "bodily dead" might be Mark's way of saying that these people were not concerned with their physical selves as much as their spiritual selves. Think for a moment, though, if this makes sense based on what you've read. Doesn't Mark seem to be physically attracted to Carlotta?
How does Luke want Mark to help his wife? What must Mark do and why? Use evidence from the text to support your response.
What event seems to have made the Lathkill family confront their morbid views that were formed by spiritualism?
NONE OF THAT!
A toreador (shown below) is an important part of Spanish sports history. The sport of bullfighting grew rapidly in the 19th and 20th century in Spain, and the toreadors, or bullfighters, were some of the most popular figures of their day. (This annotation contains an image)
What do the yellow eyes of the toreador seem to symbolize in this story?
Why is there hatred in Colmenares' voice?
"Milieu" is a French word that refers to a social and cultural context. A milieu influences how a person acts, thinks, and behaves.
Based on what you've read about Lawrence's depiction of passionate, strong-willed women in these stories, what does the highlighted phrase indicate about Lawrence's view of women?
Sound familiar? Quite a few other women envision that they have the power to make a big change, but most of them realize the harder they try, the harder they fail. Do you think Lawrence has a negative view of women? Or do you think he just happens to make more critiques about women than men?
What does "start something" mean in the context of this story?
The woman flirts with him, but has no intention of actually being with him. She is disingenuous and hates all men.
What is the meaning of the word imagination as it is used in this passage?
It is often said that opposites attract. What two qualities are contrasted between Ethel and Cuesta?
The tension here is between common sense and passion. The woman knows that this man is not a good fit for her. They don't share intellectual interests. However, she is physically drawn to him and driven crazy by the fact that he does not appear to be infatuated with her like other men are.
"Handed her over to half a dozen of his bull-ring gang," means that Ethel was raped. What is the tragic flaw that brought this event upon her? Use evidence from the text to support your response.
THE ROCKING-HORSE WINNER
What preoccupies this woman?
In a society where the emphasis is put on material possessions, people are strained to keep up appearances. The saying "keeping up with the Joneses," comes from a society where neighbors are constantly comparing what they have to what others have.
Personification is used heavily here to symbolize how much possessions have come to occupy the thoughts and desires and fears of this entire family. Their lives consist of "stuff." What do you think they lack that could make their lives better?
The play on words here indicates the ironic relationship between the words "luck" and "lucre" (wealth). These words, in fact, have different origins and root words.
What is the underlying conflict that Paul faces in this story?
Why does Paul's mother watch him "with an anxious expression on her face"?
This story begins to take a slight twist into the paranormal. This young boy has become so fixated on playing with his horse that he is starting to mentally go into another place.
Why does Paul "only know the winner" of the horse race? I wonder how he got this information.
Paul explains that he wants to become lucky in order to make money to give to his mom so the house will stop whispering. What does he mean?
The imagery the author uses creates a sense of horror or suspense. "Writhing" is what someone does when they are in pain. This boy doesn't seem to communicate like most boys his age. He responds physically in a way that suggests he is way too emotionally invested in what he is doing.
What technique does the author use to show how greed has affected this house?
The author does use foreshadowing here through the imagery he provides us. The eyes are said to be a window to the soul, and Paul's eyes are "blazing with a sort of madness." Not good. What do you think this means for Paul's future?
Ponder the last line in this story. What theme does Lawrence convey through the tragic life of Paul? Use textual evidence to support your response.
THE LOVELY LADY
Pauline smiles to keep her youthful and cheerful appearance up. Though, around her niece, Cecilia, she doesn't keep up this front.
What makes Robert feel like an elder to his own mother?
Robert's affection for his mother masks his deep insecurities and sociophobic tendencies. He only trusts the familiar, and in a sense has not grown up.
Although not directly stated, the reader can infer that part of Robert's problem is a strange sense of sexuality that he is ashamed to admit and move on from.
This is the second story in which the sun plays an important role in a woman's life. What does the sun replace that these women cannot get?
The allusion here is to Circe, goddess of magic, who is best known for keeping Odysseus and his men on her island. His men were turned to pigs; he was held under a magical spell. He finally broke free from her charms and went back to his voyage. She is shown below. Pauline is like her because she, too, tries to entrap her sons in her home where she is. (This annotation contains an image)
What does the author reveal in order to magnify the villainous nature of Aunt Pauline?
Although Lawrence certainly doles out quite a few criticisms of women, he holds nothing back in critiquing men who are too passive. Robert, like other men in these stories, don't know how to live ambitious, adventurous lives that would intrigue women.
Why does Robert proclaim that he is not a lover of women?
Take a moment to think about the concept of an energy vampire. Can you think of other characters in literature who gain life by sucking it out of others (like a vampire)? The story here might remind you of a more recent Disney film, Tangled, in which Rapunzel's hair gives her "mother" life energy to keep her looking young. She is like a fountain of youth; Robert is like one to his mother. Watch the following video to see how much control Rapunzel's mother has over her, too. (This annotation contains a video)
What element does the author include in this scene to dramatize the conflict?
One of Lawrence's major themes is more obvious in this story than in others. The conflict between a phony self and the real self, apparently makes Aunt Pauline a very tragic figure. Other characters were better off for being themselves--but their consequences were not as harsh. Pauline's whole world is falling apart.
Part III Quiz