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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Butler, Hardy, Galsworthy, Bennett and d.h. lawrence as writers of the family chronicle novel: a study.. 1971

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BUTLER, HARDY, GALSWORTHY, BENNETT AND D. H. LAWRENCE AS WRITERS OF THE FAMILY CHRONICLE NOVEL: A STUDY OF TWO GENERATIONS OF POSSIBILITIES OF THE FORM LANA SLMPSON A Thesis Submitted i n P a r t i a l Fulfilment of The Requirements f o r the Degree of Master of Arts i n the Department of English We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1 9 7 1 In presenting th i s thes is in pa r t i a l fu l f i lment o f the requirements for an advanced degree at the Un ivers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L ibrary sha l l make i t f r ee l y ava i l ab le for reference and study. I fur ther agree that permission for extensive copying of th i s thes i s for scho lar ly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representat ives. It i s understood that copying or pub l i ca t ion of th i s thes i s fo r f i nanc ia l gain sha l l not be allowed without my wr i t ten permission. Department of The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date ABSTRACT The E n g l i s h f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e n o v e l i s a c o m p a r a t i v e l y r e c e n t phenomenon. I t o c c u r r e d as a r e f l e c t i o n o f the c o n t r o v e r s i e s o f n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y n a t u r a l s c i e n c e over e v o l u t i o n a r y d e v e l o p m e n t — d i r e c t l y , i n Samuel B u t l e r ' s The Way o f A l l F l e s h , and i n d i r e c t l y , as E n g l i s h n o v e l i s t s f e l t the i n f l u e n c e o f French n a t u r a l i s m . Because the emergence of the f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e novel i s so c l o s e l y bound up w i t h n a t u r a l i s m , nowhere can we more c l e a r l y see the r e a c t i o n to n a t u r a l i s m worked out than i n the V i c t o r i a n and Edwardian f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e s . Very o f t e n , to understand the way i n which a g i v e n n o v e l i s a f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e — t h a t i s , how the author has used the form f o r h i s own p u r p o s e s — i s to d e f i n e the author's stance toward n a t u r a l i s m . In t h i s t h e s i s , I examine works o f f i v e c h r o n i c l e w r i t e r s — B u t l e r , Hardy, Galsworthy, Bennett, and L a w r e n c e — and argue t h a t a measure o f the success o f the works as f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e s i s the degree to which the a r t i s t s succeed i n overcoming the i n h e r e n t l i m i t a t i o n s o f the n a t u r a l i s t convention, even as they used the form bequeathed by i t . I suggest t h a t D. H. Lawrence*', s The Rainbow i s the most i n t e r e s t i n g o f these f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e s because he has used as p e c t s o f the a r t o f B u t l e r and Hardy, i n order to c r e a t e i n o p p o s i t i o n to Bennett and Galsworthy. He works w i t h the underlying concerns of naturalism i n order to transform them into a passionate denial of the determinist attitude i m p l i c i t i n naturalism. i v TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter I . . . . 1 Chapter I I . . . . Id Chapter I I I . . . . 33 Chapter IV . . . . 63 Chapter V . . . . SO Chapter VI . . . . 122 Chapter VII . . . . 144 H i s t o r i c a l Footnote . . . . 177 Bibliography . . . . l&O CHAPTER I The f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e i s a way o f r e c o u n t i n g experience t h a t i s probably as o l d as men's d e s i r e to understand t h e i r own l i v e s i n r e l a t i o n to the immediate p a s t . Aeschylus and Sophocles fas h i o n e d t r a g e d i e s w i t h i n the terms o f the h i s t o r i e s o f f a m i l i e s ; the w r i t e r s o f the Old Testament recounted t h e i r h i s t o r y as a s e r i e s o f f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e s ; Shakespeare not o n l y gave an account o f h i s t o r i c a l events i n h i s c h r o n i c l e p l a y s , but made the form serve as a com- p l e x r e a l i z a t i o n o f such a b s t r a c t i o n s as the n o t i o n o f k i n g s h i p . The u s e f u l n e s s o f the f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e s t r u c t u r e to the n o v e l i s t who wants to g i v e i m a g i n a t i v e o r d e r i n g to s o c i a l h i s t o r y i s obvious. I t allows f o r a p a t t e r n i n g o f events so as to e x p l a i n the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f succeeding genera- t i o n s i n terms o f the f i r s t ; the success o r f a i l u r e o f the c h a r a c t e r s at s o c i a l and i n d i v i d u a l f u l f i l l m e n t may be e i t h e r e x p l i c i t l y measured or i m p l i c i t l y r e v e a l e d through the j u x t a - p o s i t i o n o f g e n e r a t i o n s . The author's emphasis, of course, may f a l l i n any one o f s e v e r a l d i r e c t i o n s . He may s t r e s s the way the s o c i a l f o r t u n e s o f a f a m i l y r i s e or d e c l i n e , or the progress toward a pe r s o n a l f u l f i l l m e n t which i s l e s s contingent upon s o c i a l f o r c e s than upon i n h e r i t e d p e r s o n a l 2 - c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . At i t s best, the f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e allows f o r a complex p o r t r a y a l o f t h a t p e r e n n i a l concern o f the r e a l i s t n o v e l , the i n t e r a c t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l f u l f i l l m e n t and g e n e r a l s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n s . N e v e r t h e l e s s , the E n g l i s h f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e n o v e l i s a comparatively r e c e n t phenomenon. I t occurred as a r e f l e c - t i o n o f the c o n t r o v e r s i e s o f n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y n a t u r a l s c i e n c e over e v o l u t i o n a r y d e v e l o p m e n t — d i r e c t l y , i n Samuel B u t l e r ' s The Way o f A l l F l e s h , and i n d i r e c t l y , as E n g l i s h n o v e l i s t s f e l t the i n f l u e n c e o f French n a t u r a l i s m . N a t u r a l i s m — " r e a l i s m with s c i e n t i f i c p r e t e n s i o n s , " as i t has been d e f i n e d — w a s the l i t e r a r y movement which most thoroughly expressed the p r e v a i l i n g confidence i n the methods and use- f u l n e s s o f contemporary s c i e n c e . By and l a r g e , n a t u r a l i s m remained an a l i e n i n f l u e n c e i n E n g l i s h l i t e r a t u r e ; i t never became indigenous, even though i t s i n f l u e n c e upon E n g l i s h w r i t e r s — w h o , a f t e r a l l , had to come to terms with the same i s s u e s t h a t provoked n a t u r a l i s m i n F r a n c e — w a s enormous. We have few thoroughly n a t u r a l i s t n o v e l s i n E n g l i s h , and those t h a t we do h a v e — f o r example, George Moore's The Mummer's W i f e — a r e c a r e f u l l y and c o n s c i o u s l y c r e a t e d a f t e r French models. N a t u r a l i s m remained a s t r a i n i n E n g l i s h r e a l i s m which was e i t h e r an emulation ( p e r f e c t l y s u c c e s s f u l , i n A r n o l d Bennett's Ricevman Steps) o f the a r t i s t i c successes o f French n a t u r a l i s m , or e q u a l l y d e l i b e r a t e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n , m o d i f i c a t i o n , o r r e a c t i o n to the French sources. P r e c i s e l y because the emergence o f the f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e n o v el i s so c l o s e l y bound up w i t h n a t u r a l i s m , nowhere can we more c l e a r l y see the r e a c t i o n to n a t u r a l i s m worked out than i n the V i c t o r i a n and Edwardian f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e s . Very o f t e n , to understand the way i n which a g i v e n novel i s a f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e — t h a t i s , how the author has used the form f o r h i s own p u r p o s e s — i s to d e f i n e the author's stance toward n a t u r a l i s m . In t h i s t h e s i s , I s h a l l examine works o f f i v e c h r o n i c l e w r i t e r s — B u t l e r , Hardy,' Galsworthy, Bennett, and D. H. Lawrence—and argue that a measure o f the success o f the works as f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e s i s the degree to which the a r t i s t s succeed i n overcoming the inherent l i m i t a t i o n s o f the n a t u r a l i s t convention, even as they use the form bequeathed by i t . To i t s c h i e f t h e o r e t i c i a n , n a t u r a l i s m was as undebatable as a n a t u r a l f o r c e — i n d e e d , was the l i t e r a r y product o f e v o l u t i o n . In Le roman e x p e r i m e n t a l T Z o l a c o n f i d e n t l y a s s e r t e d : ...the experimental n o v e l i s a consequence o f the s c i e n t i f i c e v o l u t i o n of the century; i t c o n t i n u e s and completes p h y s i o l o g y , which i t s e l f l eans f o r support on chemistry and medicine; i t s u b s t i t u t e s f o r the study o f the a b s t r a c t and metaphysical man the study of the n a t u r a l man, governed by p h y s i c a l and chemical laws, and m o d i f i e d - 4 - by the i n f l u e n c e s o f h i s surroundings; i t i s i n one word the l i t e r a t u r e o f our s c i e n t i f i c age, as the c l a s s i c a l and romantic l i t e r a t u r e corresponded to a s c h o l a s t i c and t h e o l o g i c a l age.-^ T h i s manifesto o f French n a t u r a l i s m expresses a confidence not o n l y i n the g e n e r a l d i r e c t i o n o f contemporary s c i e n c e , but i n i t s d i r e c t b e n e f i t s to mankind, which i s unusual i n i t s optimism even f o r i t s time: We s h a l l e nter upon a c e n t u r y i n which man, grown more powerful, w i l l make use o f nature and w i l l u t i l i z e i t s laws to produce upon the e a r t h the g r e a t e s t p o s s i b l e amount o f j u s t i c e and freedom. There i s no n o b l e r , h i g h e r , nor grander end. Here i s our r o l e as i n t e l l i g e n t beings: to penetrate to the wherefore o f t h i n g s , to become s u p e r i o r t o these t h i n g s , and to reduce them to a c o n d i t i o n o f s u b s e r v i e n t machinery. W e l l , t h i s dream o f the p h y s i o l o g i s t and the experimental d o c t o r i s a l s o t h a t o f the n o v e l i s t , who employs the e x p e r i - mental method i n h i s study o f man as a simple i n d i v i d u a l and as a s o c i a l animal. T h e i r o b j e c t i s ours; we a l s o d e s i r e to master c e r t a i n phenomena o f an i n t e l l e c - t u a l and p e r s o n a l o r d e r , to be abl e to d i r e c t them. We are, i n a word, e x p e r i - mental m o r a l i s t s , showing by experiment i n what way a pa s s i o n a c t s i n a c e r t a i n s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n . The day i n which we g a i n c o n t r o l o f the mechanism o f t h i s p a s s i o n we can t r e a t i t and reduce i t , or at l e a s t make i t as i n o f f e n s i v e as p o s s i b l e . And i n t h i s c o n s i s t s the p r a c t i c a l u t i l i t y and high m o r a l i t y o f our n a t u r a l i s t i c works, which experiment on man, and which d i s s e c t p i e c e by p i e c e t h i s human machinery i n order t o set i t going through the i n f l u e n c e o f the en- vironment. When t h i n g s had advanced 5 - f u r t h e r , when we are i n p o s s e s s i o n of the d i f f e r e n t laws, i t w i l l o n l y be necessary to work upon the i n d i v i d u a l s and surroundings i f we wish to f i n d the best s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n . In t h i s way we s h a l l c o n s t r u c t a p r a c t i c a l s o c i o l o g y , and our work w i l l be a h e l p to p o l i t i c a l and economical s c i e n c e s . I do not know, I repeat, o f a more noble work, nor of a grander a p p l i c a t i o n . To be the master o f good and e v i l , to r e g u l a t e l i f e , to r e g u l a t e s o c i e t y , to s o l v e i n time a l l the problems o f s o c i a l i s m , above a l l , to g i v e j u s t i c e a s o l i d f o u n d a t i o n by s o l v i n g through experiment the q u e s t i o n s o f c r i m i n a l i t y — i s not t h i s being the most u s e f u l and the most moral workers i n the human workshop?2 Z o l a ' s view o f the s o c i a l f u n c t i o n o f the n o v e l i s t the n a t u r a l i s t n o v e l i s t , t h a t i s — m a y seem somewhat gr a n d i o s e . N e v e r t h e l e s s , i t i s not without precedent i n i t s b e l i e f i n the enormous s o c i a l importance o f the work o f a c o n s c i e n t i o u s r e a l i s t n o v e l i s t ; i t b u i l d s upon B a l z a c ' s P r e f a c e to La comedie humaine: Thus Walter S c o t t r a i s e d to the d i g n i t y o f the p h i l o s o p h y o f H i s t o r y the l i t e r a - t u r e which, from age to age, s e t s peren- n i a l gems i n the p o e t i c crown o f every n a t i o n where l e t t e r s are c u l t i v a t e d . He v i v i f i e d i t w i t h the s p i r i t o f the past; he combined drama, d i a l o g u e , p o r t r a i t , scenery, and d e s c r i p t i o n ; he fused the marvellous w i t h t r u t h — t h e two elements o f the times; and he brought p o e t r y i n t o c l o s e contact with the f a m i l i a r i t y o f the humblest speech. But as he had not so much dev i s e d a system as h i t upon a manner i n the ardour o f h i s work, o r as i t s l o g i c a l outcome, he never thought o f connecting h i s compositions i n such a way as to form a complete h i s t o r y o f - 6 - o f which each chapter was a n o v e l , and each n o v e l the p i c t u r e o f a p e r i o d . I t was by d i s c e r n i n g t h i s l a c k of u n i t y , which i n no way d e t r a c t s from the S c o t t i s h w r i t e r ' s g r e a t n e s s , t h a t I p e r c e i v e d at once the scheme and the p o s s i b i l i t y o f e x e c u t i n g i t . Though d a z z l e d , so to speak, by Walter S c o t t ' s amazing f e r t i l i t y , always h i m s e l f and always o r i g i n a l , I d i d not d e s p a i r , f o r I found the source o f h i s genius i n the i n f i n i t e v a r i e t y o f human na t u r e . Chance i s the g r e a t e s t romancer i n the world; we have on l y to study i t . French s o c i e t y would be the r e a l author; I should o n l y be the s e c r e t a r y . By drawing up an i n v e n t o r y . o f v i c e s and v i r t u e s , by c o l l e c t i n g the c h i e f f a c t s of the p a s s i o n s , by d e p c i t i n g c h a r a c t e r s , by choosing the p r i n c i p a l i n c i d e n t s o f s o c i a l l i f e , by composing types out o f a combination o f homogeneous c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , I might perhaps succeed i n w r i t i n g the h i s t o r y which so many h i s t o r i a n s have n e g l e c t e d : t h a t o f Manners.2 In h i s e s t i m a t i o n of the s o c i a l importance o f the n o v e l i s t , we see t h a t Z o l a needed o n l y to s u b s t i t u t e " n a t u r a l law" where Balzac s t i l l has the i d e a l s of t r u t h and beauty: The work, so f a r , was n o t h i n g . By adhering to the s t r i c t l i n e s o f a r e p r o - d u c t i o n a w r i t e r might be a more o r l e s s f a i t h f u l , and more o r l e s s s u c c e s s f u l p a i n t e r o f t y p e s o f humanity, a n a r r a t o r o f the dramas o f p r i v a t e l i f e , an a r c h a e o l o g i s t o f s o c i a l f u r n i t u r e , a c a t a l o g u e r o f p r o f e s s i o n s , a r e g i s t r a r o f good and e v i l ; but to deserve the p r a i s e of which every a r t i s t must be ambitious, must I not a l s o i n v e s t i g a t e the reasons or cause o f these s o c i a l e f f e c t s , d e t e c t the hidden sense of t h i s v a s t assembly o f f i g u r e s , p a s s i o n s , and i n c i d e n t s ? And f i n a l l y , having s o u g h t — 7 - I w i l l not say having f o u n d — t h i s reason, t h i s motive power, must I not r e f l e c t on f i r s t p r i n c i p l e s , and d i s c o v e r i n what p a r t i c u l a r s s o c i e t i e s approach o r d e v i a t e from the e t e r n a l law o f t r u t h and beauty? In s p i t e o f the wide scope o f the pre- l i m i n a r i e s , which might o f themselves c o n s t i t u t e a book, the work, to be com- p l e t e , would need a c o n c l u s i o n . Thus d e p i c t e d , s o c i e t y ought to bear i n i t s e l f the reason o f i t s working. The law o f the w r i t e r , i n v i r t u e o f which he i s a w r i t e r , and which I do not h e s i t a t e to say makes him the equal, o r perhaps the s u p e r i o r , o f the statesman, i s h i s judgment, whatever i t may be, on human a f f a i r s , and h i s a b s o l u t e d e v o t i o n to c e r t a i n p r i n c i p l e s . M a c h i a v e l l i , Hobbes, Bossuet, L e i b n i t z , Kant, Montes- quieu are the s c i e n c e which statesmen apply.4 Thus, Z o l a borrowed from Balz a c and adapted h i s view o f the f u n c t i o n o f the n o v e l i s t as w e l l as h i s p l a n t o w r i t e a c y c l e o f nove l s so as to i l l u s t r a t e the f o r c e s o f e n v i r o n - ment as the determining f a c t o r s i n men's l i v e s . Z o l a , how- ever, added another d e t e r m i n a n t — t h a t which causes us to d i s t i n g u i s h between h i s s o r t of r e a l i s m ( t h a t i s , n a t u r a l i s m ) and B a l z a c ' s r e a l i s m . From h i s own ex c u r s i o n s i n t o s c i e n t i f i c l i t e r a t u r e , he added the n o t i o n o f h e r e d i t y as a determining f a c t o r o f equal importance to the f o r c e s o f environment. The c h i e f s c i e n t i f i c components o f Z o l a ' s t h e o r e t i c a l brew were Claude Bernard's I n t r o d u c t i o n k 1'etude de l a medecine experimentale« upon which Le roman experimental i s modelled so c l o s e l y t h a t "one medical reader has termed i t a parody,"5 and Prosper Lucas' T r a i t e p h i l o s o p h i q u e de l ' h e r e d i t e n a t u r e l l e • The r e s u l t was the pl a n f o r a vast n o v e l - c y c l e , Les Rougon-Macquart: 1 ' h i s t o i r e n a t u r e l l e et s o c i a l e d'une f a m i l i e sous l e Second Empire. I t i s the c h r o n i c l e o f the two f a m i l i e s stemming from a common pro- g e n e t r i x , A d e l a i d e Foucque, through her b r i e f marriage t o the gardener Rougon, and her l i a s o n w i t h the smuggler Macquart. The g e n e t i c a l l y determining f o r c e s are i n h e r i t e d a l c o h o l i s m and c r i m i n a l i t y — o n l y very d u b i o u s l y " s c i e n t i f i c " even i n Z o l a ' s day. In the major nov e l s o f the c y c l e , they tend ( m e r c i f u l l y ) t o fade i n t o the background. How much Z o l a broadened what Angus Wilson c a l l s the " p e c u l i a r l y s i l l y " f o r m u l a t i o n o f h i s f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e m a c h i n e r y — o r r a t h e r , how much he enhanced i t — i s e vident i n Nana. I t i s not Z o l a the author, but the j o u r n a l i s t i n the n o v e l who i s concerned w i t h the s p e c i f i c s o f g e n e t i c s i n an a r t i c l e read by the a r i s t o c r a t whom Nana, the A s t a r t e o f the Empire, w i l l debase: Muffat was r e a d i n g s l o w l y Fauchery's a r t i c l e , e n t i t l e d "The Golden F l y , " d e s c r i b i n g the l i f e o f a h a r l o t , des- cended from f o u r or f i v e g e n e r a t i o n s o f drunkards, and t a i n t e d i n her blood by a cumulative i n h e r i t a n c e o f misery and d r i n k , which i n her case has taken the form o f a nervous exaggeration o f the sexual instinct.£ Nana (who has e a r l i e r appeared as the u n a t t r a c t i v e c h i l d o f the la u n d r e s s , G e r v a i s e , i n L'Assommoir) i s i n t e r e s t - i n g not as the i n h e r i t r i x o f a given number o f t r a i t s , but r a t h e r as the symbolic scourge o f the gener a t i o n s o f misery and d e g r a d a t i o n from which she stems. The power o f the symbolic v a l u e w i t h which Z o l a endows her i n c r e a s e s toward the end o f the n o v e l . She l i e s d y ing o f smallpox as the crowds, whose d a r l i n g she once was, shout "A Berlin'. A Be r l i n ' . " on the day o f d e c l a r a t i o n o f the war which was to end, not i n the capture o f the enemy c a p i t a l , but i n n a t i o n a l h u m i l i a t i o n and s o c i a l chaos. That war and the ensuing consequences are the subject o f La Debacle: In L'•Assommoir we have to do with i n d i v i d u a l s ; i n Nana with s o c i e t y ; i n La Debacle, w i t h an e n t i r e n a t i o n . In L'Assommoir there are e x h i b i t e d t o us the v i c i o u s i n f l u e n c e s which beset the p r o l e t a r i a t , the leaven o f e v i l and uncleanness working amidst the haunts and hovels o f the degraded poor. In Nana the poi s o n spreads and eats i t s way l i k e a cancer i n t o the homes of those, who l i v e i n the great w o r l d . In La Debacle we see a c h i v a l r o u s and g a l l a n t n a t i o n smitten to the e a r t h because o f the r o t t e n n e s s t h a t has eaten out i t s manhood and destroyed i t s strength.7 T h i s widening p e r s p e c t i v e e n t i r e l y subsumes a l i t e r a l - minded concern with h e r e d i t y , which becomes transformed i n t o something more potent, i f l e s s a n a l y s a b l e — a n almost mythic account o f the past e v i l s o f s o c i e t y as they r e t u r n i n the - 10 present, the h e r i t a g e o f the members o f modern s o c i e t y . Thus, from a not p a r t i c u l a r l y promising i n i t i a l p l a n , Z o l a went on to develop the c h r o n i c l e s t r u c t u r e o f the nov e l s so as to render not j u s t the h i s t o r y o f a f a m i l y , but the experience o f a modern s o c i e t y : The complicated scheme o f p h y s i c a l and mental i n h e r i t a n c e , which Z o l a set f o r t h i n the g e n e a l o g i c a l t r e e s he i s s u e d from time to time, became o f l e s s and l e s s s i g n i f i c a n c e as the work proceeded. N e v e r t h e l e s s the f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e framework had great use i n g i v i n g form and shape to the vast on- rush o f i d e a s with which Z o l a was f i r s t a s s a i l e d . Without i t s seeming l i m i t a - t i o n , he might never have dared to face h i s t a s k . Apart from i t s s u b j e c t i v e v a l u e , too, i t must be admitted that the v i s i o n o f a wandering brood, sprung from a t a i n t e d stem, burrowing and f i g h t i n g i t s way through the shaking s t r u c t u r e o f the g l i t t e r i n g Empire has a v i o l e n t and dramatic q u a l i t y which again and again r e t u r n s to s t r i k e the reader, when, absorbed i n the course o f some independent n a r r a t i v e , he would t h i n k h i m s e l f most remote from the f a m i l y drama.g In o t h e r words, Z o l a remains an i n t e r e s t i n g n o v e l i s t (as d i s t i n c t from j o u r n a l i s t or s o c i o l o g i s t ) i n h i s study of the " r e c i p r o c a l e f f e c t of s o c i e t y on the i n d i v i d u a l and the i n d i v i d u a l on s o c i e t y . " 9 And i n some i n s t a n c e s , he was a good n o v e l i s t on account o f h i s theory and not i n s p i t e o f i t . The s t a r k n e s s o f the " e x p e r i m e n t a l " method can have the h a p p i e s t r e s u l t s , as i n the formal symmetry o f the - 11 - b e a u t i f u l l y designed L'Assommoir (a p o s s i b i l i t y o f Z o l a ' s a r t , i n c i d e n t a l l y , which George Moore s u c c e s s f u l l y emulated when he so b e a u t i f u l l y rounded the p l o t o f E s t h e r Waters back upon i t s e l f , to end where the no v e l began). F u r t h e r , Z o l a s u c c e s s f u l l y r e s o l v e d o t h e r t e c h n i c a l problems of n o v e l - w r i t i n g . He had not " i n v e n t e d " h i s s u b j e c t m a t e r i a l . The b r o t h e r s Goncourt (whose Germinie Lacerteux i s o f t e n used to date the begin n i n g o f n a t u r a l i s m i n France) had, even without r e c o u r s e to c u r r e n t s c i e n t i f i c t h e o r i e s , decided t h a t the e a r l i e r conventions o f n o v e l - w r i t i n g had excluded too much o f modern experience: L i v i n g as we do i n the ni n e t e e n t h cen- t u r y , i n an age of u n i v e r s a l s u f f r a g e , o f democracy, o f l i b e r a l i s m , we asked o u r s e l v e s the q u e s t i o n whether what are c a l l e d "the lower c l a s s e s " had no r i g h t s i n the nove l ; i f that world beneath a world, the common people, must needs remain s u b j e c t to the l i t - e r a r y i n t e r d i c t , and h e l p l e s s a g a i n s t the contempt o f authors who have h i t h e r t o s a i d no word t o imply t h a t the common people possess a he a r t and s o u l . We asked o u r s e l v e s whether, i n these days o f e q u a l i t y i n which we l i v e , t h e r e are c l a s s e s unworth the n o t i c e o f the author and the reader, m i s f o r t u n e s too lowly, dramas too foul-mouthed, c a t a s t r o p h e s too commonplace i n the t e r r o r they i n s p i r e . We were c u r i o u s to know i f t h a t c o n v e n t i o n a l symbol o f a f o r g o t t e n l i t e r a t u r e , o f a vanished s o c i e t y , Tragedy, i s d e f i n i t e l y dead; i f , , i n a coun t r y where c a s t e s no longer e x i s t and a r i s t o c r a c y has no l e g a l 12 s t a t u s , t h e m i s e r i e s o f t h e l o w l y and poor would a p p e a l t o * p u b l i c i n t e r e s t , emotion, compassion, as f o r c i b l y as t h e m i s e r i e s o f t h e g r e a t and the r i c h ; i f , i n a word, t h e t e a r s t h a t a r e shed i n low l i f e have t h e same power t o cause t e a r s t o f l o w as t h e t e a r s shed i n h i g h l i f e . 1 0 But Z o l a d i d d e v e l o p t e c h n i q u e s o f d e a l i n g s u c c e s s f u l l y w i t h t h e i n a r t i c u l a t e c h a r a c t e r s which such an e x p a n s i o n o f t h e s u b j e c t m a t t e r o f t h e n o v e l i n v o l v e s . F i r s t , he makes use o f a s l i g h t l y more a r t i c u l a t e p r o - t a g o n i s t who i s h i m s e l f an a l i e n o b s e r v e r ( t h e r e b y , a t t h e l e a s t , g i v i n g t h e a u t h o r a f o r m a l r e a s o n f o r i n t e r p r e t i n g e v e n t s ) — f o r example, Jean i n L a T e r r e o r E t i e n n e i n G e r m i n a l . Second, he manages peopl e i n the mass e x t r a o r - d i n a r i l y w e l l . What he f o r s a k e s i n i n d i v i d u a l i t y by d e a l i n g w i t h p e o p l e i n a r a t h e r g e n e r a l i z e d way, he r e g a i n s by the t e n d e n c y o f h i s n o v e l s toward the e p i c . The e p i c q u a l i t y , i t i s t r u e , i s most apparent i n t h e sheer s i z e o f h i s e n t e r - p r i s e : "The g r a n d i o s e s u g g e s t s t h e e p i c and i s a k i n t o t h e mythical.""*"''" But i n d i v i d u a l n o v e l s a r e a l s o e p i c i n t h e v e r y b r e a d t h o f t h e a u t h o r ' s s o c i a l c o n s c i o u s n e s s , i n the s e r i o u s n e s s o f h i s w i s h t o i n t e r p r e t modern e x p e r i e n c e i n o r d e r t h a t i t might be r e - o r d e r e d s u c c e s s f u l l y , i n h i s c o n f i d e n c e t h a t he i s a l i g n e d w i t h the s c i e n t i f i c p r o g r e s s o f h i s t i m e . When Z o l a ' s E n g l i s h d i s c i p l e , George Moore, s e l f - - 13 - c o n s c i o u s l y ushered n a t u r a l i s m i n t o E n g l i s h l i t e r a t u r e w i t h the p u b l i c a t i o n o f The Mummer's Wife, he n e i t h e r f e l t i t necessary t o c a r r y over the n a t u r a l i s t p r e - o c c u p a t i o n w i t h b i o l o g i c a l determinism nor the s o c i a l e p i c s c a l e o f Les Rougon-Macquart. F o r Moore, n a t u r a l i s m i t s e l f was a l i t e r - a r y t e c h n i q u e — a matter o f tone, and subject matter, and a e s t h e t i c d i s t a n c i n g . I t was not a s e r i o u s way o f coming t o terms w i t h r e a l i t y . When he wanted to work beyond i t s l i m i t s , he d i d not take p a i n s to t r a n s f o r m i t s l i m i t a t i o n s (which, indeed, he s c a r c e l y seemed to f e e l ) , but simply d i s c a r d e d the technique. But f o r a l l the f o l l o w i n g w r i t e r s except G a l s - worthy, the determinism o f which n a t u r a l i s m was the l i t e r a r y e x p r e s s i o n was a s e r i o u s i s s u e . Even as they used the t e c h - niques which Z o l a and oth e r French n a t u r a l i s t s had p e r f e c t e d , and the f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e forms which was the n a t u r a l e x p r e s s i o n o f the pr e o c c u p a t i o n with h e r e d i t a r y determinism, they worked out t h e i r r e s e r v a t i o n s about the n a t u r a l i s t s ' fundamental assumption: With l i v i n g beings as w e l l as inanimate ones, the c o n d i t i o n s o f the e x i s t e n c e o f each phe- nomenon are determined i n an ab s o l u t e manner. Samuel B u t l e r , o f course, r e a c t e d not to n a t u r a l i s m as a l i t e r a r y convention, but d i r e c t l y a g a i n s t the l i m i t i n g n o t i o n o f b i o l o g i c a l determinism which underlay i t . The Way o f A l l F l e s h i s an important n o v e l not j u s t because i t - 14 - i s the f i r s t f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e novel i n E n g l i s h — a n d of a l l those which I s h a l l d i s c u s s the one most thoroughly concerned w i t h the h e r e d i t y theme concomitant to the form—but a l s o because i t p o i n t s the way around the confines of n a t u r a l i s t determinism. Both Tess of the d ' U r b e r v i l l e s and Jude the Obscure con- t a i n the marks o f the controversy over b i o l o g i c a l determinism. Moreover, i n i t s p o r t r a i t of the pressures of modern urban l i f e , Jude the Obscure shows the i n f l u e n c e of n a t u r a l i s m . But Hardy s e i z e s upon the mechanics of b i o l o g i c a l determinism f o r h i s own purposes, which are qu i t e other than the sc o r i n g o f po i n t s i n the debate over n a t u r a l science. He uses the whole question of b i o l o g i c a l determinism i n a metaphoric way, sub- suming i t i n t o a Schopenhauerian p a t t e r n of metaphysical evo- l u t i o n , i n order to create a myth of modern experience. Determinism i n these two novels i s the modern guise o f t r a g i c f a t a l i s m . Among the Edwardian w r i t e r s of f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e s , John Galsworthy i s l e a s t concerned w i t h n a t u r a l i s m . I w i l l argue that The Forsyte Saga i s a f a i l u r e i n part because Galsworthy c o n s i s t e n t l y begs the questions about modern l i f e t hat n a t u r a l i s m poses, j u s t as he f a i l s to make meaningful use o f the h e r e d i t y theme which i s i m p l i c i t i n h i s m a t e r i a l . Where Galsworthy i s f u r t h e s t removed from the - 15 - n a t u r a l i s t s , A r n o l d Bennett i s c l o s e s t to them i n d e c l a r e d a l l e g i a n c e and s t y l e . But by the v e r y t a c t w i t h which he handles the q u e s t i o n s o f h e r e d i t y and environment, by u n i f y i n g them i n t o a s i n g l e c o n c e r n — t h e study o f a g i v e n environment at the p o i n t of e v o l v i n g away from i t s n a t i v e s t r e n g t h s — w e are discouraged from t h i n k i n g i n the n a t u r a l i s t terms o f environmental and h e r e d i t a r y determinism. What i n a n a t u r a l i s t n o v e l i s determined, seems ( l e s s por- t e n t o u s l y ) i n e v i t a b l e i n the Bennett f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e s . Of these authors, D. H. Lawrence r e a c t s most p r o f o u n d l y a g a i n s t any n o t i o n o f determinism such as i s i m p l i c i t i n n a t u r a l i s m . In the Lawrence c h r o n i c l e s , The L o s t & i r l and The Rainbow, we f i n d the most thorough working out o f an a n t i - n a t u r a l i s t stance which a l s o r e j e c t s the a n g l i c i z e d n a t u r a l i s m o f Arnold Bennett. But Lawrence, as a s e r i o u s i n n o v a t i n g a r t i s t u s i ng the f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e form i n o r i g i n a l ways, a l s o h e l d Galsworthy i n contempt. I t i s not too much to say t h a t Lawrence l e a r n e d from B u t l e r and Hardy ways to c r e a t e i n o p p o s i t i o n to such w r i t e r s as Bennett and Galsworthy. A l l o f these authors (however p r o b l e m a t i c a l l y i n the case o f B u t l e r , however h a m f i s t e d l y i n the case o f Galsworthy) have a common p u r p o s e — t o show E n g l i s h s o c i e t y i n the process o f e v o l v i n g away from a l o c a l i z e d , l a r g e l y - 16 - a g r a r i a n past i n t o the c e n t r a l i z e d urban c u l t u r e o f i n d u s t r i a l i s m . The e v o l u t i o n i n t o modernity i s what these c h r o n i c l e s of i n d i v i d u a l f a m i l i e s r e p r e s e n t . Hardy and Lawrence i n c o r p o r a t e i n t o t h e i r works a f e l t response to the human consequences o f that e v o l u t i o n , i n the r e l a t i o n - s h i p s between men and women. I t i s perhaps f o r t h a t r e a s o n — t h a t they have the most i n t r i c a t e concern f o r the r e l a - t i o n s h i p between i n d i v i d u a l l i v e s and g e n e r a l s o c i a l c h a n g e — th a t the Hardy and Lawrence c h r o n i c l e s seem the most important t o us. And i t i s p r e c i s e l y because Lawrence so p e r f e c t l y adapts the c h r o n i c l e form to h i s a r t i s t i c pur- poses, makes i t seem u n i q u e l y h i s own as he renders a complex and i n t e r e s t i n g account o f the e v o l u t i o n o f a f a m i l y i n t o modernity, t h a t The Rainbow i s o f a l l these f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e n o v e l s i n E n g l i s h at once the most f u l l y a chieved work o f a r t and the most i n t e r e s t i n g as a f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e . - 17 - Footnotes - Chapter I x Emile Z o l a , "The Novel as S o c i a l Science," The Modern T r a d i t i o n : Backgrounds of Modern Lit e r a t u r e , , ed. Richard Ellmann and Charles F e i d e l s o n , J r . ( N e w York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1965), p. 279. 2 I b i d . , pp. 279-SO. Honore de Balzac, " S o c i e t y as H i s t o r i c a l Organism," Modern T r a d i t i o n , p. 24&\ ^ I b i d . , pp. 24^-9. Harry L e v i n , The Gates of Horn: A Study of F i v e French R e a l i s t s (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 19^6), p. 307. 6 ' i Emile Z o l a , Nana, t r a n s . John C. Lapp (New York: Harper, 1957), p. 234. 7 ' ' Emile Z o l a , La T e r r e T t r a n s . Ernest Dowson, I n t r o . Harry Thurston PecklNew York: L i v e r i g h t , 1924 [l&95"]), I n t r o d u c t i o n , v i . A ' Angus Wilson, Emile Z o l a : An I n t r o d u c t o r y Study of H i s Novels (London: Seeker and Warburg, 1952), p. 93. ^ Z o l a , "Novel as S o c i a l Science," Modern T r a d i t i o n . p. 27S. Edmond and J u l e s de Goncourt, " C l i n i c a l Realism," Modern T r a d i t i o n , p. 270. 1 1 E l l i o t M. Grant, Zola* s"Germinal": A C r i t i c a l and H i s t o r i c a l Study ( L e i c e s t e r Univ. Press, 1962), p. 23. 12 Z o l a , "Novel as S o c i a l Science," Modern T r a d i t i o n , p. 276. Zola i s quoting Bernard. IS - CHAPTER I I In h i s study o f Z o l a , L e v i n comments t h a t : . . . i t was not u n t i l 18*59, with the argument over Darwin's O r i g i n s o f Sp e c i e s . t h a t i t became c o n c e i v a b l e to view man as wholly a product of n a t u r a l h i s t o r y . i Maurice, i n La Debacle, j u s t i f i e s war as a forum f o r the " s u r v i v a l o f the f i t t e s t . " But the humanly abhorrent aspect o f Darwinian t h e o r y had a l r e a d y been p o i n t e d out by the a n a r c h i s t Souvarine t o E t i e n n e , i n Germinal: E t i e n n e was now s t u d y i n g Darwin. He had read fragments, summarised and p o p u l a r i s e d i n a f i v e - s o u volume; and out o f t h i s i l l - u n d e r s t o o d r e a d i n g he had gained f o r h i m s e l f a r e v o l u t i o n a r y i d e a o f the s t r u g g l e f o r e x i s t e n c e , the le a n e a t i n g the f a t , the strong people devouring the p a l l i d middle c l a s s . But Souvarine f u r i o u s l y a t t a c k e d the s t u p i d i t y o f the S o c i a l i s t s who accept Darwin, t h a t a p o s t l e o f s c i e n t i f i c i n e q u a l i t y , whose famous s e l e c t i o n was o n l y good f o r a r i s - t o c r a t i c p h i l o s o p h e r s . H i s mate per- s i s t e d , however, w i s h i n g to reason out the matter, and e x p r e s s i n g h i s doubts by an h y p o t h e s i s : supposing the o l d s o c i e t y were no l o n g e r to e x i s t , swept away to the crumbs; w e l l , was i t not to be f e a r e d that the new world would grow up again, s l o w l y s p o i l t by the same i n j u s t i c e s , some s i c k and o t h e r s f l o u r - i s h i n g , some s k i l f u l and i n t e l l i g e n t , f a t t e n i n g on e v e r y t h i n g , and ot h e r s i m b e c i l e and l a z y , becoming s l a v e s again? But before t h i s v i s i o n o f - 1 9 - e t e r n a l wretchedness, the engine-man shouted out f i e r c e l y t h a t i f j u s t i c e was not p o s s i b l e with man, then man must di s a p p e a r . For every r o t t e n .-society t h e r e must be a massacre, u n t i l the l a s t c r e a t u r e was exterminated. (Germinal,, pp. 454-5) As has o f t e n been observed, Darwinism d i d not j u s t f o s t e r s o c i a l theory, but had i t s e l f a r i s e n from i t : The grand i d e a l which Darwin d i d r e a l l y o r i g i n a t e was not the i d e a o f descent with m o d i f i c a t i o n , but the i d e a o f n a t u r a l s e l e c t i o n — t h e s u r v i v a l o f the f i t t e s t . . . . D a r w i n ' s t h e o r y of n a t u r a l s e l e c t i o n was e s s e n t i a l l y an e x t e n s i o n to the animal and vegetable world o f l a i s e z - f a i r e economics and was suggested by Thomas M a l t h u s l s u t h e o r y o f popula- t i o n . ...Nature, so to speak, s e l e c t s the best i n d i v i d u a l s out o f each g e n e r a t i o n to l i v e ; and not o n l y so, but as these favored i n d i v i d u a l s t r a n s m i t t h e i r f a v o r a b l e q u a l i t i e s to t h e i r o f f s p r i n g , a c c o r d i n g to the f i x e d laws o f h e r e d i t y , i t f o l l o w s t h a t the i n d i v i d u a l s composing each s u c c e s s i v e g e n e r a t i o n are g e n e r a l l y b e t t e r s u i t e d to t h e i r surroundings than t h e i r f o r e f a t h e r s . 2 To people o f o p t i m i s t i c temper, the p o s s i b i l i t i e s i m p l i e d i n the r e - a p p l i c a t i o n o f Darwinism to s o c i a l t heory were p r a c t i c a l l y endless: Once i t had been shown t h a t what Huxley c a l l e d the " M i l t o n i c h y p o t h e s i s " of s p e c i a l c r e a t i o n was untenable, and Darwinism ceased to draw f i r e from churchmen o f every f a i t h , V i c t o r i a n s welcomed the new t h e o r y as a b r i n g e r o f g l a d t i d i n g s . England was growing r i c h e r year by year, and enjoying budget 20 - s u r p l u s e s i n s p i t e of d i m i n i s h i n g t a x a - t i o n . Her machinery was the wonder o f the world and her p a r l i a m e n t a r y govern- ment a model f o r the i m i t a t i o n o f e n l i g h t - ened f o r e i g n e r s . No one c o u l d doubt t h a t progress would go on i n d e f i n i t e l y . In such a world, impregnated wi t h the sense o f m a t e r i a l p r o g r e s s , e v o l u t i o n seemed o n l y a g e n e r a l i z a t i o n o f everyday l i f e ; and the concept of g r a d u a l change, grad u a l p r o g r e s s , e s p e c i a l l y s u i t e d the B r i t i s h temper.3 '~, ' But one o f Darwin's e a r l y r e a d e r s , Samuel B u t l e r , had doubts about the wider a p p l i c a t i o n s o f the theory o f n a t u r a l s e l e c t i o n not a l t o g e t h e r d i s s i m i l a r from the r e v u l s i o n which Z o l a ' s c h a r a c t e r expresses: F u r t h e r r e f l e c t i o n and s e v e r a l r e - readings o f the O r i g i n o f S p e c i e s made B u t l e r d i s s a t i s f i e d w i t h the Darwinian t h e o r y o f N a t u r a l S e l e c t i o n . Perhaps h i s own fancy about the machines gave him the c l u e to the weakness of Darwinism —what he u l t i m a t e l y came to c a l l "the Deadlock i n Darwinism." The deadlock was simply t h a t machines, having no purposes of t h e i r own, c o u l d not evolve; and s i n c e animals and p l a n t s were t r e a t e d by Darwin as i f they were machines, Darwinian e v o l u t i o n was i m p o s s i b l e . N a t u r a l S e l e c - t i o n might c o n c e i v a b l y a i d us to under- stand which forms s u r v i v e d , but i t could never t e l l us how these forms had come to be. N a t u r a l S e l e c t i o n was an undoubted f a c t ; i t c o u l d never be a theory or a cause.4 B u t l e r o f f e r e d a counter-theory, based i n p a r t on the work o f Lamarck and o t h e r n a t u r a l i s t s whose view of e v o l u t i o n was l e s s m e c h a n i s t i c than Darwin's. T h i s was, t h a t the - 21 e v o l u t i o n o f an organism was—however i n e x p l i c a b l y , and however l i m i t e d by the c i r c u m s c r i p t i o n s o f e n v i r o n m e n t — based upon i n d i v i d u a l e f f o r t , o r w i l l to change. In s h o r t , B u t l e r was at pains to rescue man from the c o n d i t i o n o f being "wholly a product o f n a t u r a l h i s t o r y . " F u r t h e r , he wrote a novel i n i l l u s t r a t i o n of h i s d e n i a l o f m e c h a n i s t i c determinism which, without being i n f l u e n c e d by French n a t u r a l i s m as a l i t e r a r y movement, was the f l a t d e n i a l o f the r i g o r o u s s c i e n t i f i c determinism u n d e r l y i n g i t . I t i s not too much to say t h a t the r e a c t i o n to French n a t u r a l i s m i n the E n g l i s h n o v e l began even before i t was a r e c o g n i z e d f o r c e : The Way o f A l l F l e s h thus may be con- s i d e r e d the graphic i l l u s t r a t i o n of those i d e a s which are b a s i c i n a l l B u t l e r ' s works. The o r i g i n a t i o n o f e v o l u t i o n i n a sense o f need and exer- c i s e o f w i l l t o f i l l t h a t need, the i n h e r i t a n c e o f memory and s t i m u l a t i o n o f t h a t memory by a s s o c i a t e d i d e a s , the i d e a o f i n t e l l e c t as an e v o l u t i o n a r y makeshift and o f unconscious memory as the consummation o f i n t e l l e c t , were repeated, embellished, and expanded from work to work. In h i s r e t u r n to the Lamarckian h y p o t h e s i s assuming the e x i s t e n c e and f u n c t i o n of w i l l i n c r e a t i o n , we mark B u t l e r ' s c h i e f p o i n t o f departure from Darwinism. The d i s t i n c t i o n between Darwin's the o r y and B u t l e r ' s i s o f importance because i t corresponds to a d i f f e r e n c e between the E n g l i s h r e a l i s t s and the French n a t u r a l i s t s . The l a t t e r r e f l e c t the determinism i m p l i c i t i n Darwinism; to 22 - them the i n d i v i d u a l i s the r e s u l t a n t o f h e r e d i t y and e n v i r o n m e n t — p r e - d e s - t i n a t i o n i s a s c i e n t i f i c f a c t . E n g l i s h r e a l i s m , on t h e c o n t r a r y , i n g e n e r a l r e f l e c t s the freedom o f the w i l l which, i l l u s i o n or not, i s b a s i c i n our sense o f experience. <j B u t l e r ' s m a t e r i a l a l s o seems to provide a rare example among f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e s i n E n g l i s h of the development o f the i n d i v i d u a l , E r n e s t P o n t i f e x , presented as b e i n g u l t i - mately i n harmony w i t h a reasonably c h e e r f u l view o f the l a r g e r development o f the r a c e . That i s , t h e r e i s i n the s c i e n t i f i c t heory no c o n f l i c t between the g e n e r a l b i o l o g i c a l tendency and the f r u i t f u l development of s o c i e t y . A f t e r two g e n e r a t i o n s o f the f a l l i n g away from i n n a t e h e r e d i t a r y energy i n t o the s t e r i l i t y o f m i d d l e - c l a s s v a l u e s , E r n e s t — r e p r e s e n - t i n g the f o u r t h g e n e r a t i o n p o r t r a y e d — i s once a g a i n i n the mainstream. The s u p e r i o r i t y o f the present over the immediate past ( o f E r n e s t , over h i s damaged parents) l i e s p r e c i s e l y i n an a b i l i t y t o abandon the s o r t o f i d e a l i s m t h a t obscures the a c t u a l nature o f man as a b i o l o g i c a l e n t i t y — t h a t i s , i n i t s a b i l i t y to " f o r g e t . " But because the b i o l o g i c a l s t a t e o f grace i s a s t a t e of unconsciousness, i n which " h a b i t " has become so i n g r a i n e d , so t h o r o u g h l y l e a r n e d as to have become p a r t o f the unconscious memory, Er n e s t never e n t i r e l y partakes of i t . Hence, even a f t e r E r n e s t has "seen the - 23 - l i g h t " i n p r i s o n , he s t i l l a voids c l o s e r contact with h i s adored u n i v e r s i t y f r i e n d , because he r e c o g n i z e s t h a t they are d i f f e r e n t s o r t s o f persons: " I see i t a l l now. The people l i k e Towneley are the o n l y ones who know anything t h a t i s worth knowing, and l i k e t h a t of course I can never be. But to make Towneleys p o s s i b l e t h e r e must be hewers o f wood and drawers of water —men i n f a c t through whom conscious knowledge must pass before i t can reach those who can apply i t g r a c e f u l l y and i n s t i n c t i v e l y as the Towneleys can. I am a hewer o f wood, but i f I accept the p o s i t i o n f r a n k l y and do not set up to be a Towneley, i t does not matter. " 5 The Way of A l l F l e s h may seem to c o n t a i n the c h a r a c t e r - i s t i c d e f e c t s o f the roman a these. I t i s c e r t a i n l y t r u e t h a t the u n d e r l y i n g t h e o r y a l l o w s f o r the worst l a p s e s o f the n o v e l , such as Overton's m e d i t a t i o n s on o l d John P o n t i f e x ' s p i c t u r e s . As a f i r s t statement o f the main theme o f the n o v e l , t h i s seems d i s a s t r o u s : I wonder how they w i l l a c t u a l l y cease and come to an end as drawings, and i n t o what new phases o f being they w i l l then e n t e r . ( F l e s h , p. l ) The address from E r n e s t ' s unconscious to h i s conscious s e l f i s a s u f f i c i e n t l y awkward way o f p r e s e n t i n g a t h e o r e t i c a l foreshadowing o f the a c t u a l events o f E r n e s t ' s l i f e . When we remember t h a t i t i s Overton who i s the o s t e n s i b l e c r e a t o r o f t h i s u n g a i n l y method of prophecy, we l o s e p a t i e n c e a l t o g e t h e r : - 24 - "You are surrounded on every s i d e by l i e s which would deceive even the e l e c t , i f the e l e c t were not g e n e r a l l y so un- commonly wide awake; the s e l f o f which you are conscious, your reasoning and r e f l e c t i n g s e l f , w i l l b e l i e v e these l i e s and b i d you act i n accordance w i t h them. T h i s conscious s e l f o f yours, E r n e s t , i s a p r i g begotten o f p r i g s and t r a i n e d i n p r i g g i s h n e s s ; I w i l l not a l l o w i t to shape your words f o r many a year to come. Your papa i s not here to beat you now; t h i s i s a change i n the c o n d i t i o n s o f your e x i s t e n c e , and should be f o l l o w e d by changed a c t i o n s . Obey me, your t r u e s e l f , and t h i n g s w i l l go t o l e r a b l y w e l l w i t h you, but o n l y l i s t e n to t h a t outward and v i s i b l e o l d husk o f yours which i s c a l l e d your f a t h e r , and I w i l l rend you i n p i e c e s even unto the t h i r d and f o u r t h g e n e r a t i o n as one who has hated God; f o r I, E r n e s t , am the God who made you." ( F l e s h , p. 126*) I r o n i c a l l y , the aims o f a r t and o f n a t u r a l s c i e n c e o f t e n seem at odds simply because B u t l e r succeeds so p e r f e c t l y at endowing the n a r r a t o r w i t h an i n d i v i d u a l p e r s o n a l i t y . Over- ton i s opposed above a l l to imposing t h e o r e t i c a l systems ( l a t e i n the n o v e l , he views E r n e s t ' s e f f o r t s a long t h e s e l i n e s w i t h comic s u s p i c i o n ) . T h e r e f o r e , we know at times t h a t we are h e a r i n g not Overton's, but B u t l e r ' s v o i c e . Even the d i c t i o n changes: Embryo minds, l i k e embryo bodies, pass through a number o f strange metamorphoses before they adopt t h e i r f i n a l shape. I t i s no more to be wondered at t h a t one who i s g o i ng to t u r n out a Roman C a t h o l i c , should have passed through the stages o f being f i r s t a Methodist, and then a f r e e t h i n k e r , than t h a t a man should at some - 25 - former time have been a mere c e l l , and l a t e r on an i n v e r t e b r a t e animal. E r n e s t , however, c o u l d not be expected to know t h i s ; embryos never do. Embryos t h i n k w i t h each stage o f t h e i r development t h a t they have now reached the o n l y c o n d i t i o n which r e a l l y s u i t s them. T h i s , they say, must c e r t a i n l y be t h e i r l a s t , inasmuch as i t s c l o s e w i l l be so g r e a t a shock t h a t n o t h i n g can s u r v i v e i t . Every change i s a shock; every shock i s a pro tanto death. What we c a l l death i s o n l y a shock great enough to d e s t r o y our power to recognize a past and a present as resembling one another. I t i s the making us c o n s i d e r t h e p o i n t s o f d i f - f e r e n c e between our present and our past g r e a t e r than the p o i n t s o f resem- blan c e , so that we can no l o n g e r c a l l the former o f these two i n any proper sense a c o n t i n u a t i o n o f the second, but f i n d i t l e s s t r o u b l e to t h i n k o f i t as some- t h i n g t h a t we choose to c a l l new. ( F l e s h , p. 231) But Overton i s i n no r e a l danger of being a s a c r i f i c e to n a t u r a l s c i e n c e . In p l a c e s , B u t l e r succeeds m a r v e l l o u s l y i n combing c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f the c r u s t i l y i n t r a c t i b l e p e r s o n a l i t y w i t h t h e o r e t i c a l "message," so t h a t the one informs and e n r i c h e s the o t h e r . One t h i n k s , f o r example, o f the d i s a p p r o v a l with which Overton views E r n e s t ' s marriage. E v e r y t h i n g works together: the marriage i s an obvious out- rage to common sense, to freedom from bourgeois r e s t r i c t i o n s , a n d — s p l e n d i d l y — t o the s e n s i b i l i t i e s o f a confirmed b a c h e l o r . F u r t h e r , i t should not be f o r g o t t e n t h a t the t h e o r y d i r e c t l y a l l o w s f o r such f i n e comic touches as the b r i e f l y mentioned i n c i d e n t which might be read as a parody o f ~ 26 - Darwinian sexual s e l e c t i o n : ' The next morning saw Theobald i n h i s rooms coaching a p u p i l , and the Miss A l l a b y s i n the e l d e s t Miss A l l a b y ' s bedroom p l a y i n g at c a r d s , with Theobald f o r the s t a k e s . The winner was C h r i s t i n a , the second unmarried daughter, then j u s t twenty- seven years o l d , and t h e r e f o r e f o u r years o l d e r than Theobald. The younger s i s t e r s . c o m p l a i n e d t h a t i t was throwing a husband away t o l e t C h r i s t i n a t r y and c a t c h him, f o r she was so much o l d e r t h a t she had no chance; but C h r i s t i n a showed f i g h t i n a way not u s u a l w i t h her, f o r she was by nature y i e l d i n g and good tempered. ( F l e s h , p. 42) The theory can a l s o be transformed i n t o moving d e t a i l , as i n the d e s c r i p t i o n o f o l d Mr. P o n t i f e x ' s " s u c c e s s f u l " son H i s f a t h e r , as I have s a i d , wondered at him and l e t him a l o n e . His son had f a i r l y o u t d i s t a n c e d him, and i n an i n - a r t i c u l a t e way the f a t h e r knew i t p e r f e c t l y w e l l . A f t e r a few years he took to wearing h i s best c l o t h e s whenever h i s son came to s t a y w i t h him, nor would he d i s c a r d them f o r h i s o r d i n a r y ones t i l l the young man had r e t u r n e d to London. I b e l i e v e o l d Mr. P o n t i f e x , along w i t h h i s p r i d e and a f f e c t i o n , f e l t a l s o a c e r t a i n f e a r o f h i s son, as though of something which he c o u l d not thoroughly understand, and whose ways, n o t w i t h - standing outward agreement, were never- t h e l e s s not h i s ways. Mrs. P o n t i f e x f e l t n o t h i n g o f t h i s ; to her George was pure and a b s o l u t e p e r f e c t i o n , and she saw, o r thought she saw, w i t h p l e a s u r e , t h a t he resembled her and her f a m i l y i n f e a t u r e as w e l l as i n d i s p o s i t i o n r a t h e r than her husband and h i s . ( F l e s h , pp. 3-9) C u r i o u s l y , the most i n t e r e s t i n g i s s u e i n the n o v e l — 27 - any r a t e , to a reader unmoved by the n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y c o n t r o v e r s y over e v o l u t i o n — i s the one which i s most b l u r r e d . When Er n e s t a r r i v e s at h i s c l o s e s t proximation to the s t a t e o f grace, h i s l a c k o f v i t a l i t y i s h i s most n o t i c e a b l e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c : With a f o r t u n e l e f t t o him by h i s aunt, he r e t i r e s to l i v e the i d e a l B u t l e r i a n l i f e — o n e where a calm, p a s s i o n l e s s bachelorhood, and an ample income enable him to pursue a l i t e r a r y c a r e e r of g e n t e e l unorthodoxy.£ B i s s e l l p o i n t s out t h a t Towneley i s f i n a l l y an u n i n t e r e s t i n g hero. But i f Towneley i s amiable r a t h e r than i n t e r e s t i n g , s u r e l y E r n e s t i s almost l e s s than a l i v e . He has no i n t e r e s t s o t h e r than h i s w r i t i n g and music (and the l a t t e r i n t e r e s t c o n f i n e d t o Handel), no f r i e n d s o t h e r than the o c t o g e n a r i a n Overton's c i r c l e . Overton h i m s e l f , perhaps s i g n i f i c a n t l y , has always avoided any very a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l i f e . E r n e s t has none o f the v i t a l i t y o f the very much o l d e r John P o n t i f e x at the beginning o f the n o v e l . E r n e s t ' s c h i l d r e n — w h o s c a r c e l y e x i s t i n l i f e — h a v e more energy: E r n e s t ' s daughter A l i c e married the boy who had been her playmate more than a year ago. E r n e s t gave them a l l they s a i d they wanted and a good d e a l more. They have a l r e a d y presented him w i t h a grandson, and I doubt not w i l l do so w i t h many more. Georgie though o n l y twenty-one i s owner o f a f i n e steamer - 23 - which h i s f a t h e r has bought f o r him. He began when about t h i r t e e n going with o l d R o l l i n g s and Jack i n the barge from Rochester t o the upper Thames with b r i c k s ; then h i s f a t h e r bought him and Jack barges o f t h e i r own, and then he bought them both s h i p s , and then steamers. I do not e x a c t l y know how people make money by having a steamer, but he does whatever i s u s u a l , and from a l l I can gather makes i t pay extremely w e l l . He i s a good deal l i k e h i s f a t h e r i n the face, but without a s p a r k — s o f a r as I have been able to o b s e r v e — o f any l i t e r a r y a b i l i t y ; he has a f a i r sense of humour and abundance o f common sense, but h i s i n s t i n c t i s c l e a r l y a p r a c t i c a l one. I am not sure t h a t he does not put me i n mind almost more o f what Theobald would have been i f he had been a s a i l o r , than o f E r n e s t . ( F l e s h , p. 390) I t i s important t h a t , by t h e i r u p b r i n g i n g , they have been kept out o f the middle c l a s s to which E r n e s t , a f t e r t h e a c c e s s i o n to A l e t h e a P o n t i f e x ' s f o r t u n e and the growth o f h i s l i t e r a r y r e p u t a t i o n , has been once again admitted. I t w i l l be remembered t h a t o l d John P o n t i f e x , o r i g i n a l l y a c a r p e n t e r , was the f i r s t P o n t i f e x to own l a n d . I t i s hard t o t e l l how s e r i o u s l y we are t o take a l l t h i s , s i n c e B u t l e r never r e t u r n e d t o the f i n a l shaping o f the l a s t p a r t o f the n o v e l . But i t does seem t h a t we are being shown the products o f the middle c l a s s e v o l v i n g themselves, as a c l a s s , out o f e x i s t e n c e . E a r l y i n the n o v e l , Overton has drawn a t t e n t i o n to the genuine advance i n w e l l - b e i n g o f the r u r a l working c l a s s (the o c c a s i o n o f the m e d i t a t i o n i s the boredom o f one o f Theobald's sermons): Even now I can see the men i n blue smock f r o c k s r e a c h i n g t o t h e i r h e e l s , and more than one o l d woman i n a s c a r l e t cloak; the row o f s t o l i d , d u l l , vacant plough-boys, u n g a i n l y i n b u i l d , uncomely i n f a c e , l i f e - l e s s , a p a t h e t i c , a race a good d e a l more l i k e the p r e - r e v o l u t i o n French peasant as d e s c r i b e d by C a r l y l e than i s ple a s a n t t o r e f l e c t u p o n — a race now supplanted by a smarter, c o m e l i e r and more h o p e f u l genera- t i o n , which has d i s c o v e r e d t h a t i t too has a r i g h t t o as much happiness as i t can get, and w i t h c l e a r e r i d e a s about the best means of g e t t i n g i t . (FLesh, p. 91) Perhaps the l a s t g e n e r a t i o n o f the P o n t i f e x e s has worked i t s way back to the f a m i l y ' s pre-bourgeois s t a t e i n order t o advance with the r e s t o f the r u r a l s o c i e t y from which the f a m i l y o r i g i n a l l y stemmed. In t h i s case, the f i r s t and l a s t g enerations o f t h e n o v e l — o l d John P o n t i f e x and E r n e s t ' s c h i l d r e n — f u n c t i o n as a s o r t o f frame to the p e r i o d c o v e r i n g the t h r e e g e n e r a t i o n s of t h e f a m i l y ' s lapse i n t o middle c l a s s v a l u e s . I f t h i s i s so, then E r n e s t and Overton are even more q u a l i f i e d successes at l i f e t h an c r i t i c s u s u a l l y assume. The f u r t h e r p o s s i b i l i t y e x i s t s t h a t Towneley i s such an u n i n t e r e s t i n g hero o n l y because E r n e s t i s inc a p a b l e o f r e c o g n i z i n g a more complex one, and t h a t we are not supposed to share Overton's tempered approval o f E r n e s t ' s l a t e r l i f e . John P o n t i f e x ' s " s u c c e s s f u l " son, George, was the f i r s t 30 - o f the P o n t i f e x e s to go t o the c i t y . E r n e s t and Overton are seen at t h e end o f the n o v e l as thoroughly products o f the c i t y . E r n e s t may f a i l at l i f e because the e f f o r t o f r e v e r s i o n to the f a m i l y ' s o l d s t r e n g t h has d i s s i p a t e d the c a p a c i t y f o r enjoyment o f t h a t l i f e . But e q u a l l y , John P o n t i f e x ' s m i l i e u has changed, j u s t as the m i l i e u o f the Brangwens has changed r a d i c a l l y by the end of Lawrence's The Rainbow. The l i m i t a t i o n s o f E r n e s t ' s success may be a comment upon the l i m i t e d p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r f u l f i l l m e n t which modern urban s o c i e t y — a s opposed to the s e m i - r u r a l v i l l a g e l i f e seen at t h e opening o f the n o v e l — p r o v i d e s . B u t l e r may w e l l be working with a double n o t i o n o f e v o l u t i o n — ( n o t u n l i k e the one Lawrence i n h e r i t e d from Hardy) of time-as- r e c u r r e n c e , as bodied f o r t h by the h e r e d i t y theme, and o f time as s o c i a l " p r o g r e s s , " or e v o l u t i o n i n t o modernity, as worked out i n the chronology o f the s t o r y . Hence, The Way o f A l l F l e s h may not be so completely a roman a these as i s commonly assumed. I t may have more i n common w i t h The Rainbow than an a n t i - d e t e r m i n i s t v i t a l i s m ; i t may be pushing toward an achievement o f the same k i n d — a d e p i c t i o n of the human conse- quences o f the s h i f t from an a g r a r i a n s o c i e t y ( i n which man i s an o r g a n i c p a r t of the n a t u r a l world) to modern urban s o c i e t y ( i n which men are m e c h a n i c a l l y connected to each other and to the n a t u r a l w o r l d ) . - 3 1 - I n t h e absence o f e v i d e n c e , t h i s i s o n l y s p e c u l a t i o n . But i t re m a i n s an i n t e r e s t i n g p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t t h e f i r s t f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e n o v e l i n E n g l i s h , b e s i d e s r e p r e s e n t i n g t h e i n i t i a l v i c t o r y o v e r the b i o l o g i c a l d e t e r m i n i s m o f t h e n a t u r a l i s t s , was meant t o be a f a r more s o p h i s t i c a t e d attempt t o r e g i s t e r t h e e f f e c t s o f t h e e v o l u t i o n o f E n g l i s h s o c i e t y as a whole t h a n i t i s u s u a l l y g i v e n c r e d i t f o r b e i n g . - 3 2 - Footnotes - Chapter II Levin, Gates of Horn, p. 307. 2 Leo J . Henken, Darwinism i n the English Novel, 1 & 6 0 - 1910: The Impact of Evolution on V i c t o r i a n F i c t i o n (New York: Russell and Russell, I 9 6 3 T , pp. 4 6 - $ . Ibid., p. 1 4 2 . ^ Jacques Barzun, Darwin, Marx, Wagner: Criti q u e of a Heritage (New York: Doubleday, 1953), pp. 107-3. Henken, Darwinism i n the English Novel, p. 215. Samuel Butler, The Way; of A l l Flesh (New York: Rinehart, 1 9 4 & 1 ) , p. 3 2 1 . Claude T. B i s s e l l , "A Study of The. Way: of A l l Flesh." Nineteenth-Century Studies, ed. H. Davis, William C. DeVane, R.C. Bald (Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1 9 4 0 ) , p. 3 0 1 . CHAPTER I I I Thomas Hardy's f r i e n d and f i r s t s e r i o u s c r i t i c , L i o n e l Johnson, took e x c e p t i o n to the p r e v a i l i n g concern w i t h n a t u r a l s c i e n c e : A s t r o l o g y i s indeed d i s c r e d i t e d : but i s h e r e d i t y proved? Doubtless, from the days o f E z e k i e l and Aeschylus, men's minds have been occupied by the thought o f t r a n s m i t t e d t e n d e n c i e s and o f v i c a r i o u s s u f f e r i n g : but o n l y i n our day has the creed o f 'determinism' taken body and form: and t h a t , w i t h a somewhat premature d e c i s i o n . j In f o c u s s i n g on what he c o n s i d e r s a s e r i o u s flaw i n Hardy's works, Johnson r a i s e s the q u e s t i o n o f the way i n which we are to understand the purpose o f Hardy's use o f the f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e s t r u c t u r e i n Tess o f the d ' U r b e r v i l l e s and Jude the Obscure. By one o f the q u i r k s o f l i t e r a r y h i s t o r y , Hardy began work on Tess o n l y a short time a f t e r Samuel B u t l e r abandoned work on The Way o f A l l F l e s h . ^ B u t l e r ' s n o v e l i s a f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e i n the most thorough-going sense; he r e q u i r e s the p o r t r a y a l o f f i v e g e n e r a t i o n s , f o u r o f them drawn i n q u i t e c a r e f u l l y , i n o r d e r to d e p i c t the u n d e r l y i n g concern w i t h the changing m a n i f e s t a t i o n s o f h e r e d i t y . Hardy, on the o t h e r hand, q u i t e d e l i b e r a t e l y g e n e r a l i z e s the c h r o n i c l e s t r u c t u r e i n the process o f transmuting the whole i d e a o f e v o l u t i o n , - 34 - o f change from one g e n e r a t i o n to the next, i n t o something t h a t approaches myth. He takes as h i s main purpose, i n o t h e r words, what we have a l r e a d y seen as a tendency o f Les Rougon-Macquart. He i s u s i n g the c h r o n i c l e s t r u c t u r e i n a way t h a t has l e s s to do with n a t u r a l s c i e n c e than w i t h the aims o f the very much e a r l i e r w r i t e r s o f c h r o n i c l e s — ones touched upon by Johnson. Where B u t l e r employs the c h r o n i c l e s t r u c t u r e to work out a s p e c i f i c i n s t a n c e o f a s c i e n t i f i c t h e o r y o f h e r e d i t y , Hardy e x p l o i t s the c h r o n i c l e s t r u c t u r e to show not the e v o l u t i o n o f a p a r t i c u l a r f a m i l y , but o f modern man i n g e n e r a l . That i s , he i s r e a l l y q u i t e u n i n t e r e s t e d i n the s c i e n c e o f h e r e d i t y i n the B u t l e r i a n sense, but r a t h e r i s working out a m etaphysical theory ( a l b e i t an e v o l u t i o n a r y one). Thus, Tess o f the d ' U r b e r v i l l e s and Jude the Obscure are not p r i m a r i l y f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e s , as i s p e r f e c t l y c l e a r when we r e a l i z e how b r i e f l y sketched i n are the f i r s t and l a s t o f the three g e n e r a t i o n s which are d e a l t w i t h i n both n o v e l s . Rather, they are f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e s as the Sophoclean t r a g e d i e s are f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e s , d e a l i n g w i t h human f a m i l i e s i n o r d e r to expand the s i g n i f i c a n c e beyond i n d i v i d u a l s o r p a r t i c u l a r cases to p o i n t toward the i n c l u s i o n o f a l l humanity. And, as i n the Greek p l a y s , the v i s i o n i s t r a g i c — t h a t man i s the v i c t i m o f an i n e v i t a b l e and i n e x o r a b l e - 35 - combination o f f o r c e s (both w i t h i n h i m s e l f and w i t h o u t ) . Hence, the b i o l o g i c a l determinism o f t h e n a t u r a l i s t s i s metamorphosed i n t o something much o l d e r , the f a t a l i s m o f the t r a g i c poets. Hardy i s c a r e f u l l y working out a p o s s i - b i l i t y o f n a t u r a l i s t d e t e r m i n i s m — t h a t i s , t r a g e d y — w h i c h was mentioned by the b r o t h e r s Goncourt i n t h e i r p r e f a c e t o Germinie Lacerteux. I t might be o b j e c t e d t h a t Hardy co u l d have taken h i s model d i r e c t l y from the Greeks, t h a t there i s no need f o r r e f e r e n c e to h e r e d i t a r y determinism. But the p o i n t i s t h a t Hardy was t r y i n g t o c r e a t e a myth f o r modern experience, i n modern terms; h e r e d i t a r y determinism f u n c t i o n s as the s p e c i - f i c a l l y modern gu i s e o f f a t a l i s m , a l l o w i n g him to put h i s myth i n t o a form so t h a t r e c o g n i z a b l e events c o u l d be i n t e r p r e t e d i n at l e a s t two ways at o n c e — a s a study o f s o c i a l e v o l u t i o n , which i s i n t u r n o n l y the concrete i n s t a n c e o f a b s t r a c t m etaphysical e v o l u t i o n . Tess o f the d ' U r b e r v i l l e s . f o r a l l i t s wealth o f " t o p i c a l " d e t a i l s , d e f i e s c a t e g o r i z a t i o n as a r e a l i s t i c n o v e l , as i s r e c o g n i z e d by a l l the c r i t i c s who grumble about A l e c d ' U r b e r v i l l e and Angel C l a r e as cardboard f i g u r e s . But what the d i s s a t i s f i e d c r i t i c s (with some honourable exceptions) have f a i l e d to r e a l i z e i s t h a t the no v e l ' s l a c k o f r e a l i s m i s not a f a u l t o f , but r a t h e r i s fundamental t o , Hardy's - 36 method: Both Angel and Ale c are metaphors of extremes o f human behavior, when the human has been cut o f f from community and has been i n d i v i d u a l i z e d by i n t e l - l e c t u a l education o r by m a t e r i a l wealth and t r a d i t i o n l e s s independence .-j The D u r b e y f i e l d s t h e m s e l v e s — o n c e d ' U r b e r v i l l e s — w h o e x i s t i n M a r i o t t are no l e s s than a metaphor f o r mankind ("somewhat debased," l i k e the D u r b e y f i e l d nose) as i t evolves i n t o modernity. I t i s o n l y Parson Tringham and Angel C l a r e — n o t Hardy—who see t h i s e v o l u t i o n i n the narrow sense o f i n h e r i t e d p e r s o n a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . Tess i s heed- l e s s and f o r g e t f u l at c r u c i a l times i n her l i f e , l i k e her parents before her, not because dreaminess i s an o d d i t y o f the f a m i l y , but because t h a t i s a fundamental aspect o f human experience ("harmless as the D u r b e y f i e l d s were to a l l except themselves"^). Hardy takes some pains to show h i s readers t h a t he does not mean us to i n t e r p r e t the f a m i l y ' s f o r t u n e s as being p e c u l i a r to them, by s p e c i f i c a l l y d i s m i s s i n g a n o t i o n o f p e r s o n a l o r f a m i l i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y : One may, indeed, admit the p o s s i b i l i t y o f a r e t r i b u t i o n l u r k i n g i n the present c a t a s - t r o p h e . Doubtless some of Tess d ' U r b e r v i l l e ' s mailed a n c e s t o r s r o l l i c k i n g home from a f r a y had d e a l t the same measure even more r u t h l e s s l y towards peasant g i r l s o f t h e i r time. But though to v i s i t the s i n s o f the f a t h e r upon the c h i l d r e n may be a m o r a l i t y good enough f o r d i v i n i t i e s , i t i s scorned by average human nature; and i t t h e r e f o r e does not mend the matter. ( T e s s T p. 9l) - 37 - We are never to a t t r i b u t e Tess'5 f o r t u n e s to the f a c t o f the D u r b e y f i e l d s being descended from the d ' U r b e r v i l l e s i n any but the most g e n e r a l w a y — t h a t i s , as she i s a member o f the human f a m i l y . To do otherwise would be to commit the mistake o f Mr. D u r b e y f i e l d and Angel C l a r e , o f i n t e r p r e t i n g events as being l i t e r a l l y caused by h e r e d i t y . L e s t we miss the p o i n t , Hardy i s c a r e f u l t o p o i n t out t h a t most o f the milkmaids at Talbothays are descended from "gr e a t f a m i l i e s . " That i s , the D u r b e y f i e l d s are by no means unique. Although Huxley i s mentioned i n T e s s f the u n d e r l y i n g view o f e v o l u t i o n i n Hardy's l a s t two novels c l e a r l y stems from an e a r l i e r source than Darwin. The works o f Arthur Schopenhauer, which were not p u b l i s h e d i n E n g l i s h u n t i l 16*6*3, prov i d e a n o t i o n o f e v o l u t i o n which i s l e s s s c i e n t i f i c , more metaphoric (and hence, perhaps, more i m a g i n a t i v e l y u s e f u l ) than t h a t o f the n a t u r a l s c i e n t i s t s . Schopenhauer i s con- cerned w i t h the e v o l u t i o n o f humanity away from the animal ( p h y s i c a l ) toward the s p i r i t u a l . Hardy was quick to s e i z e upon t h i s more g e n e r a l i z e d n o t i o n o f e v o l u t i o n : In Hardy's eyes, those heroes who i n c a r n a t e the d i s g u s t f o r l i f e are f o r e r u n n e r s . They are the chance e m i s s a r i e s , coming i n advance o f the more h i g h l y developed g e n e r a t i o n s which w i l l d e f i n i t e l y i n c a r n a t e the as yet s p o r a d i c d e s i r e not to r a i s e up seed....For t h i s w r i t e r as f o r - 3d - Schopenhauer, to elude the d e s i r e t o l i v e i s to give p r o o f o f a deeper knowledge o f the r e a l nature o f l i f e ' . I t i s the s i g n whereby one may r e c o g n i z e the u l t i m a t e triumph o f l i b e r t y over Immanent W i l l . T h i s s u p e r i o r a t t i t u d e i s a k i n to a s c e t i - cism i n i t s n e u t r a l i t y and i t s d o c t r i n e of r e n u n c i a t i o n . 5 D ' E x i d e u i l comments t h a t Hardy's work "rose l i k e a pagan •protest a g a i n s t a l l t h e o l o g y . " But i n Tess. at l e a s t , t h e r e i s an overwhelming sense o f l o s s , and the p r o t e s t i s a g a i n s t the u l t i m a t e consequence o f Schopenhauerian p h i l o s o p h y — t h e d e n i a l o f l i f e . Only Tess and Angel C l a r e partake o f t h i s l a r g e p a t t e r n of slow change, o f g r a d u a l l y i n c r e a s i n g disembodiment. In Tess. no l e s s than i n Jude, many o f the d i s a s t e r s to human l i v e s occur because time, i n the sense o f t h i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l e v o l u t i o n , i s "out o f j o i n t , " because the v a r i o u s i n d i v i d u a l s w i t h i n a s o c i e t y are a l l at d i f f e r e n t p o i n t s o f e v o l u t i o n : We may wonder whether at the acme and summit o f the human progress these anachronisms w i l l be c o r r e c t e d by a f i n e r i n t u i t i o n , a c l o s e r i n t e r a c t i o n o f t h e s o c i a l machinery than t h a t which now j o l t s us round and along; but such completeness i s not t o be prophesied, or even conceived as p o s s i b l e . Enough t h a t i n the present case, as i n m i l l i o n s , i t was not the two halve s o f a p e r f e c t whole t h a t confronted each o t h e r at the p e r f e c t moment; a m i s s i n g c o u n t e r p a r t wandered independently about the e a r t h w a i t i n g i n c r a s s obtuseness u n t i l the l a t e time came. Out of which m a l a d r o i t d e l a y s p r i n g a n x i e t i e s , disappointments, shocks, c a t a s t r o p h e s , and pas s i n g - s t r a n g e d e s t i n i e s . (Tess, pp. 53-4) - 39 - Played o f f a g a i n s t t h i s n o t i o n o f time i s the one o f c y c l i c a l c h a n g e — i n Schopenhauerian terms, o f l i f e as i t i s informed by the Immanent W i l l : Thus the D u r b e y f i e l d s , once d T U r b e r v i l l e s , saw descending upon them the d e s t i n y which no doubt, when they were among the Olympians o f the county, they had caused to descend many a time, and s e v e r e l y enough, upon the heads o f such l a n d l e s s ones as they themselves were now. So do f l u x and r e f l u x — t h e rhythm o f c h a n g e — a l t e r n a t e and p e r s i s t i n e v e r y t h i n g under the sky. (Tess, p. 394) The i n t i m a t e r e l a t i o n between " o l d " and "new" i s drawn by Tess h e r s e l f : 'I thought we were an o l d f a m i l y ; but t h i s i s a l l new'.' she s a i d , i n her a r t - l e s s n e s s . (Tess, p. 46) A f t e r h e a r i n g t h i s c a r i c a t u r e of G l a r e ' s o p i n i o n s poor Tess was g l a d that she had not s a i d a word i n a weak moment about her f a m i l y — e v e n though i t was so u n u s u a l l y o l d as almost to have gone round the c i r c l e and become a new one. (Tess, p. 151) The n o t i o n o f process i n t h i s second s e n s e — n o t e v o l u - t i o n a r y but c y c l i c a l — i s c l o s e l y t i e d to the landscapes o f the n o v e l , i n which Tess f u n c t i o n s as the Persephone f i g u r e We are always to keep i n mind the f a c t t h a t t o evolve away from the l a n d i s , i n Hardy's n o v e l s , to remove o n e s e l f from the very source o f human f u l f i l l m e n t . Hence, Tess's w i l l i n ness to abrogate her symbolic f u n c t i o n as Persephone g i v e s b i r t h to Sorrow. - 40 - Tess's c h i l d i s an i n t e r e s t i n g f o r e r u n n e r o f Father Time i n Jude. In both cases, the technique i s the same. The main c h a r a c t e r s o f the no v e l (the second g e n e r a t i o n portrayed) have c h i l d r e n so a b s t r a c t l y symbolic as to be o v e r t l y a l l e g o r i c a l . T h e i r t o t a l l a c k o f human a t t r i b u t e s bears the weight o f the f o r c e o f Hardy's response to t h e d e n i a l o f the earth-bound, c y c l i c a l process o f human l i f e . To evolve i n t o disembodiment i s simply to be l e s s than human. The c h i e f i r o n y o f the no v e l d e r i v e s from Tess h e r s e l f — t h a t which she most r a d i a n t l y i s , i s that which she d e n i e s . She i s at once the e a r t h f i g u r e (whom we f i r s t see i n the " l o c a l G e r e a l i a " ) and, as the " h i g h e s t " r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f the a g r a r i a n m i l i e u , the most a k i n t o Angel C l a r e . She i s modern i n her pessimism, i n her r e v u l s i o n from the l i f e o f i r r e s p o n s i b l e b r e e d i n g t h a t her parents enact. Her f i r s t g e n e r a l statement occurs as a prelude t o the i n c i d e n t (the k i l l i n g o f the horse) from which f o l l o w a l l the other events o f her l i f e : 'Did you say the s t a r s were worlds, Tess?' 'Tes.' ' A l l l i k e ours?' 'I don't know; but I t h i n k so. They some- times:: seem to be l i k e the apples on our st u b b a r d - t r e e . Most o f them s p l e n d i d and s o u n d — a few blighted.'' 'Which do we l i v e o n — a s p l e n d i d one or a b l i g h t e d one?' 'A b l i g h t e d one.' ' ' T i s v e r y unlucky t h a t we d i d n ' t p i t c h on a sound one, when there were so many more of 'em'.' (Tess. p. 149) - U - I t i s i n the weariness o f l i f e i n the f l e s h , more than i n common experiences i n t h e i r past l i v e s , t h a t Angel C l a r e "seemed to be her double." (Tess. p. 225) But she i s not so disembodied as he; she s h r i n k s from h i s i d e a l i z i n g a d o r a t i o n : The mixed, s i n g u l a r , luminous gloom i n which they walked along t o g e t h e r to the spot where the cows l a y , o f t e n made him t h i n k o f the R e s u r r e c t i o n hour. He l i t t l e thought t h a t the Magdalen might be a t h i s s i d e . W h i l s t a l l the landscape was i n n e u t r a l shade h i s companion's f a c e , which was the focus o f h i s eyes, r i s i n g above the mist stratum, seemed to have a s o r t o f phosphorescence upon i t . She looked g h o s t l y , as i f she were merely a s o u l a t l a r g e . In r e a l i t y her f a c e , without appearing to do so, had caught the c o l d gleam o f day from the n o r t h - e a s t ; h i s own f a c e , though he d i d not t h i n k o f i t , wore the same asp e c t to her. I t was then, as has been s a i d , t h a t she impressed him most deeply. She was no l o n g e r the milkmaid, but a v i s i o n a r y essence o f woman—a whole sex condensed i n t o one t y p i c a l form. He c a l l e d her Artemis, Demeter, and other f a n c i f u l names h a l f t e a s i n g l y , which she d i d not l i k e because she d i d not understand them. ' C a l l me Tess,' she would say askance; and he d i d . (Tess, pp. 153-4) Angel has f i r s t been a t t r a c t e d to Tess by her d e s c r i p t i o n o f how "our s o u l s can be made to go o u t s i d e our bodies when we are a l i v e . " The danger o f disembodiment i s c l e a r when one r e c a l l s t h a t i t i s i n t h i s way t h a t a l l Tess's m i s f o r t u n e s occur, from the death o f the horse (while she i s a s l e e p ) , to the rape, t o the murder o f A l e c . Holloway p o i n t s out t h a t , - 42 - Tess at the d a i r y says t h a t "our s o u l s can be made to go o u t s i d e our b o d i e s " i f we " l i e on the g r a s s at n i g h t and look s t r a i g h t up at some b i g b r i g h t s t a r . " ( T h i s i s e x a c t l y what she does at the end o f the book, on her f a t a l l a s t n i g h t on S a l i s b u r y p l a i n . ) Meanwhile, Dairyman C r i c k was b a l a n c i n g h i s k n i f e and f o r k , t o g e t h e r " l i k e the beginning o f a g a l l o w s . " 0 I t i s , o f course, Tess's g r e a t e s t misfortune t h a t Angel does not even come up to the mark as a humanist, much l e s s as an A p o l l o f i g u r e ( p l a y i n g badly upon a second-hand harp'.). I f A l e c i s a t r a v e s t y o f the B y r o n i c hero, Hardy e x p l i c i t l y draws Angel C l a r e as a S h e l l e y e a n c h a r a c t e r . As we have seen, he i s more concerned wi t h the s p i r i t u a l i z e d i d e a l t h a t Tess r e p r e s e n t s i n h i s mind, than the a c t u a l person who e x i s t s f o r us i n a l a r g e r dimension than h i m s e l f . When he r e a l i z e s t h a t she i s not "a pure woman" i n the c o n v e n t i o n a l sense, he r e a c t s back i n t o the convention which he had p r i d e d h i m s e l f on eschewing: '0 Tess, f o r g i v e n e s s does not apply to the case'. You were one person; now you are another. My God—how can f o r g i v e n e s s meet such a g r o t e s q u e — p r e s t i d i g i t a t i o n as that'.' 'I thought, Angel, t h a t you l o v e d me— me, my very s e l f I I f i t i s I you l o v e , 0 how can i t be t h a t you look and speak so? I t f r i g h t e n s me'. Having begun to l o v e you, I l o v e you f o r e v e r — i n a l l changes, i n a l l d i s g r a c e s , because you are y o u r s e l f . I ask no more. Then how can you, 0 my own husband, stop l o v i n g me?' 'I repeat, the woman I have been l o v i n g i s not you. - 43 - . 'But who?' 'Another i n y o u r shape.' ( T e s s . p. 260) The shock (we are reminded o f Samual B u t l e r ' s des- c r i p t i o n o f a shock as a s m a l l death) causes him t o r e c o i l a l t o g e t h e r from p h y s i c a l b e i n g : H i s t h o u g h t had been unsuspended; he was becoming i l l w i t h t h i n k i n g ; scourged out o f a l l h i s former p u l s a t i n g f l e x u o u s d o m e s t i c i t y . ( T e s s , p. 275) ...She was a p p a l l e d by the d e t e r m i n a t i o n r e v e a l e d i n t h e d e p t h s o f t h i s g e n t l e r b e i n g she had m a r r i e d — t h e w i l l t o subdue the g r o s s e r t o t h e s u b t l e r emotion, th e s u b s t a n c e t o t h e c o n c e p t i o n , t h e f l e s h t o t h e s p i r i t . P r o p e n s i t i e s , t e n d e r n e s s , h a b i t s , were as dead l e a v e s upon t h e t y r a n n o u s wind o f h i s i m a g i n a t i v e a s c e n - When, a f t e r the s l e e p i n g - w a l k i n g i n c i d e n t , he a l l o w s Tess t o l e a d him back, "he f a n c i e d she had r i s e n as a s p i r i t , and was l e a d i n g him t o Heaven." I t i s o n l y T e s s ' s " s o u l , " as he has i m a g i n e d i t , t h a t he i s c a p a b l e , t h a t he i s c a p a b l e o f l o v i n g . Where A l e c o f f e r s e r o s , A n g e l — t h e A p o l l o f i g u r e , who managed the k i n e a t T a l b o t h a y s r a t h e r b a d l y — can o n l y o f f e r agape (Hardy a p p l i e s t h e term t o t h e r u i n s o f t h e supper on t h e wedding n i g h t ) . What T e s s — p o i s e d between l i f e i n the f l e s h and t h e s p i r i t , r a d i a n t w i t h the p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f e a c h — o f f e r s t o A n g e l i s b o t h . The i m p l i c a t i o n s o f A n g e l ' s i n a b i l i t y t o respond t o h e r p a s s i o n f o r him r e v e r b e r a t e t h r o u g h o u t t h e r e s t o f t h e n o v e l . dancy. - I n - s i g n i f i c a n t l y , the marriage i s consummated only a f t e r the murder of Alec. Angel himself has r e a l i z e d that Tess i s less than she was: But he had a vague consciousness of one thing, though i t was not clear to him t i l l l a t e r ; that his o r i g i n a l Tess had s p i r i t u a l l y ceased to recognize the body before him as h e r s — a l l o w i n g i t to d r i f t , l i k e a corpse upon the current, i n a d i r e c t i o n dissociated from i t s l i v i n g w i l l . (Tess, p. 425) This, I think, adds point to what Holloway c a l l s the "resume'' of Tess's e a r l i e r l i f e , which closes the novel: ...Hardy r e i n v i t e s us to r e g i s t e r the t o t a l movement of Tess's career, i n a l l i t s integration, by an ingenious and v i v i d resume of i t , toward the close of the book. He does t h i s through the f i n a l days that Tess and Angel spend t o g e t h e r — p a r t l y a psychological fugue, p a r t l y a kind of t o t a l r e c a l l , p a r t l y both. Leaving her sin with Alec behind her, she r e j o i n s Angel, and the r i c h woodland of the f i r s t two days together corresponds to the r i c h vale of the d a i r i e s . The empty manor house they sleep i n corresponds to the ancient house where t h e i r marriage was so nearly consummated before. Barren Salisbury P l a i n corresponds to the uplands of Flintcomb-Ash. The scene at Stonehenge corresponds both to Tess i n the vault, and to the moment when she hung on the wayside cross to rest and looked l i k e a s a c r i f i c i a l victim.y Such s p i r i t u a l disembodiment can only lead to death. The scene at Stonehenge, even more importantly, takes us back to another early scene, i n the f i e l d s where Tess - 45 f i r s t ventures f o r t h a f t e r the b i r t h o f her c h i l d : The sun, on account o f the m i s t , had a c u r i o u s s e n t i e n t , p e r s o n a l look, demanding the masculine pronoun f o r i t s adequate e x p r e s s i o n . H i s present a s p e c t , coupled with the l a c k o f a l l human forms i n the scene, e x p l a i n e d the old-time h e l i o l a t r i e s i n a moment. One c o u l d f e e l t h a t a saner r e l i g i o n had never p r e v a i l e d under the sky. The luminary was a golden- h a i r e d , beaming, mild-eyed, God-like c r e a t u r e , g a z i n g down i n the v i g o u r and i n t e n t n e s s o f youth upon an ea r t h t h a t was brimming with i n t e r e s t f o r him. (Tess. pp. 104-5) I t i s here t h a t Hardy a l s o remarks, A f i e l d - m a n i s a p e r s o n a l i t y a f i e l d ; a field-woman i s a p o r t i o n o f the f i e l d ; she has somehow l o s t her own margin, imbibed the essence o f her surrounding, and a s s i m i l a t e d h e r s e l f w i t h i t . (Tess. p. 106) Tess, charming though she i s i n p e r s o n a l i t y , never l o s e s t h i s dimension beyond the p e r s o n a l — i t i s her symbolic s t a t u r e , the important sense i n which she i s "a pure woman." I t i s t h e r e f o r e a c o n d i t i o n o f her h u m a n i t y — o f e v o l v i n g away from the e a r t h — t h a t she o n l y f i n d s h er symbolic f u l f i l l m e n t i n a c t i n g out the r o l e o f s a c r i f i c i a l v i c t i m : The wind, p l a y i n g upon the e d i f i c e , produced a booming tune, l i k e the note o f some g i g a n t i c o n e - s t r i n g e d harp. ' I t i s Stonehenge'.' s a i d C l a r e . 'The heathen temple, you mean?' 'Tes. Older than the c e n t u r i e s ; o l d e r than the d ' U r b e r v i l l e s ' . . . . ' 'One o f my mother's people was a shepherd hereabouts, now I t h i n k o f i t . And you used to say at Talbothays t h a t I was a heathen. So now I am at home.' (Tess. pp. 440-1) mm /|,(S mm During the night at Stonehenge, Tess puts forth her s i s t e r — a Durbeyfield of Angel's own s t a t u r e — a s his appropriate mate: '...People marry sister-laws continually about Marlott; and 'Liza-Lu i s so gentel and sweet, and she i s growing up so be a u t i f u l . . . . I f you would t r a i n her up for your own s e l f . ...She has a l l the best of me without the bad of me....' (Tess. pp. 4 4 1 - 2 ) I t i s Angel and 'Liza-Lu whom we see walking away, hand i n hand, at the end of the^ novel. Perhaps i t i s unwise to argue that i t i s no more possible to take seriously a character named "Liza-Lu" than one named "Angel Clare." At any rate, they are the diminished c h a r a c t e r s — n e i t h e r great nor evil—who t r a d i t i o n a l l y survive tragedy. They leave behind them the body of Tess at "Wintoncester, that fine old c i t y , aforetime c a p i t a l of Wessex." (Wintoncester i s , 6'f course, Winchester, the ancient c a p i t a l of England.) Morton Zabel makes large claims for Hardy (although c h i e f l y with regard to The Dynasts) as one of the cheerful proponents of the new biology: Hardy was, i n fact, more than i s generally assumed a pioneer defender, with Butler and Shaw, of the creative p r i n c i p l e i n evolution. The w i l l to l i v e , as he drama- t i z e s i t , p e r s i s t s through every apparent confusion of l o c a l and i n d i v i d u a l purposes. It i s never without i t s consolations. Momentarily i t i n s t r u c t s man i n accepting nature as the refuge of his tormented s p i r i t . Prophetically i t lends him the hope that his l i f e w i l l be harmonized - 4 7 - w i t h the unconscious or i n s t i n c t i v e energy o f n a t u r e . I t even advances to a h i g h e r plane and glimpses a v i c t o r y o f i n t e l l i - gence, a r e l e a s e o f the h i g h e r W i l l from the cosmic c o n d i t i o n of "immanence," so t h a t i t may become a s s i m i l a t e d to the ^ conscious energy and v i s i o n o f human beings. But t h i s i s a v a s t l y more o p t i m i s t i c view than one can reasonably f i n d e i t h e r i n Tess o f the d ' U r b e r v i l l e s o r Jude the Obscure. In.Tess, the W i l l i s r e l e a s e d from immanence i n l i f e o n l y at the c o s t o f the q u a l i t y o f l i f e . The v i c t i m o f t h i s process, Tess, i s so immeasurably more a t t r a c t i v e than those who w i l l supplant her, Angel C l a r e and ' L i z a - L u , as to r e f l e c t upon the whole nature o f the e v o l u t i o n a r y process toward the s p i r i t u a l . Tess so dominates the book as to over- shadow completely the f a c t t h a t t h e s i t u a t i o n a t the end o f the n o v e l i s much the same as at the end o f The Way o f A l l F l e s h . We do not care t h a t there i s hope f o r ' L i z a - L u and Angel C l a r e , j u s t as there i s hope f o r E r n e s t ' s c h i l d r e n . We care about Tess. In Jude the Obscure, t h e r e i s no e q u i v a l e n t o f the c e l e b r a t i o n o f l i f e i n nature which surrounds Tess; the war between the f l e s h and the s p i r i t i s even more deadly, the r e s u l t even more d e v a s t a t i n g . Whereas i n Tess the c h i e f c h a r a c t e r — i n d e e d , the o n l y c h a r a c t e r i n the n o v e l whom we take s e r i o u s l y — o f f e r s i n her own person the c a p a b i l i t y o f f u l f i l l i n g the c l a i m s o f both the f l e s h and the s p i r i t , i n Jude we are shown o n l y the t e r r i b l e human consequences o f - 48 the i r r e c o n c i l a b i l i t y o f the demands of the body and s p i r i t . Jude. the l a s t o f Hardy's n o v e l s , i s the one c l o s e s t to n a t u r a l i s m i n tone and method. N e v e r t h e l e s s , the s p e c i f i c causes o f Jude's and Sue's f a i l u r e s , , "the f o r c e d adaption o f human i n s t i n c t s to r u s t y and irksome moulds t h a t do not f i t t h e m " — t h a t i s , the " t r a g i c machinery o f the t a l e , " ^ the concern w i t h such t h i n g s as u n i v e r s i t y entrance r e q u i r e - ments and marriage l a w s — a r e secondary. As i n Tess, such c o n d i t i o n s are the r e s u l t o f the unevenness o f the e v o l u - t i o n a r y p r o c e s s . Always i n Hardy's n o v e l s , i t i s worth l o o k i n g c l o s e l y at the s e t t i n g o f the v a r i o u s i n c i d e n t s . The opening o f Jude takes p l a c e not i n the r i c h V a l e o f Blackmoor, but c l o s e r to the bleakness o f Egdon Heath (the s e t t i n g o f Tess's times o f g r e a t e s t agony). U n l i k e the v a l l e y s , t h i s r e g i o n embodied nature i n i t s most b r u t a l a s p e c t . In an e a r l y i n c i d e n t not u n l i k e the beginning o f Great E x p e c t a t i o n s (where the c o n v i c t up-ends the young Pip) , Farmer Troutham w h i r l s Jude about i n punishment f o r h i s delinquency as a human scare-crow. By t h i s , Jude i s s y m b o l i c a l l y d i s l o c a t e d from h i s landscape (to which, i n any case, he had been o n l y an unwanted a d j u n c t ) . The consequences o f s e p a r a t i o n from h i s environment f o l l o w even more q u i c k l y f o r Jude than f o r P i p , and the r e s u l t s are even more d i s a s t r o u s . - 49 - The immediate consequence o f the i n c i d e n t i s a sense of r e v u l s i o n from the n a t u r a l world: Jude went out, and, f e e l i n g more than ever h i s e x i s t e n c e to be an undemanded one, he l a y down upon h i s back on a heap of l i t t e r near the p i g s t y . The f o g had by t h i s time become more t r a n s l u c e n t , and the p o s i t i o n o f the sun could be seen through i t . He p u l l e d h i s staw hat over h i s f a c e , and peered through the i n t e r s t i c e s o f the p l a i - t i n g at the white b r i g h t n e s s , vaguely r e f l e c t i n g . Growing up brought r e s p o n s i - b i l i t i e s , he found. Events d i d not rhyme q u i t e as he had thought. N a t u r e ' s • l o g i c was too h o r r i d f o r him to care f o r . That mercy towards one set o f c r e a t u r e s was c r u e l t y towards another sickened h i s sense o f harmony. As you got o l d e r , and f e l t y o u r s e l f to be at the centre o f your time, and not at a p o i n t i n i t s circumference, as you had f e l t when you were l i t t l e , you were s e i z e d w i t h a s o r t o f shuddering, he p e r c e i v e d . A l l around you there seemed to be something g l a r i n g , g a r i s h , r a t t l i n g , and the n o i s e s and g l a r e s h i t upon the l i t t l e c e l l c a l l e d your l i f e , and shook i t , and warped i t . I f he could o n l y prevent h i m s e l f growing upI He d i d not want to be a man. (Jude. pp. 22-3) S i g n i f i c a n t l y , what f o l l o w s i s Jude's v i s i o n o f the d i s t a n t C h r i s t m i n s t e r as the "Heavenly Jerusalem." His v i s i o n i s from the b e g i n n i n g founded upon i l l u s i o n (the imagined success o f h i s schoolmaster, P h i l l o t s o n ) . The dangers i m p l i c i t i n the v i s i o n become apparent e a r l y i n the n o v e l , when we d i s c o v e r t h a t the h i l l from which he sees C h r i s t - minster i s the p l a c e where h i s parents s e p a r a t e d . T h i s - 5 0 - serves to l i n k Jude's d r e a m — l o n g before he has met the temptations o f the f l e s h i n A r a b e l l a — w i t h the Fawley c u r s e . Although Jude the Obscure i s so markedly d i f f e r e n t i n many important ways from Tess o f the d ' U r b e r v i l l e s ? i t i s at t h i s p o i n t t h a t I would suggest t h a t Hardy's l a s t n o v e l can be read as a sequel to the preceeding one. Tess h e r s e l f i s Hardy's poignant memorial to E n g l i s h p a s t o r a l , o f l i f e i n the f l e s h j u s t as i t emerges, or i n d i v i d u a l i z e s out, from consonance wi t h the surrounding n a t u r a l world. As such, she i s a p p r o p r i a t e l y a s s o c i a t e d with the a n c i e n t c a p i t a l o f Wess e x — w i t h the E n g l i s h p a s t . But i n Jude he t u r n s h i s a t t e n t i o n toward the new o r d e r o f England—where Tess cannot e x i s t — a n d a d j u s t s the moods and values a c c o r d i n g l y . The same t h i n g s are i n v e s t e d with a d i f f e r e n t order o f impor- t a n c e — r a i l w a y s , f o r i n s t a n c e , are j u s t r a i l w a y s i n Jude, and not symbolic t h r e a t s to a way of l i f e — s i m p l y because the c h a r a c t e r s have a l r e a d y become detached from t h e i r n a t u r a l surroundings. The method, although l e s s obvious, i s the same. The Fawley curse i s taken by the c h a r a c t e r s o f the n o v e l to p e r t a i n s t r i c t l y to marriage. I t i s , t h a t there i s a s p i r i t o f p e r v e r s i t y (analogous t o the f o r g e t f u l n e s s o r dreaminess o f the d ' U r b e r v i l l e s , i n i t s f u n c t i o n i n the novel) i n the f a m i l y t h a t thwarts a l l marriages. D r u s i l l a Fawley, the - 51 - r u s t i c p r i e s t e s s o f doom, s a y s , '...Jude, my c h i l d , don't you e v e r marry. T i s n ' t f o r t h e Fawleys t o t a k e t h a t s t e p any more....' (Jude. p. Id) '...The Fawleys were not made f o r wed- l o c k ; i t n e v e r seemed t o s i t w e l l upon us . There's sommat i n our b l o o d t h a t won't t a k e k i n d l y t o t h e n o t i o n o f b e i n g bound t o do what we do r e a d i l y enough i f not bound....' ( J u d e T p. 77) I n t h e case o f Jude and Sue, t h e m i s e r y w i l l be compounded because t h e y a r e c o u s i n s , as Jude p e r c e i v e s : . . . i n a f a m i l y l i k e h i s own where m a r r i a g e u s u a l l y meant a t r a g i c sad- n e s s , m a r r i a g e w i t h a b l o o d r e l a t i o n would d u p l i c a t e t h e adverse c o n d i t i o n s , and a t r a g i c sadness might be i n t e n s i - f i e d t o a t r a g i c h o r r o r . (Jude. p. 97) As t h i s works out i n Sue's r e f u s a l t o go t h r o u g h the l e g a l p r o c e d u r e o f m a r r i a g e w i t h Jude, i t seems l i t t l e more s a t i s f a c t o r y t h a n Z o l a ' s h e r e d i t a r y a l c o h o l i s m and c r i m i n a l - i t y . But when t h e Widow E d l i n r e l a t e s t h e s t o r y o f the f i r s t o f t h e d i s a s t r o u s Fawley m a r r i a g e s , Sue comments, ' . . . I t makes me f e e l as i f a t r a g i c doom overhung our f a m i l y , as i t d i d t h e house o f A t r e u s . . . . ' ( J u d e , p. 301) And, i n f a c t , what we have a g a i n i s t h e endeavour t o mytholo- g i z e human e x p e r i e n c e i n t h e account o f one f a m i l y , t o r a i s e i t t o the s t a t u r e o f t r a g e d y . The c u r s e o f the Fawleys i s t h e c u r s e o f modern m a n — i n e x p l i c a b l e , and u n a v o i d a b l e . 52 - F a t h e r T i m e — t h e symbolic i s s u e o f Jude's and Sue's marriag the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f the l a s t g e n e r a t i o n i n the e v o l u - t i o n a r y p a t t e r n — k i l l s t h e i r own c h i l d r e n . Jude quotes Aeschylus: 'Nothing can be done,' he r e p l i e d , 'Things are as they are, and w i l l be brought to t h e i r d e s t i n e d i s s u e . ' Father Time i s the f u l f i l l m e n t o f Sue's r e a l f o r b o d i n g about marriage: Sue s t i l l h e l d t h a t t h e r e was not much queer or e x c e p t i o n a l i n them: t h a t a l l were so. 'Everybody i s g e t t i n g to f e e l as we do. We are a l i t t l e b e f o r e - hand, t h a t ' s a l l . In f i f t y , a hundred years the descendants o f these two w i l l ac t and f e e l worse than we. They w i l l see w e l t e r i n g humanity s t i l l more v i v i d l y than we do now as Shapes l i k e our own h i d e o u s l y m u l t i p l i e d , and w i l l be afrai.d to reproduce them.' (Jude f p. 296 ) He c a r r i e s the process to i t s c o n c l u s i o n : ' I t was i n h i s nature to do i t . The d o c t o r says there are such boys s p r i n g i n g up amongst u s — b o y s o f a s o r t unknown i n the l a s t g e n e r a t i o n — t h e outcome o f new views o f l i f e . They seem to see a l l i t s t e r r o r s b e f o r e they are o l d enough to have s t a y i n g power to r e s i s t them. He says i t i s the b e g i n n i n g o f the coming u n i v e r s a l wish not to l i v e . He's an advanced man, the doctor: but he can g i v e no c o n s o l a t i o n to ' (Jude, p. 34$) How c a r e f u l l y Hardy has p a t t e r n e d the process i s seen by - 53 - the circumstances o f the f i r s t g e n e r a t i o n under the c u r s e . The man and wife q u a r r e l over t h e i r c h i l d , which l e a d s to the man's hanging and the w i f e ' s s u i c i d e ; Jude and Sue do not want to have c h i l d r e n ; f i n a l l y , F a t h er Time not o n l y does not want to l i v e (as the c h i l d i s h Jude d i d not, e i t h e r ) , but a l s o murders that o t h e r s may not have to l i v e . Jude, the c h a r a c t e r caught between the claims o f f l e s h and s p i r i t (where Tess, i n her l o v e f o r C l a r e , i s so b e a u t i f u l l y p o i s e d — t h u s the important s h i f t i n to n e ) , a s s e n t s to the process o f disembodiment. He r e q u i r e s sexual as w e l l as s p i r i t u a l union w i t h Sue, but never questions t h a t she i s the " h i g h e r " type: '...People go on marrying because they can't r e s i s t n a t u r a l f o r c e s , although many o f them may know p e r f e c t l y w e l l t h a t they are p o s s i b l y buying a month's p l e a s u r e w i t h a l i f e ' s d i s c o m f o r t . No doubt my f a t h e r and mother, and your f a t h e r and mother, saw i t , i f they a t a l l resembled us i n h a b i t s o f observa- t i o n . But then they went and married j u s t the same, because they had o r d i n a r y p a s s i o n s . But you, Sue, are such a phantasmal, b o d i l e s s c r e a t u r e , one who— i f you'11 a l l o w me t o say i t — h a s so l i t t l e animal p a s s i o n i n you, that you can a c t upon reason i n the matter, when we poor u n f o r t u n a t e wretches o f g r e a t e r substance can't. (Jude, p. 263) In the b r i e f time o f t h e i r happiness, Jude and Sue mai n t a i n a d e l i c a t e e q u i l i b r i u m o f compromise. Sue submits to Jude's sexual demands, which he i n t u r n tempers so as 54 - not to cause a r e v u l s i o n i n h e r . But even i n the happy day at the f a i r , A r a b e l l a and F a t h e r Time are present, embodying the i n e s c a p a b l e t h r e a t s to t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n the r e s p e c t i v e natures o f Jude and Sue. ( I t i s a l s o important t h a t F a t h e r Time a r r i v e s almost immediately a f t e r Sue f i r s t y i e l d s to Jude.) Sue's f u n c t i o n i n t h i s n o v e l i s almost i d e n t i c a l to Angel G l a r e ' s i n Tess. But she i s a complex and i n t e r e s t i n g c h a r a c t e r ; Hardy's p o r t r a y a l of her i s so sympathetic t h a t one h e s i t a t e s to i n f e r the s o r t o f judgment o f her that one i s i n v i t e d to make a g a i n s t C l a r e . The " c o u n t e r p a r t s " theme which f i g u r e s i n Tess r e c u r s here, but i s more f u l l y developed, and i s much more c r e d i b l e i n terms o f the p e r s o n a l i t i e s o f the two main c h a r a c t e r s ( b e s i d e s which, o f course, i t i s p r o v i d e d f o r by the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h e i r f a m i l i a l c o n n e c t i o n ) . As the two most "advanced" c h a r a c t e r s o f the n o v e l , Jude and Sue are r e c o g n i z a b l y k i n d r e d , and, u n l i k e Tess and C l a r e , they e x i s t w i t h i n the same dimension of c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n . Havelock E l l i s , i n h i s e a r l y defence o f the n o v e l a g a i n s t i t s more s c u r r i l o u s r e v i e w e r s , d e c l a r e s : Sue i s n e u r o t i c , some c r i t i c s say; i t i s f a s h i o n a b l e to p l a y c h e e r f u l l y w i t h t e r r i b l e words you know nothing about. " N e u r o t i c " these good people say by way of d i s m i s s i n g her, i n n o c e n t l y unaware 55 - t h a t many a charming "urban miss" o f t h e i r own acquaintance would deserve the name at l e a s t as well.^Q Without seeming to r e a l i z e i t , E l l i s e x a c t l y h i t s the mark. Sue, the most thoroughly urbanized c h a r a c t e r o f the n o v e l , r e p r e s e n t s modernity. She i s f u r t h e r than Jude along the d i r e c t i o n o f s o c i a l change. For her, as f o r Angel C l a r e , the y e a r n i n g f o r the r u s t i c i s l a r g e l y a pose: ...They...drew up and shared w i t h the shepherd and h i s mother- the b o i l e d bacon and greens f o r supper. T I r a t h e r l i k e t h i s , ' s a i d Sue, while t h e i r e n t e r t a i n e r s were c l e a r i n g away the d i s h e s . 'Outside a l l laws except g r a v i t a t i o n and germination.' 'You o n l y t h i n k you l i k e i t ; you don't; you are q u i t e a product o f c i v i l i z a t i o n , ' s a i d Jude, a r e c o l l e c t i o n o f her engage- ment r e v i v i n g h i s soreness a l i t t l e . 'Indeed I am not, Jude. I l i k e r e a d i n g and a l l t h a t , but I crave to get back to the l i f e o f my i n f a n c y and i t s freedom.' ...'An urban miss i s what you are.' (Jude, pp. 145-6) The urban m i s s — t h e "new woman"—embodies the i n c r e a s i n g s u b l i m a t i o n o f s e x u a l impulse ( t h a t i s , the working o f the w i l l to l i v e ) i n t o disembodied emotion. And Hardy under- stands t h a t t h i s process w i l l produce n e u r o t i c behaviour i n the present s t a t e o f g e n e r a l human development. Sue i s at times r e a l l y decadent i n her s e n s a t i o n - s e e k i n g — n o t a b l y , when she put Jude through the gruesome r e h e a r s a l o f her wedding to P h i l l o t s o n . Even more than the need to l o v e (and she i s capable o f - 56 - great t e n d e r n e s s ) , Sue has the obses s i v e need to be d e s i r e d . She f i n d s P h i l l o t s o n p h y s i c a l l y r e p u l s i v e and i n t e l l e c t u a l l y r a t h e r tiresome; h i s s o l e a t t r a c t i o n i s t h a t he l o v e s her. So, a l s o w i t h Jude: 'At f i r s t I d i d not l o v e you, Jude; t h a t I own. When I f i r s t knew you I merely wanted you to l o v e me. I d i d not e x a c t l y f l i r t w ith you; but t h a t i n b o r n c r a v i n g which undermines some women's morals almost more than u n b r i d l e d p a s s i o n — t h e c r a v i n g t o a t t r a c t and cap- t i v a t e , r e g a r d l e s s o f the i n j u r y i t may do the man—was i n me; and when I found I had caught you, I was f r i g h t e n e d . And t h e n — I don't know how i t w a s — I couldn't bear t o l e t you g o — p o s s i b l y to A r a b e l l a a g a i n — a n d so I got to l o v e you, Jude. But you see, however f o n d l y i t ended, i t began i n the s e l f i s h and c r u e l wish t o make your h e a r t ache f o r me without l e t t i n g mine ache f o r you.' (Jude. p. 365) Sue p r i d e s h e r s e l f on being pagan i n o p p o s i t i o n to the medievalism t h a t C h r i s t m i n s t e r r e p r e s e n t s . But her paganism (so u n r e a l and b o d i l e s s compared to Tess's) i s c a r e f u l l y d e f i n e d . When Sue and Jude are d i s c u s s i n g the f u r o r which r e s u l t e d from t h e i r e x p e d i t i o n from M e l c h e s t e r , she comments about the more c o n v e n t i o n a l members o f s o c i e t y : ' . . . T h e i r p h i l o s o p h y o n l y r e c o g n i z e s r e l a t i o n s based on animal d e s i r e . The wide f i e l d o f s t r o n g a t t r a c t i o n where d e s i r e p l a y s , at l e a s t , o n l y a secondary p a r t , i s ignored by them—the p a r t o f — who i s i t ? — V e n u s U r a n i a . ' (Jude. pp. 176-7) T h i s o f f - h a n d r e f e r e n c e to Venus U r a n i a i s i n t e r e s t i n g i n - 57 - more than j u s t as i t i s the o n l y m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f Venus wit h which Sue would a s s o c i a t e h e r s e l f . Although i t would be f o o l i s h to make too much o f such a minor p o i n t , i t i s perhaps worth o b s e r v i n g t h a t The Athenians c a l l e d Aphrodite U r a n i a 'the e l d e s t o f the F a t e s ' because she was the Nymph-goddess, to whom the sacred k i n g had, i n a n c i e n t times, been s a c r i - f i c e d at the summer s o l s t i c e .-^ Sue, the femme f a t a l e o f the new order (Jude has b e f o r e him the unnerving example of the C h r i s t m i n s t e r undergraduate), i s as deadly to Jude as her c o u n t e r p a r t o f the o l d order: For here Hardy was not t r y i n g simply to w r i t e an unhappy lo v e s t o r y ; he was t r y i n g t o show t h a t l o v e i s the i n e v i - t a b l e instrument o f the d e s t r u c t i o n o f the i n d i v i d u a l . The merely p h y s i c a l p a r t o f l o v e i s symbolized by A r a b e l l a , and the a s p i r a t i o n to wholly s p i r i t u a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l companionship by Sue; and the d e s t r u c t i o n o f Jude i s accom- p l i s h e d by them both. A r a b e l l a makes o f Jude a modern Sampson; Sue, r e p r e s e n t i n g the values o f i d e a l i z a t i o n , or a b s t r a c t i o n , makes him a C h r i s t f i g u r e by s a c r i f i c i n g him to her s p i r i t u a l i d e a l . In her g r i e f a f t e r the death o f the c h i l d r e n , Sue experiences a v i o l e n t r e v u l s i o n from s e x u a l i t y . Her sense o f g u i l t throws her o f f a l l i n t e l l e c t u a l balance, and she takes to r e l i g i o n as many a n a t u r a l i s t h e roine takes to d r i n k . The tragedy, which has destroyed the l a s t o f Jude's o l d i l l u s i o n s and dreams about C h r i s t m i n s t e r , has made Sue - 53 - s u p e r s t i t i o u s l y r e l i g i o u s . In the process, she convinces h e r s e l f o f the s a n c t i t y o f the marriage c o n t r a c t and r e t u r n s to P h i l l o t s o n , a d v i s i n g Jude to r e t u r n to A r a b e l l a : The blow o f her bereavement seemed to have destroyed her r e a s o n i n g f a c u l t y . The once keen v i s i o n was dimmed. ' A l l wrong, a l l wrong'.' he s a i d h u s k i l y . ' E r r o r — p e r v e r s i t y I I t d r i v e s me out o f my senses. Do you care f o r him? Do you l o v e him? You know you don't'. I t w i l l be a f a n a t i c p r o s t i t u t i o n — God f o r g i v e me, y e s — t h a t ' s what i t w i l l be'.' (Jude. p. 373) A f t e r her d e p a r t u r e , Jude i s p a s s i v e l y drawn i n t o the second marriage to A r a b e l l a . In the tormented atmosphere o f Jude the Obscure. Hardy surrounds A r a b e l l a with macabre humour as she appears and reappears to o f f e r comments and ad v i c e on the t o r t u r e d l i v e s o f Jude and Sue. She i s a s p l e n d i d comic c r e a t i o n , and she has many d e f e n d e r s — D . H. Lawrence among them. But she i s C i r c e , a s s o c i a t e d always with p i g s ; she reduces s e x u a l p a s s i o n to grossness and b e s t i a l i t y . U ntroubled by e t h i c a l o r metaphysical q u e s t i o n s , A r a b e l l a bends to her s a t i s f a c t i o n the v e r y s o c i a l conven- t i o n s t h a t press so hard upon Jude and Sue. Jude and Sue e n d l e s s l y d i s c u s s the e t h i c s o f the marriage c o n t r a c t ; A r a b e l l a simply goes o f f to A u s t r a l i a and commits bigamy. She hands Father Time over to Sue and Jude, and stands a s i d e while t h e i r l i v e s are d e s t r o y e d by the r e l e n t l e s s combination - 59 - o f h e r e d i t y , environment, and the uneven p r o g r e s s i o n o f c i v i l i z a t i o n . Jude i s reduced to p a s s i v i t y by the agony of h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h the two Women, but h i s death does not so much as stop A r a b e l l a from watching the p r o c e s s i o n o f b o a t s . Sue i s made " q u i t e a s t a i d , worn woman" by her g h a s t l y submission to P h i l l o t s o n ; A r a b e l l a , the s k i l l e d s u r v i v o r o f the n o v e l , c h e e r f u l l y embarks upon a t h i r d marriage. The nightmare v i s i o n o f Jude the O b s c u r e — s o much more i n t e n s e than i n any " d e p r e s s i n g " n a t u r a l i s t work such as The Mummer's W i f e — o f f e r s no r e l i e f i n any view o f b e n e f i c e n t nature: ' . . . I s a i d i t was Nature's i n t e n t i o n , Nature's law and r a i s o n d'etre t h a t we should be j o y f u l i n what i n s t i n c t s she a f f o r d e d u s — i n s t i n c t s which c i v i l i z a - t i o n had taken upon i t s e l f to thwart. What d r e a d f u l t h i n g s I said'. And now f a t e has g i v e n us t h i s stab i n the back f o r being such f o o l s as to take Nature at her word'.' (Jude, p. 350) There cannot be any sense o f oneness with the n a t u r a l world when the f i e l d s are black and f r o z e n , where an A r a b e l l a i s the f e r t i l i t y f i g u r e . There can be no going back. T h i s i s not the l e a s t o f the " f a m i l y " c u r s e . In the attempt to render the experience o f modern man i n the h i s t o r y o f the D u r b e y f i e l d s and the Fawleys, Hardy may not be a l t o g e t h e r s u c c e s s f u l — e v e n when we understand - 60 - why Sorrow and Father Time are aborted c h a r a c t e r s , we may s t i l l wish t h a t e i t h e r they were more r e c o g n i z a b l y human, or t h e i r parents l e s s so. N e v e r t h e l e s s , we must acknowledge the i n t e n s i t y , the sense o f u l t i m a t e s i g n i f i c a n c e w i t h which Hardy endows h i s c h i e f c h a r a c t e r s . And i t i s hard to name a n ' E n g l i s h n o v e l i s t who manages to encompass so much, even a s i d e from the t r a g i c f a t a l i s m i n t o which he transforms the d e t e r m i n i s t mechanics o f h e r e d i t y and environment ( i n c l u d i n g , a l s o , i n Jude those determinants as w e l l ) . In h i s endeavour, he extends the f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e form toward i t s most ambitious, l i m i t s ; he t r i e s to body f o r t h a myth o f modern experience. Along the way, he q u i t e i g n o r e s i n h e r e n t p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f the form which such a much l e s s ambitious w r i t e r as A r n o l d Bennett w i l l e x p l o i t so f i n e l y i n The Old Wives' T a l e . And I t h i n k we look t o Lawrence f o r the p e r f e c t i o n of the attempt to express a l a r g e p a t t e r n of human development w i t h i n the terms o f a r e c o g n i z a b l e s o c i a l c o n t e x t . Even so, Hardy's e f f o r t t o i n v e s t h i s " f a m i l i e s " w i t h a l a r g e r s i g n i f i c a n c e c laims our a d m i r a t i o n . I t i s a p a r t of Hardy's achievement t h a t Tess o f the d ' U r b e r v i l l e s and Jude the Obscure do so much to make The Rainbow p o s s i b l e . - 61 - Footnotes - Chapter I I I ^ L i o n e l Johnson, The A r t o f Thomas Hardy (New York: R u s s e l l and R u s s e l l , 1 9 2 3 ^ 3 9 4 ] T7 p. 2 4 3 . 2 B u t l e r worked s p o r a d i c a l l y on The Way of A l l F l e s h between the years 1373 and 1 3 3 5 , although the n o v e l was not p u b l i s h e d u n t i l 1 9 0 3 , a f t e r h i s death. ^ Dorothy Van Ghent, "On Tess - o f the d ' U r b e r v i l l e s . " i n Hardy: A C o l l e c t i o n o f C r i t i c a l E s s a ys. ed. A l b e r t J . Guerard (Englewood C l i f f s , N.J.: P r e n t i c e - H a l l , 1 9 6 3 ) , p. ^ Thomas Hardy, Tess o f the d ' U r b e r v i l l e s : A Pure Woman (New York: Macmillan, 196"o" 1391 ), p. 3 4 7 . P i e r r e d ' E x i d e u i l , The Human P a i r i n the Work o f Thomas Hardy, t r a n s . F e l i x M. Crosse (London: Humphrey Toulmin, n.d.), p. 1 3 0 . ° John Holloway, "Hardy's Major F i c t i o n , " i n the p r e v i o u s l y c i t e d C r i t i c a l E ssays, p. 5 2 . 7 I b i d , p. 6 l . Morton Dauewen Z a b e l , "Hardy i n Defense o f H i s A r t : The A e s t h e t i c o f i n c o n g r u i t y , " C r i t i c a l Essays, p. 3 5 . ^ Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure (London: Macmillan, 1966 j l . 3 9 5 3 ) , Author's P r e f a c e , v i i - v i i i . Havelock E l l i s , "Concerning Jude the Obscure," "Savoy": The N i n e t i e s Experiment, ed. S t a n l e y Weintraub (London: P e n n s y l v a n i a S t a t e U niv. P r e s s , 1 9 6 6 ), p. 2 0 9 . 1 1 Robert Graves, The Greek Myths (Harmondsworth: Penguin, I 9 6 0 ) , p. 4 9 . - 6 2 - W i l l iam R. Rutland, Thomas Hardy: A Study of His Writings and Their Background (New York: Russell and R u s s e l l , 1 9 6 2 T 7 p p . 2 5 4 - 5 . - 63 - CHAPTER IV In t u r n i n g from Hardy's two n o v e l s ' t o John Galsworthy's F o r s y t e C h r o n i c l e s , we do not mark the d i f f e r e n c e s o f a g e n e r a t i o n i n s t y l e and p r e o c c u p a t i o n . Indeed, Galsworthy i n many important r e s p e c t s seems l e s s modern than h i s e l d e r , g r e a t e r contemporary. C r i t i c s f r e q u e n t l y c l a s s i f y him as the l a s t o f the V i c t o r i a n n o v e l i s t s , s i n g u l a r l y untouched by the i n f l u e n c e o f n a t u r a l i s m , as Daiches does i n h i s d i s - c u s s i o n o f The F o r s y t e Saga: But i n d e a l i n g w i t h the book, whatever aspect we choose, we s h a l l not have to en l a r g e our c o n c e p t i o n o f f i c t i o n o r pause to c o n s i d e r whether i t i s a n o v e l i n the accepted sense o f the word. Nor s h a l l we have to worry about what the author i s endeavouring to do, or what h i s view o f the n o v e l i s t ' s a r t i s , or to what extent the nature o f h i s a c h i e v e - ment i s i m p l i e d i n e a r l i e r w r i t e r s . Galsworthy does not belong to the p i o - neers i n l i t e r a t u r e . He i s , i n the sense o f the term common at the beginning of t h i s century, a r e a l i s t : he i s concerned w i t h e p i t o - m i z i n g the o r d i n a r y a c t i v i t i e s o f o r d i - nary people by c l o s e l y o b s e r v i n g and r e c o r d i n g t h e i r most t y p i c a l f e a t u r e s . And at the same time-T=and t h i s d i s t i n - g u ishes h i s type o f r e a l i s t — h e i s a m o r a l i s t and a humanitarian, and h i s e t h i c a l and humanitarian i n t e r e s t s are r a r e l y l o s t s i g h t o f . ^ One o f the reasons t h a t he seems so dated i s s u r e l y t h a t Galsworthy was a p p a r e n t l y o b l i v i o u s to the f a c t t h a t i t was - 6k l a t e i n the day f o r h i s s o r t o f r e a l i s m (without the t r a n s - forming energy o f something important to express, a t l e a s t ) to be a v i t a l e x p r e s s i o n o f s o c i a l h i s t o r y . W i l f u l ignorance was, f i n a l l y , not a v e r y f r u i t f u l stance to take toward n a t u r a l i s m , when i t had provided Galsworthy with h i s form. I t i s tempting merely to d i s m i s s Galsworthy as a s e c o n d - r a t e r , a man who p u b l i s h e d one i n t e r e s t i n g n o v e l i n 1906 (The Man o f Property) and who, at a l o s s f o r new m a t e r i a l at the end o f the war, decided to c a p i t a l i z e on the e a r l i e r s uccess. M a r r o t t , h i s f r i e n d and biographer, recounts the advent o f t h i s d e c i s i o n as a g r e a t epiphany; the F o r s y t e C h r o n i c l e s were to be Galsworthy's g i f t to the coming peace. The second t r i l o g y , A Modern Comedy, which d e a l s w i t h Soames F o r s y t e i n h i s o l d age, h o v e r i n g uncomfortably about the world o f h i s daughter, F l e u r , s c a r c e l y q u a l i f i e s as a f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e except t h a t the novels are about c h a r a c t e r s who belong to the F o r s y t e f a m i l y . To L e t ( p u b l i s h e d i n 1921), the l a s t n o v e l i n the f i r s t t r i l o g y , opens i n 1920. From t h i s p o i n t , Galsworthy w r i t e s i n h i s immediate present, and abandons the attempt to c o n t r o l h i s m a t e r i a l w i t h r e s p e c t to time. In the second t r i l o g y , he i s reduced t o have Soames make pronouncements about "the times we l i v e i n , " and the n o v e l s degenerate i n t o a f l a c c i d r e c o r d o f c u r r e n t events. The g e n e r a l s t r i k e o f 1926, f o r i n s t a n c e , which f i g u r e s i n - 65 - the l a s t o f the t h r e e n o v e l s , Swan Song;, i s not u s e d — c a n n o t be, f o r Galsworthy has no n o t i o n o f i t s h i s t o r i c a l s i g n i f i - c a n c e — t o the e f f e c t t h a t V i c t o r i a ' s death i s used i n In Chancery. The second t r i l o g y ends with Soames's death a f t e r h i s v i s i t t o the l o c a l e o f the "primeval F o r s y t e s . " He i s , a p p r o p r i a t e l y i f not very s k i l f u l l y , k i l l e d by the f a l l o f one p o s s e s s i o n (a p a i n t i n g ) as he saves another, more p r e c i o u s one ( h i s daughter). The t h i r d t r i l o g y , The End o f the Chapter, i s one o f Galsworthy's d i s a s t r o u s moves i n t o the sphere o f the a r i s t o c r a c y , i n t h i s case the C h e r w e l l f a m i l y ( r e l a t i v e s o f F l e u r ' s husband, M i c h a e l Mont). Galsworthy seems q u i t e to f o r g e t the reason f o r the whole e n t e r p r i s e . H i s o s t e n s i b l e purpose i s the d e p i c t i o n o f the " s e r v i c e c l a s s " i n i t s waning days, presumably as an analogue to the Saga, which d e p i c t s the d e c l i n e o f t h e middle c l a s s . But i n the c e n t r a l i s s u e o f A Maid i n W a i t i n g , the t r i a l o f Dinny C h e r w e l l ' s b r o t h e r , Galsworthy h i m s e l f does not seem to understand what i s i n v o l v e d . Dinny's b r o t h e r has k i l l e d a B o l i v i a n muleteer i n s e l f - d e f e n s e , a f t e r b e a t i n g the man,., who had been b e a t i n g h i s mules. The q u e s t i o n o f whether the k i l l i n g o f a man i s n ' t more r e p r e h e n s i b l e than the d i s c o m f o r t o f a mule never seems t o a r i s e i But the judge, whom we know t o be one o f the e l e c t because he knows how to pronounce the C h e r w e l l name, r u l e s t h a t Hubert has not committed an e x t r a d i t a b l e o f f e n s e - 66 - — a f t e r which, Hubert and h i s b r i d e depart t o defend B r i t i s h v a l u e s i n o t h e r p a r t s o f the w o r l d . In the next n o v e l , The F l o w e r i n g W i l d e r n e s s , the poet W i l f r i d Desert reappears (he was best man at the Monts' wedding, and a candidate f o r the bored F l e u r ' s f a v o u r s i n The White Monkey) as Dinny's s u i t o r . The engagement i s broken when i t becomes common knowledge t h a t Desert has recanted under t h r e a t o f death, and turned Moslem. A man at S i r Lawrence Mont's c l u b comments t h a t he f e e l s s o r r y f o r any o t h e r Englishman t r a v e l l i n g i n the same pa r t o f the A r a b i a n d e s e r t . For a l l i t s echoes o f T. E. Lawrence, 1932 seems l a t e indeed f o r t h i s s o r t o f concern f o r B r i t i s h imperium. In the l a s t n o v e l ( p u b l i s h e d a f t e r Galsworthy's death), he m e r c i f u l l y abandons t h i s grotesque s t e r e o t y p i n g (which i s not s a t i r i c — h e had announced to Garnett and o t h e r s t h a t he had abandoned the s a t i r i c mode o f The Man o f P r o p e r t y f o r the l y r i c a l ) o f the values o f the E n g l i s h a r i s t o c r a c y , and con- f i n e s h i m s e l f to such m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of s o c i a l change as d i v o r c e cases and the v i c t o r y o f the C o n s e r v a t i v e P a r t y a t the p o l l s . But i f , a t the l a s t , s o c i a l h i s t o r y i n Galsworthy's hands came to be a mere s h u f f l i n g t o g e t h e r o f c l i c h e s , The F o r s y t e Saga—The Man o f P r o p e r t y T In Chancery ( p u b l i s h e d i n 1920), and To L e t — - i s a f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e worth a t t e n t i o n - 67 - f o r the way i n which Galsworthy works wit h the n o t i o n o f time as i t i n v o l v e s s o c i a l change, and p l a y s i t a g a i n s t a n o t i o n o f time as i t works through r e c u r r i n g events. I t i s b a s i c a l l y Hardy's technique o f p l a y i n g o f f a l i n e a r n o t i o n o f time (as the e v o l u t i o n i n t o disembodiment) a g a i n s t the c y c l i c a l n o t i o n o f time i m p l i c i t i n the rhythm o f the o r g a n i c world, but i t i s f i n e l y adapted t o Galsworthy's purpose. The f a c t t h a t the e v o l u t i o n i n t o disembodiment i s reduced i n h i s work to the e v o l u t i o n o f a c l a s s out o f e x i s t e n c e ( r a t h e r as we see t h a t happening i n The Way o f A l l F l e s h ) — t h a t i s , the c o n s t r i c t i n g o f the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f what the l i n e a r n o t i o n o f time r e p r e s e n t s — d o e s not d e t r a c t from the i n t e r e s t o f the a c t u a l h a n d l i n g o f the theme (although one could argue t h a t i t d e t r a c t s from the n o v e l as a w h o l e — t h e Schopenhauerian s u b s t r u c t u r e o f Buddenbrooks. f o r example, immeasurably enhances the d e p i c t i o n of s o c i a l h i s t o r y by adding another dimension to i t ) . We are t o l d a t the b e g i n n i n g o f The Man of. P r o p e r t y what we see, and i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e : Those p r i v i l e g e d to be present at a f a m i l y f e s t i v a l of the F o r s y t e s have seen that charming and i n s t r u c t i v e s i g h t — a n upper m i d d l e - c l a s s f a m i l y i n f u l l plumage. But whosoever o f these favoured persons has possessed the g i f t o f p s y c h o l o g i c a l a n a l y s i s (a t a l e n t without monetary value and p r o p e r l y i g n o r e d by the F o r s y t e s ) , has witnessed a s p e c t a c l e , not o n l y - 63 - d e l i g h t f u l i n i t s e l f , but i l l u s t r a t i v e o f an obscure human problem. In p l a i n e r words, he has gleaned from a g a t h e r i n g o f t h i s f a m i l y — n o branch of which had a l i k i n g f o r the other, between no three members o f whom e x i s t e d anything worthy of the name sympathy—evidence o f t h a t mysterious concrete t e n a c i t y which r e n - ders a f a m i l y so formidable a u n i t o f s o c i e t y , so c l e a r a r e p r o d u c t i o n o f s o c i e t y , i n m i n i a t u r e . He has been ad- mi t t e d t o a v i s i o n o f the dim roads o f s o c i a l progress, has understood some- t h i n g o f p a t r i a r c h a l l i f e , o f the swarm- ings o f savage hordes, o f the r i s e and f a l l o f n a t i o n s . He i s l i k e one who, having watched a t r e e grow from i t s p l a n t i n g — a paragon o f t e n a c i t y , i n s u l a - t i o n , and success, amidst the deaths o f a hundred other p l a n t s l e s s f i b r o u s , sappy, and p e r s i s t e n t — o n e day w i l l see i t f l o u r i s h i n g w i t h bland, f u l l f o l i a g e , i n an almost repugnant p r o s p e r i t y , at the summit o f i t s e f f l o r e s c e n c e . On June 1 5 , 1 3 3 6 , about f o u r o f the aft e r n o o n , the observer who chanced to be present at the house o f o l d J o l y o n F o r s y t e i n Stanhope Gate, might have seen the h i g h e s t e f f l o r e s c e n c e of the F o r s y t e s . 2 Soon, we l e a r n about the f a t h e r o f the f i r s t g e n e r a t i o n p o r t r a y e d i n the n o v e l : ' S u p e r i o r Dosset F o r s y t e , 1 as he was c a l l e d by h i s i n t i m a t e s , had been a stone-mason by tr a d e , and r i s e n to the p o s i t i o n o f a m a s t e r - b u i l d e r . Towards the end o f h i s l i f e he moved to London, where, b u i l d i n g on u n t i l he d i e d , he was b u r i e d at Highgate. He l e f t over t h i r t y thousand pounds between h i s ten c h i l d r e n . Old J o l y o n a l l u d e d to him, i f at a l l , as 'A hard, t h i c k s o r t o f man; not much refinement about him.' The second gen- e r a t i o n o f F o r s y t e s f e l t indeed t h a t he was not g r e a t l y to t h e i r c r e d i t . The - 69 - The o n l y a r i s t o c r a t i c t r a i t t h e y c o u l d f i n d i n h i s c h a r a c t e r was a h a b i t o f d r i n k i n g M a d e i r a . (Saga, p. 17) From w h i c h , we a r e l e d back t o t h e e a r l i e s t g e n e r a t i o n s o f F o r s y t e s ( G a l s w o r t h y ' s h a n d l i n g o f whom, i n c i d e n t a l l y , f o r e - shadows Lawrence's t r e a t m e n t o f the e a r l y , u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d Brangwens): James once went down to see f o r him- s e l f what s o r t o f p l a c e t h i s was t h a t t h e y had come from. He found two o l d farms, w i t h a c a r t t r a c k r u t t e d i n t o t h e p i n k e a r t h , l e a d i n g down t o a m i l l by the beach; a l i t t l e g r a y c h u r c h w i t h a b u t t r e s s e d o u t e r w a l l , and a s m a l l e r and g r a y e r c h a p e l . The stream w h i c h worked the m i l l came b u b b l i n g down i n a dozen r i v u l e t s , and p i g s were h u n t i n g round t h a t e s t u a r y . A haze hovered o v e r the p r o s p e c t . Down t h i s h o l l o w , w i t h t h e i r f e e t deep i n t h e mud and t h e i r f a c e s towards t h e se a , i t appeared t h a t t h e p r i m e v a l F o r s y t e s had been c o n t e n t t o walk Sunday a f t e r Sunday f o r hundreds o f y e a r s . Whether o r no James had c h e r i s h e d hopes o f an i n h e r i t a n c e , o r o f something r a t h e r d i s t i n g u i s h e d t o be found down t h e r e , he came back t o town i n a poor way, and went about w i t h a p a t h e t i c attempt a t making t h e b e s t o f a bad j o b . 'There's v e r y l i t t l e t o be had out o f t h a t , ' he s a i d ; ' r e g u l a r c o u n t r y l i t t l e p l a c e , o l d as t h e h i l l s . ' I t s age was f e l t t o be a c o m f o r t . O l d J o l y o n , i n whom a d e s p e r a t e h o n e s t y w e l l e d up a t t i m e s , would a l l u d e t o h i s a n c e s t o r s a s : 'Yeoman—I suppose v e r y s m a l l b e e r . ' Y e t he would r e p e a t t h e word 'yeomen' as i f i t a f f o r d e d him c o n s o l a t i o n . (Saga, p. 13) Even though t h e f a m i l y seems a t i t s most i n v i n c i b l e a t - 70 T h i s p a r t y c e l e b r a t i n g the engagement o f June t o P h i l l i p Bosinney, a r i f t has a l r e a d y o c c u r r e d by the e a r l i e r (tem- porary, as i t t u r n s out) d e f e c t i o n o f her f a t h e r from the ranks o f the F o r s y t e s , and' i t i s soon to widen d r a s t i c a l l y . These fundamental changes are, e a r l y i n The Man o f Pr o p e r t y , c o u n t e r p o i n t e d w i t h t h i n g s no more important than S w i t h i n ' s "primeval impatience" f o r d i n n e r . S w i t h i n , always l e e r i n g at I rene, seems q u i t e a r b i t r a r i l y chosen by Galsworthy t o embody the "rumbling v i o l e n c e o f p r i m i t i v e g e n e r a t i o n s . " (Saga, p. 55) But with the f i r s t o f the s u c c e s s i o n o f f u n e r a l s t h a t punctuate the Saga, time-as-recurrence makes i t s appearance, and g i v e s s i g n i f i c a n c e t o the theme of r e v e r - s i o n to h e r e d i t a r y s t r e n g t h as cou n t e r p o i n t to the e t i o l a t i o n o f s o c i a l change: She was spared the watching o f the branches j u s t out beyond the po i n t o f balance. She could not look i n t o the he a r t s o f her f o l l o w e r s . The same law th a t had worked i n her, b r i n g i n g her up from a t a l l , s t r a i g h t - b a c k e d s l i p o f a g i r l t o a woman stro n g and grown, to a woman o l d , angular, f e e b l e , almost w i t c h - l i k e , w i t h i n d i v i d u a l i t y a l l sharpened and sharpened, as a l l rounding from the world's contact f e l l o f f from h e r — t h a t same law would work, was working, i n the f a m i l y she had watched l i k e a mother. She had seen i t young, and growing, she had seen i t strong and grown, and before her o l d eyes had time o r s t r e n g t h to see any more, she d i e d . She would have t r i e d , and who knows but she might have kept i t young and st r o n g , with her - 71 - o l d f i n g e r s , her tembling k i s s e s — a l i t t l e l o n ger; alas', not even Aunt Ann could f i g h t w i t h Nature. (Saga, p. I l l ) In In Chancery, the f a m i l y i s l o s i n g i t s s e l f - c o n f i d e n t powers o f r e p r o d u c t i o n : Thus, o f the t e n o l d F o r s y t e s twenty- one young F o r s y t e s had been born; but o f the twenty-one young F o r s y t e s there were as yet o n l y seventeen descendants; and i t a l r e a d y seemed u n l i k e l y t h a t there would be more than a f u r t h e r unconsidered t r i f l e o r so. A student o f s t a t i s t i c s must have n o t i c e d t h a t the b i r t h r a t e had v a r i e d i n accordance w i t h the r a t e o f i n t e r e s t f o r your money. Grandfather ' S u p e r i o r Dosset' F o r s y t e i n the e a r l y n i n e t e e n t h century had been g e t t i n g t e n per cent, f o r h i s , hence t e n c h i l d r e n . Those ten, l e a v i n g out the f o u r who had not married, and J u l e y , whose husband Septimus Small had, o f course, d i e d a l - most at once, had averaged f o u r to f i v e per cent, f o r t h e i r s , and produced a c c o r - d i n g l y . The twenty-one whom they produced where now g e t t i n g b a r e l y t h r e e per cent, i n the Consols to which t h e i r f a t h e r s had mostly t i e d the Settlements they made to a v o i d death d u t i e s , and the s i x of them who had been reproduced had seventeen c h i l d r e n , or j u s t the proper two and f i v e - Soames, the a t a v i s t i c F o r s y t e o f the "young" g e n e r a t i o n , d i v o r c e s Irene so as to marry again, i n a mixture o f emotions which does not i n c l u d e any r e a l f e e l i n g f o r h i s new w i f e : I t was i n t r i c a t e and deeply i n v o l v e d with the growing consciousness that pro- p e r t y without anyone to leave i t to i s the negation o f t r u e F o r s y t e i s m . To have an h e i r , some continuance o f s e l f , who would begin where he l e f t o f f — e n s u r e , i n f a c t , t h a t he would not l e a v e o f f — h a d s i x t h s per stem. - 72 - q u i t e obsessed him f o r the l a s t year and more. (Saga, p. 442) In an encounter w i t h Soames, young J o l y o n (who has an i n s u f f e r a b l e penchant f o r t h i s s o r t o f thing) u n d e r l i n e s the d i f f e r e n c e between t h e i r g e n e r a t i o n and t h e i r f a t h e r s ' . The development o f the F o r s y t e s has much i n common with those o t h e r m i d d l e - c l a s s f a m i l i e s , the P o n t i f e x e s and the Buddenbrooks: "We a r e n ' t the men they were, you know." Soames s m i l e d . 'Do you r e a l l y t h i n k I s h a l l admit t h a t I'm not t h e i r equal'; he seemed to be s a y i n g , 'or that I've got to g i v e up anything, e s p e c i a l l y l i f e ? ' "We may l i v e to t h e i r age, perhaps," pursued J o l y o n , "but s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s i s a handicap, you know, and t h a t ' s the d i f - f e r e n c e between us. We've l o s t c o n v i c t i o n . How and when s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s was born I can never make out. My f a t h e r had a l i t t l e , but I don't b e l i e v e any o t h e r o f the o l d F o r s y t e s ever had a s c r a p . Never to see y o u r s e l f as o t h e r s see you, i t ' s a wonderful p r e s e r v a t i v e . The whole h i s t o r y of the l a s t century i s i n the d i f f e r e n c e between us...." (Saga, p. 470) The F o r s y t e s , near the end o f the n o v e l , watch the f u n e r a l p r o c e s s i o n o f Queen V i c t o r i a . I t i s t h e i r Age t h a t i s p a s s i n g : There i t w a s — t h e b i e r o f the Queen, c o f f i n o f the Age slow passing'. And as i t went by t h e r e came a murmuring groan from a l l the long l i n e o f those who watched, a sound such as Soames had never heard, so uncon- s c i o u s , p r i m i t i v e , deep and w i l d , t h a t n e i t h e r he nor any knew whether they had j o i n e d i n u t t e r i n g i t . Strange sound, indeed'. T r i b u t e o f an Age to i t s own - 73 death Ah! Ah!...The h o l d on l i f e had s l i p p e d . That which had seemed e t e r n a l was gone! The Queen—God b l e s s her! (Saga, p. 691) The book f i n i s h e s w i t h the b i r t h o f Soames's daughter, F l e u r , who i n the next t r i l o g y w i l l r e p r e s e n t Modernity (the whole q u e s t i o n o f modern experience being r e l e g a t e d to the d e p i c t i o n o f a f l a p p e r ) as c r a s s l y as Irene r e p r e s e n t s Beauty i n t h i s . But f o r the moment, Soames seems at l a s t to possess something worth having: The sense o f triumph and renewed pos- s e s s i o n swelled w i t h i n him. By God! t h i s — t h i s t h i n g was h i s ! (Saga, p. 721) To L e t opens n i n e t e e n years a f t e r the ending o f In Chancery. Soames i s now an o l d man, and Galsworthy a c c e l - e r a t e s the process begun toward the end o f the p r e v i o u s n o v e l . Soames becomes an e n t i r e l y sympathetic f i g u r e — a n d , so f a r as i t e x i s t s , the norm o f the s a t i r e . At the end, he i s granted a sudden v i s i o n o f the r e c u r r e n c e o f events i n recom- pense f o r h i s r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t the s e c u r i t y o f ownership f o r which he stands i s a t h i n g o f the past: The waters o f change were foaming i n , c a r r y i n g the promise o f new forms o n l y when t h e i r d e s t r u c t i v e f l o o d should have passed i t s f u l l . He sat t h e r e , subcon- s c i o u s o f them, but wit h h i s thought r e s o l u t e l y set on the p a s t — a s a man might r i d e i n t o a w i l d n i g h t w i t h h i s face to the t a i l o f h i s g a l l o p i n g horse. - 74 - Athwart the V i c t o r i a n dykes the waters were r o l l i n g on p r o p e r t y , manners, and morals, on melody and the o l d forms o f a r t — w a t e r s b r i n g i n g to h i s mouth a s a l t t a s t e as o f blood, l a p p i n g to the f o o t o f t h i s Highgate H i l l where V i c t o r i a n i s m l a y b u r i e d . And s i t t i n g t h e r e , high up on i t s most i n d i v i d u a l spot, Soames— l i k e a f i g u r e o f I n v e s t m e n t — r e f u s e d t h e i r r e s t l e s s sounds. I n s t i n c t i v e l y he would not f i g h t t h e m — t h e r e was i n him too much primeval wisdom, o f Man the p o s s e s s i v e animal. They would q u i e t down when they had f u l f i l l e d t h e i r t i d a l f e v e r o f d i s - p o s s e s s i n g and d e s t r o y i n g ; when the c r e a t i o n s and the p r o p e r t i e s o f o t h e r s ' were s u f f i c i e n t l y broken and d e j e c t e d — they would l a p s e and ebb, and f r e s h forms would r i s e based on an i n s t i n c t o l d e r than the f e v e r o f c h a n g e — t h e i n s t i n c t of Home. (Saga, p. 1041) Galsworthy makes cl a i m s f o r The F o r s y t e Saga which seem d e l i b e r a t e l y a n t i - n a t u r a l i s t : . . . t h i s long t a l e i s no s c i e n t i f i c study of a p e r i o d ; i t i s r a t h e r an i n - timate i n c a r n a t i o n o f the d i s t u r b a n c e t h a t Beauty e f f e c t s i n the l i v e s o f men. (Saga. P r e f a c e , v i i i ) But the Saga doesn't begin to work through the problems posed by n a t u r a l i s m — G a l s w o r t h y doesn't even r e c o g n i z e t h a t they are r e l e v a n t to h i s work. S i m i l a r l y , we are cheated by h i s p o s i t i v e c l a i m . The simple equation o f Irene w i t h Beauty i s so c r u d e l y done t h a t we remain unconvinced by i t . A f t e r p r a i s i n g the i n i t i a l s a t i r i c impulse o f The Man o f P r o p e r t y . D. H. Lawrence goes s t r a i g h t to Galsworthy's weakest p o i n t : - 75 - Perhaps th e overwhelming numerousness o f t h e F o r s y t e s f r i g h t e n e d Mr. G a l s w o r t h y from u t t e r l y damning them. Or perhaps i t was something e l s e , something more s e r i o u s i n him. Perhaps i t was h i s u t t e r f a i l u r e t o see what you were when you weren't a F o r s y t e . What was t h e r e b e s i d e s F o r s y t e s i n a l l t h e wide human w o r l d ? Mr. G a l s w o r t h y l o o k e d , and found n o t h i n g . S t r i c t l y and t r u l y , a f t e r h i s f r i g h t e n e d s e a r c h , he had found n o t h i n g . But he came back w i t h I r e n e and B o s i n n e y , and o f f e r e d us t h a t . Here! he seems t o say. Here i s t h e a n t i - F o r s y t e ' . Here'. Here you have i t ' . Love'. Pa-assion'. PASSION Alas', t h i s i s t h e F o r s y t e t r y i n g t o be f r e e l y s e n s u a l . He c a n ' t do i t ; he's l o s t i t . He can o n l y be d o g g i s h l y messy. B o s i n n e y i s not o n l y a F o r s y t e , but an a n t i - F o r s y t e , w i t h a v a s t grudge a g a i n s t p r o p e r t y . And t h e t h i n g a man has a v a s t grudge a g a i n s t i s t h e man's d e t e r m i n a n t . B o s i n n e y i s a p r o p e r t y hound, but he has r u n away from the k e n n e l s , o r been born o u t s i d e the k e n n e l s , so he i s a r e b e l . So he goes s n i f f i n g round the p r o p e r t y b i t c h e s , t o get even w i t h t h e s u c c e s s f u l p r o p e r t y hounds t h a t way. One cannot h e l p p r e f e r r i n g Soames F o r s y t e , i n a c h o i c e o f e v i l s . J u s t as one p r e f e r s June o r any o f t h e o l d a u n t s t o I r e n e . I r e n e seems t o me a s n e a k i n g , c r e e p i n g , s p i t e f u l s o r t o f b i t c h , an a n t i - F o r s y t e , a b s o l u t e l y l i v i n g o f f t h e F o r s y t e s — y e s , t o the v e r y end; a b s o l u t e l y l i v i n g o f f t h e i r money and t r y i n g t o do them d i r t . . . . I t i s when he comes t o sex t h a t Mr. G a l s w o r t h y c o l l a p s e s f i n a l l y . He becomes n a s t i l y s e n t i m e n t a l . He wants t o make sex i m p o r t a n t , and he o n l y makes i t r e p u l s i v e . 3 The i n a b i l i t y t o e x t r i c a t e h i m s e l f from t h e F o r s y t e s — t o s t r a i g h t e n out t h e a u t h o r i a l p o i n t o f view towards h i s m a t e r i a l — s e r i o u s l y damages G a l s w o r t h y ' s work. A f t e r b e i n g 76 - the v i l l a i n , i t ought not to be p o s s i b l e f o r Soames to be the norm f o r the s o c i a l s a t i r e — a t l e a s t , not without more s u b t l e t y o f c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n than Galsworthy i n f a c t g i v e s us. We look i n v a i n f o r an approximation o f the p a s s i o n o f B u t l e r ' s s a t i r e — o r h i s clear-headedness about what he i s s a t i r i z i n g . O ld John P o n t i f e x i s the s o c i a l norm who stands o u t s i d e the ar e a o f B u t l e r ' s a t t a c k . But Old J o l y o n F o r s y t e i s r e a l l y d i f f e r e n t from the r e s t o f the f a m i l y o n l y i n age. (To be an o l d F o r s y t e , e v i d e n t l y , i s to be a good F o r s y t e — a view r e i n f o r c e d by Soames's metamorphosis.) The h o p e l e s s l y muddled p o i n t o f view encourages the s u s p i c i o n t h a t the author somehow has developed a vested i n t e r e s t (or r a t h e r , an emotional investment) i n h i s m a t e r i a l . The Saga i n v i t e s comparison with Mann's Buddenbrooks, which was p u b l i s h e d i n Germany f i v e years before the appearance o f The Man o f P r o p e r t y . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , f o r a l l i t s d e t a i l , Galsworthy's work seems mediocre a r t even as a r e n d e r i n g o f s o c i a l change when we compare i t to the German f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e . Mann makes h i s d e p i c t i o n o f the past an e l e g a i c t r i b u t e t o n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y r e a l i s m , before t u r n i n g t o the problem of f i n d i n g ways to express modern e x p e r i e n c e — i n d e e d , the s h i f t i n s t y l e from the e a r l y p a r t o f the n o v e l to the part d e a l i n g with Hanno's l i f e i s a r e f l e c t i o n o f the t u r n i n g - p o i n t i n Mann's a r t i s t i c c a r e e r . - 77 - In v e r y much the same way, D. H. Lawrence's The Rainbow ( b u i l d i n g upon Hardy's achievements) pays t r i b u t e to the p a s t , even w h i l e i t moves toward an e x p r e s s i o n o f modern experience. But i n the Saga, the understanding and r e s p e c t f o r the past comes to seem more se n t i m e n t a l indulgence, because there i s no a r t i s t i c shaping to the movement f o r - ward, and because Galsworthy's c o n s i d e r a b l e t e c h n i c a l r e s o u r c e s are too o f t e n played out i n p u r e l y d e c o r a t i v e d e t a i l . Buddenbrooks—among a wealth of o t h e r t h i n g s — d o e s p r e c i s e l y the same t h i n g as the Saga. That i s , i t p o r t r a y s the f u l l f l o w e r i n g o f one c l a s s o f s o c i e t y (the o l d burgher c l a s s ) and i t s d e c l i n e as the new b o u r g e o i s i e g a i n s power. But Mann never t e l l s us t h i s , never even has one c h a r a c t e r t e l l another t h i s . Rather, we watch the d e s p i s e d Hagenstroms g a i n wealth and p r e s t i g e w i t h i n the community as the Buddenbrooks s l o w l y l o s e both. Perhaps i t i s even worth l o o k i n g b r i e f l y at the most minor o f d e t a i l s , the way i n which the two authors date t h e i r events. Galsworthy t e l l s u s — a s he t e l l s us so much — t h e date on the f i r s t page o f The Man o f P r o p e r t y (and o f To L e t : i n In Chancery, he does manage to weave the date i n t o h i s opening more s k i l f u l l y ) i n the b a l d e s t way p o s s i b l I n Buddenbrooks. we a l s o are t o l d the year on the f i r s t pag - n but as a pa r t o f a scene (with which the no v e l opens d i r e c t l y ) around which c r y s t a l l i z e s the d i f f e r e n c e between o l d Johann Buddenbrook and h i s son: She was i n smooth waters now, and r a t t - l e d away, beaming wi t h j o y , through the whole A r t i c l e , r e p r o d u c i n g i t word f o r word from the Catechism j u s t promulgated, w i t h the approval o f an omniscient Senate, i n t h a t very year o f grace, 1 3 3 5 . 4 Throughout the n o v e l , i t i s easy to p l a c e the time by h i s - t o r i c a l events, as i n the Galsworthy n o v e l s . But we never r e a l l y r e q u i r e i t ; Mann has s u p e r b l y — s o p e r f e c t l y t h a t I t h i n k one takes Buddenbrooks as the c l a s s i c paradigm o f the f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e n o v e l — r e n d e r e d s o c i a l change w i t h i n the p e r s o n a l i t i e s o f h i s c h a r a c t e r s . The d i f f e r e n c e s between g e n e r a t i o n s are t h e r e t o be s e e n — n o t o n l y through the com- p a r i s o n s o f c h a r a c t e r s made by the reader (the d i f f e r e n c e s , f o r example, between Johann and H o f f s t e d e , and Jean and Go s c h — w h i c h e n t a i l the whole change o f s e n s i b i l i t y from the e i g h t e e n t h century to the e a r l y n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y ) , but i n the dramatic i n t e r a c t i o n o f the c h a r a c t e r s . In the E n g l i s h n o v e l , we f i n d something approaching the same achievement, not i n the work o f Galsworthy, but i n A r n o l d Bennett's O ld Wives' T a l e . - 79 - Footnotes - Chapter IV David Daiches, The Novel and the Modern World (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1939), p. 37. 2 John Galsworthy, The Forsyte Saga (London: Heinemann, 1922), p. 3. 3 D. H. Lawrence, "John Galsworthy," Phoenix I: The Posthumous Papers of D. H. Lawrence (London: Heinemann^. 1936) , pp. 544-5. • ^ Thomas Mann, Buddenbrooks. trans. H. T. Lowe- Porter (New York: Vintage Books, 1924), p. 3. - 80 - CHAPTER V I t i s that o t h e r Edwardian " p r o f e s s i o n a l w r i t e r , " A r n o l d Bennett who p e r f e c t e d the r e a l i s t i c mode o f the E n g l i s h f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e n o v e l by a n g l i c i z i n g n a t u r a l i s m ( i n the process, t a c t f u l l y smoothing away the s c i e n t i f i c concerns o f n a t u r a l i s m ) . Bennett was c a s t i g a t e d by h i s younger contemporaries (who were w i l l i n g merely to ignore Galsworthy) as the a p o t h e o s i s o f the v u l g a r j o u r n a l i s t - t u r n e d - n o v e l i s t — a s we see him, f o r i n s t a n c e , as Mr. Nixon i n E z r a Pound'.is "Hugh Selwyn Mauberley," or i n V i r g i n i a WooIf's c r i t i c a l essays. T h i s view has been m o d i f i e d by time, and the d i f f e r e n c e s between h i s a e s t h e t i c and V i r g i n i a Woolf' s own"*" are l e s s important now than they seemed at the time o f "Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown" c o n t r o v e r s y : For Bennett, i t must be remembered, was one o f the f i r s t conscious highbrows i n the n o v e l ; he, almost as e a r l y as any Englishman, had heard the good news t h a t Henry James and George Moore brought back from P a r i s , t h a t the n o v e l was an a r t form.2 I t was, i n f a c t , as much the i n f l u e n c e o f Moore's A Mummer's Wife as h i s own experience o f l i f e i n the Midlands which p r o v i d e d the impetus f o r the s e r i e s o f novels about the " F i v e Towns": - 31 I t i s n a t u r a l , i f f u t i l e , t o s p e c u l a t e i f B e n n e t t ever saw t h a t p r o d u c t i o n o f Les C l o c h e s de C p r n e v i l l e i n H a n l e y , but he c e r t a i n l y knew, by t h e time he was s e t t l e d i n London, t h e n o v e l i n w h i c h George Moore s e t down h i s e x p e r i e n c e s and o b s e r v a t i o n s o f t h e town. A Mummer's W i f e remains an i m p r e s s i v e work. I n t h e ' n i n e t i e s , and f o r B e n n e t t e s p e c i a l l y , i t must have been even more so. F o r a t t h a t t i m e Moore, th e f r i e n d o f Z o l a and t h e d i s c i p l e o f F l a u b e r t ...was the o n l y n o v e l i s t i n E n g l a n d who was a t t e m p t i n g t o w r i t e f i c t i o n i n t h e manner o f the F r e n c h w r i t e r s whom Benne t t so g r e a t l y admired. He l o o k e d upon Moore, as may be seen from h i s e a r l y book Fame and F i c t i o n , w i t h t h e r e v e r e n c e due t o an immediate ancestor.3 B e n n e t t i n h e r i t e d n a t u r a l i s m from Moore as Moore used i t h i m s e l f — a s a s t y l i s t i c c o n v e n t i o n , r a t h e r t h a n as an a c c e p t e d v e r s i o n o f r e a l i t y . T h i s i s t o say t h a t B e n n e t t i s i n f l u e n c e d by n a t u r a l i s m e x a c t l y i n t h o s e ways i n w h i c h Hardy i s v i r t u a l l y immune t o t h e f o r e i g n i n f l u e n c e . On the o t h e r hand, Bennett i s unmoved by t h e consequences o f h e r e d i t a r y d e t e r m i n i s m ( a l t h o u g h , as we s h a l l see, he does work w i t h b i o l o g i c a l d e t e r m i n a n t s ) , the i m p a s s i o n e d r e a c t i o n t o which ( i n v e r y d i f f e r e n t ways) u n d e r l i e s The Way o f A l l F l e s h and Hardy's Schopenhauerian m e t a p h y s i c . The a e s t h e t i c n a t u r a l i s m o f Moore and Bennett i s a l t o g e t h e r a more mana- g e a b l e commodity, and t h e g a i n t o B e n n e t t i n sheer ease o r g r a c e f u l n e s s o f h i s a r t a t i t s b e s t i s c o n s i d e r a b l e . What i s l o s t i s the sense o f purpose i m p l i c i t i n Z o l a ' s c h r o n i c l e — o r , f o r t h a t m a t t e r , i n t h e s t u d y o f environment w h i c h - 32 - p r e d a t e s n a t u r a l i s m i n E n g l i s h , M i d d l e m a r c h . B e n n e t t ' s a r t i s c a p a b l e o f t e c h n i c a l p e r f e c t i o n ; o f i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e beyond t e c h n i q u e , we are not always so c o n f i d e n t . The i n f l u e n c e o f Moore and the F r e n c h a u t h o r s was a l a s t i n g one, d e s p i t e B e n n e t t ' s l a t e r , r a t h e r i n c o n g r u o u s , p r o f e s s i o n o f a d m i r a t i o n f o r the " u n i v e r s a l sympathy" o f D o s t o i e v s k y . I t was toward t h e end o f h i s c a r e e r t h a t he wrote the f i n e n o v e l , Ricevman S t e p s , w h i c h seems so much a p a r t o f t h e t r a d i t i o n o f F r e n c h r e a l i s m . N e v e r t h e l e s s , B e n n e t t ' s a l l e g i a n c e t o the new r e a l i s m (as i m p o r t e d from F r a n c e ) d i d not b l i n d him t o the u s e f u l n e s s o f the o l d e r t r a d i t i o n o f E n g l i s h r e a l i s m . H i s second n o v e l , Anna o f t h e F i v e Towns owes much t o D i c k e n s i n i t s s t u d y o f an i n d i - v i d u a l a t t h e mercy o f a h o s t i l e environment. Anna T e l l w r i g h t c l o s e l y resembles t h o s e D i c k e n s i a n h e r o i n e s ( f o r example, F l o r e n c e Dombey, o r L o u i s a G r a d g r i n d ) who a r e m e t a p h o r i c a l l y orphaned by c a p i t a l i s m ; Anna o f the F i v e Towns i s a n o v e l about money (which i s a t a l l p o i n t s t h e c a t a l y s t o f p l o t a c t i o n ) j u s t as Dombey and Son o r Gr e a t E x p e c t a t i o n s i s . S i m i l a r l y , The O l d Wives' T a l e shows E n g l i s h i n f l u e n c e s as w e l l as t h o s e o f B e n n e t t ' s F r e n c h m a s t e r s . The n o v e l was i n i t i a l l y p l a n n e d a l o n g the l i n e s o f Maupassant's Une V i e , as a s t u d y o f a woman as she d e c l i n e s from youth i n t o - 33 r a d d l e d o l d age. However, i t came to be expanded even beyond the i n t r o d u c t i o n o f a second major c h a r a c t e r : . . . t h i s defeat o f youth and p e r s o n a l i t y by time seemed too i n d i v i d u a l to Bennett and he c o n s i d e r a b l y widened the range o f h i s s t o r y by a s s o c i a t i n g the growth, d e c l i n e and f a l l o f the two s i s t e r s w i t h the p a s s i n g o f the o l d o r d e r o f t h i n g s and the coming o f the new one.^ I t i s a measure o f how p e r f e c t l y s u c c e s s f u l Bennett i s i n t h i s n o v e l i n making the n a t u r a l i s t s t y l e seem indigenous t h a t Walter A l l e n , i n what i s s t i l l one o f the best books on Bennett, p o i n t s out the e s s e n t i a l E n g l i s h n e s s o f the n o v e l : For i n The Old Wives 1 T a l e Bennett i s no l o n g e r i n any r e a l sense a f o l l o w e r of the French n a t u r a l i s t s . He has r e t a i n e d t h e i r sense o f form; but t h a t i s a l l . He has become an E n g l i s h hu- mourist even though he i s more d i s c i p l i n e d than the E n g l i s h humourists tend to be. His a f f i n i t i e s are at once obvious and unexpected: dwelt upon a l i t t l e more and allowed to break the r e s t r a i n t s t h a t Bennett imposes upon him, Mr. G r i t c h l o w would become a Dickens type. S i m i l a r l y , Mr. Povey, i n the toothache episode e x p e c i a l l y , might be a c h a r a c t e r i n e a r l y W e l l s . What i s r e m a r k a b l e — a n d i t i s the index o f Bennett's a r t i s t i c i n t e g r i t y — i s j u s t the r e s t r a i n t with which he h o l d s such g l o r i o u s t r a d i t i o n a l l y E n g l i s h c h a r a c t e r s , c h a r a c t e r s i n the double sense, i n check; they might so e a s i l y have s p i l l e d over and swamped the book.5 C u r i o u s l y , the most famous c r i t i c i s m o f The Old Wives' T a l e seems to have more to do w i t h Bennett's f i r s t i n t e n t i o n - 6% - ( t h a t i s , an E n g l i s h v e r s i o n o f Une V i e ) than with the a c t u a l r e s u l t . In Aspects o f the Novel, E. M. F o r s t e r says: Time i s the r e a l hero o f The Old Wives' T a l e . He i s i n s t a l l e d as the l o r d o f c r e a t i o n — e x c e p t i n g indeed o f Mr. C r i t c h l o w , whose b i z a r r e exemption o n l y g i v e s added f o r c e . Sophia and Constance are the c h i l d r e n o f Time from the i n s t a n t we see them romping with t h e i r mother's d r e s s e s ; they are doomed to decay w i t h a complete- ness t h a t i s very r a r e i n l i t e r a t u r e . They are g i r l s , Sophia runs away and m a r r i e s , the mother d i e s , Constance m a r r i e s , her husband d i e s , t h e i r o l d rheumatic dog lumbers up to see whether anything remains i n the saucer. Our d a i l y l i f e i n time i s e x a c t l y t h i s b u s i n e s s o f g e t t i n g o l d which c l o g s the a r t e r i e s o f Sophia and Constance, and the s t o r y that i s a s t o r y and sounded so h e a l t h y and stood no nonsense cannot s i n c e r e l y l e a d to any c o n c l u s i o n but the grave. I t i s an u n s a t i s f a c t o r y c o n c l u s i o n . Of course we grow o l d . But a great book must r e s t on something more than an 'of course' and The Old Wives' T a l e i s s t r o n g , s i n c e r e , sad, but i t misses greatness.£ Now, there i s a s e n s e — a l t h o u g h not F o r s t e r ' s — i n which Time i s the hero o f the Hardy n o v e l s . That i s , Hardy's charac- t e r s are caught i n an i n t o l e r a b l e dilemma which can o n l y be r e s o l v e d ( h o r r i b l y , f o r Hardy) by time, by the comple- t i o n of the e v o l u t i o n from l i f e i n nature to a s t a t e o f s p i r i t u a l i z e d contempt f o r the l i f e o f the body. And time can be s a i d to be the c e n t r a l concern o f a much l a t e r f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e , V i r g i n i a Woolf's The Years (which, i n c i d e n t a l l y , succeeds where the l a t e r p a r t s o f the F o r s y t e C h r o n i c l e s - 85 - f a i l e d , i n being c a s t i n t o the l y r i c mode). But i t i s not the hero o f The Old Wives' T a l e . B u r s l e y — t h a t i s , the environment as i t e x i s t s i n i t s e l f and as i t s s p e c i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s work through the c h a r a c t e r s o f the n o v e l — i s the "hero" o f The Old Wives' T a l e . The c h a r a c t e r s become the s p e c i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f B u r s l e y . Indeed, the g r e a t e s t achievement o f Bennett's a r t i n t h i s n o v e l i s the way i n which he makes " l a double q u e s t i o n des temperaments et des milieux"''' o f the n a t u r a l i s t s i n t o one u n i f i e d concern. He p l a c e s h i s c h a r a c t e r s at what he d e p i c t s as a s o c i a l t u r n i n g - p o i n t : The n o v e l i s as much as anything e l s e a study i n the decay o f v a l u e s . The very symbol o f m i d - V i c t o r i a n p r o v i n c i a l v a l u e s i s Sophia's f a t h e r , John Baines, whom the reader sees o n l y as a para- l y z e d o l d man, " f a r gone i n decay and c o r r u p t i o n . " When John Baines d i e s , " M i d - V i c t o r i a n England l a y on t h a t maho- gany bed."g The changes work through, as w e l l as around, the c h a r a c t e r s (even though they are f o r the most pa r t unconscious o f them — a p p r o p r i a t e l y , they themselves r e g i s t e r the e f f e c t s o f change). So, i t i s Sophia who hastens the death o f her mori- bund f a t h e r , whereas a t the end o f the n o v e l , i t i s Constance who d i e s a martyr to the cause o f B u r s l e y ' s independence: The l a s t scene o f the p o l l f o r or a g a i n s t F e d e r a t i o n i s s y m b o l i c a l . The o l d m u n i c i p a l l i b e r t i e s are threatened - 8 6 - by the new need o f c e n t r a l i z a t i o n . Constance s t u b b o r n l y votes a g a i n s t the new law thus s e c u r i n g an ephemeral v i c - t o r y f o r the o l d order and i n c i d e n t a l l y k i l l i n g h e r s e l f by l e a v i n g her s i c k room. The c i r c l e has been run f u l l l e n g t h . With the death o f the l a s t o f the two s i s t e r s one c y c l e o f h i s t o r y c l o s e s and another begins. Alone o l d C r i t c h l o w marks the permanency o f commercial i n s t i n c t s and the F i v e Towns w i l l to live.o, The f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e s t r u c t u r e i s so p e r f e c t l y o r g a n i c to the n o v e l t h a t change i s marked by g e n e r a t i o n s more than i t i s achieved by the e f f o r t s o f any i n d i v i d u a l w i t h i n one g e n e r a t i o n . We are l i t e r a l l y watching s o c i a l e v o l u t i o n . Thus, at the end o f the n o v e l , we see Sophia and Constance, f o r a l l t h e i r d i f f e r e n c e s o f p e r s o n a l i t y , as a p a i r o f o l d wives. They are i n c o n f l i c t w i t h the next g e n e r a t i o n ( r e p r e s e n t e d by Constance's son, C y r i l , and her husband's nephew, Dick Povey) j u s t as Mrs. Baines and her s i s t e r had been i n c o n f l i c t w i t h Sophia a t the beginning o f the n o v e l . The d i f f e r e n c e , o f course, i s t h a t Sophia and Constance's g e n e r a t i o n was a n a t u r a l development from Mrs. Baines' g e n e r a t i o n . But C y r i l i s not B u r s l e y (and Dick i s i n favour o f the c o n s o l i d a t i o n o f the F i v e Towns) i n the same way, simply because B u r s l e y w i l l cease to e x i s t . A f t e r Sophia and Constance, t h e r e i s — F o s s e t t e . That i s , t h e r e i s even a c t u a l proof o f Constance's s u s p i c i o n t h a t B u r s l e y 8 7 - i s going to the dogs o f change. Sophia i n Bursley 1, at the opening o f the n o v e l , i s the f a m i l y r e b e l . But when the value s o f B u r s l e y s u r f a c e i n her under the pressure o f her experiences i n France, we see t h a t her d i f f e r e n c e s from h i s s i s t e r are o n l y those o f p e r s o n a l i t y , not o f c h a r a c t e r . Constance, we must remember, had a l s o thought G e r a l d S c a l e s a t t r a c t i v e , and i t i s she who (through her marriage to Samuel Povey) e f f e c t i v e l y d i s p l a c e s her mother. Indeed, when Sophia goes to F r a n c e — a n d t h i s i s s u r e l y the reason why Bennett sends her to F r a n c e — s h e undergoes a process o f s e l f - d i s c o v e r y . And what she d i s c o v e r s i s B u r s l e y . When G e r a l d S c a l e s f i r s t appears i n B u r s l e y , he i s a f i g u r e o f romance to Sophia. But when they go to P a r i s , she r e a l i z e s , f i r s t , t h a t he i s r e a l l y not a romantic i d e a l , and, second, t h a t she does not want romance. The episode at Auxerre i s a c r u c i a l experience; the hanging ( s i g n i f i c a n t l y , o f a romantic hero) p r e c i p i t a t e s her enlightenment: She f e l t l i k e a l o s t s o u l , t o r n too soon from s h e l t e r , and exposed f o r ever to the worst hazards o f d e s t i n y . Why was she i n t h i s strange, incomprehensible town, f o r e i g n and i n i m i c a l to her, watching w i t h agonized glance t h i s c r u e l , obscene s p e c t a c l e ? Her s e n s i b i l i t i e s were a l l a b l e e d i n g mass o f wounds. Why? Only yesterday, and she had been an inno- cent, t i m i d c r e a t u r e who deemed the con- cealment o f l e t t e r s a supreme excitement. - gs - E i t h e r t h a t day or t h i s day was not r e a l . Why was she imprisoned alone i n t h a t odious, i n d e s c r i b a b l y odious h o t e l , with no one to soothe and comfort her, and c a r r y her away?-^ Sophia makes no attempt to come to terms with her sudden p e r c e p t i o n o f a whole new order o f r e a l i t y ; she r e a c t s i n t o the o l d B u r s l e y v e r s i o n o f r e a l i t y . When G e r a l d d e s e r t s her, the B u r s l e y v a l u e s — t h e common sense, energy, and i n s t i n c t f o r money which she d i s p l a y s to such a remarkable d e g r e e — are at f i r s t merely s u r v i v a l t a c t i c s . But she d i s c o v e r s t h a t , a f t e r the aimless years with the s p e n d - t h r i f t G e r a l d , she l i k e s being a l a n d l a d y , and i s a n o t a b l y s u c c e s s f u l one: And she went up to her room every n i g h t with limbs exhausted, but with head c l e a r enough to balance her accounts and go through her money. She d i d t h i s with t h i c k g loves on. I f o f t e n she d i d not s l e e p w e l l , i t was not because o f the d i s t a n t guns, but because o f her p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h the s u b j e c t o f f i n a n c e . She was making money, and she wanted to make more. She was always i n v e n t i n g ways o f economy. She was so anxious to achieve independence t h a t money was always i n her mind. She began to l o v e g o l d , to l o v e hoarding i t , and to hate paying i t away. (OWT. p. 348) When Sophia at l a s t r e t u r n s to B u r s l e y , she i s k e e n l y aware o f the d i f f e r e n c e s between B u r s l e y and P a r i s : She longed to s t r e t c h her lungs i n P a r i s . These people i n B u r s l e y d i d not suspect what P a r i s was. They d i d - 89 not a p p r e c i a t e and they never would a p p r e c i a t e the marvels t h a t she had accomplished i n a t h e a t r e o f marvels. They probably never r e a l i z e d t h a t the whole o f the r e s t o f the world was not more or l e s s l i k e B u r s l e y . (QWT, p. 429) But the d i f f e r e n c e s t h a t she bemoans are o n l y s u p e r f i c i a l ones. B u r s l e y , i n her absence, has been more s u s c e p t i b l e to change than she has ( i t i s a comic example o f c u l t u r e l a g ) : Times had changed i n B u r s l e y , B u r s l e y was more s o p h i s t i c a t e d than i n the o l d days. (QWT, p . 493) C y r i l and h i s f r i e n d Matthew Peel-Swynnerton are f a r more cosmopolitan than Sophia i s . Sophia h e r s e l f has r e g i s t e r e d the momentous ( f o r Bursley) change i m p l i c i t i n the mere f a c t t h a t a Povey and a P e e l are f r i e n d s : Impossible t h a t the P e e l s should be on terms o f f r i e n d s h i p with Samuel Povey or h i s connections'. But sup- posing something u t t e r l y u n a n t i c i - pated and r e v o l u t i o n a r y had happened i n the F i v e Towns'. Dr. S t i r l i n g has read Z o l a , but Sophia has not: 'I've j u s t been r e a d i n g Z o l a ' s Downfall.' he s a i d . Her mind searched backwards, and r e c a l l e d a p o s t e r . , 'Oh'.' she r e p l i e d . 'La Debacle?' 'Yes. What do ye t h i n k o f i t ? ' H i s eyes l i g h t e d at the prospect o f a t a l k . He was even pleased to hear her g i v e him the t i t l e i n French. 'I haven't read i t , ' she s a i d , and - 90 - she was momentarily s o r r y t h a t she had not read i t , f o r she could see t h a t he was dashed. The do c t o r had supposed t h a t r e s i d e n c e i n a f o r e i g n country i n v o l v e d a knowledge o f the l i t e r a t u r e o f t h a t country. l e t he had never sup- posed t h a t r e s i d e n c e i n England i n v o l v e d a knowledge o f E n g l i s h l i t e r a t u r e . Sophia had read p r a c t i c a l l y n o t h i n g s i n c e 1870; f o r her the l a t e s t author was G h e r b u l i e z . Moreover, her impr e s s i o n o f Z o l a was t h a t he was not at a l l n i c e , and that he was the enemy o f h i s r a c e , though at t h a t date the world had s c a r c e l y heard o f Drey f u s . Dr. S t i r l i n g had too h a s t i l y assumed the o p i n i o n s o f the bourgeois upon a r t d i f f e r i n d i f - f e r e n t c o u n t r i e s . (QWT, pp. 441-2) Indeed, as a messenger from the world o f great events, Sophia i s a f a i l u r e : !And ye a c t u a l l y were i n the siege o f P a r i s ? ' he questioned, t r y i n g again. 'Yes.' 'And the Commune?' 'Yes, the Commune too.' ...She responded as w e l l as she c o u l d to h i s eagerness f o r p e r s o n a l d e t a i l s c oncerning the siege and the commune. He might have been d i s a p p o i n t e d at the prose o f her answers, had he not been determined not to be d i s a p p o i n t e d . . . Those events, as they e x i s t e d i n her memory s c a r c e l y warranted the tremendous f u s s subsequently made about them. What were they, a f t e r a l l ? (QWT, p. 442) There o n l y remains f o r her the d i s c o v e r y t h a t i n Buxton ( l i n k e d w i t h B u r s l e y by the f a c t t h a t Constance and Samuel went to Buxton f o r t h e i r honeymoon) there i s even a b e t t e r pension than the H o t e l Frensham, f i l l e d with people who have a broader knowledge o f P a r i s than she has - 91 Sophia i s the more i n t e r e s t i n g o f the two main c h a r a c t e r s , as a l l the other c h a r a c t e r s o f the n o v e l , s t a r t i n g w i t h Mrs. Baines, would agree. But i t i s Constance who i s the success o f the novel—who becomes at the end the a c t u a l p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n o f the o l d B u r s l e y , as her f a t h e r had been the symbol o f the p r e v i o u s g e n e r a t i o n — s i m p l y because she has found f u l f i l l m e n t w i t h i n B u r s l e y . I t i s through Bennett's c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f Sophia's p l a c i d (and f o r the most pa r t d u l l , l i k e B u r s l e y i t s e l f ) e l d e r s i s t e r t h a t we have the c l u e to the manner i n which The O l d Wives' T a l e i s e p i c . An e a r l y c r i t i c o f Bennett was the f i r s t t o p o i n t out t h i s q u a l i t y o f the n o v e l : The Old Wives' T a l e i s an e p i c o f lower m i d d l e - c l a s s l i f e i n a s m a l l town and i t i s an i n v a l u a b l e r e c o r d o f the breadth and narrowness, s t r e n g t h and weakness and c h e e r f u l optimism and s p l e n d i d en- durance o f t h i s c l a s s . - Q E. M. W. T i l l y a r d , i n The E p i c S t r a i n i n the E n g l i s h Novel, g i v e s a more thorough study o f i t as a measure o f the n o v e l ' s achievement: That, then, i s the v i r t u e o f The O l d Wives' T a l e , i t s s u c c e s s f u l r e n d e r i n g o f a c h o r i c f e e l i n g , the f e e l i n g o f p r o v i n c i a l puritanism....He g i v e s us the e n t r y i n t o a community. He a l s o v a l i d a t e s h i s c h o r i c theme by b r i n i n g to l i f e the people who act i t . I n t h i s n o v e l about B u r s l e y , Bennett, i f he does not a c t u a l l y - 92 - accept i t s v a l u e s , concedes them as f a c t s o f l i f e ( a s t a n c e , however, which a l l o w s us t o see them w i t h detachment; Constance i s B u r s l e y , but she i s a l s o a f i g u r e o f comedy). T h e r e f o r e , t h e c h a r a c t e r s who most f u l l y l i v e out t h o s e v a l u e s a r e shown t o be most s u c c e s s f u l . C l e a r l y , i t i s e a s i e r t o l i v e out t h e v a l u e s o f B u r s l e y i n B u r s l e y t h a n e l s e w h e r e . S o p h i a has had no r e a l f u l f i l l m e n t o f h e r l i f e p a r t l y because th e a l i e n e n v i r o n - ment c o u l d not p r o v i d e f u l f i l l m e n t i n h e r ( B u r s l e y a n ) t e r m s . C h i r a c l o v e d h e r as d e v o t e d l y as any r o m a n t i c h e r o i n e c o u l d w i s h , and f o r t h a t r e a s o n she r e j e c t e d him: But a l l the t i m e she knew t h a t she wanted l o v e . O n l y she c o n c e i v e d a d i f - f e r e n t k i n d o f l o v e : p l a c i d , r e g u l a r , somewhat s t e r n , somewhat above t h e p l a n e o f whims, moods, c a r e s s e s , and a l l mere f l e s h l y c o n t a c t s . Not t h a t she c o n s i d e r e d t h a t she d e s p i s e d t h e s e t h i n g s (though she d i d ) I What she wanted was a l o v e t h a t was t o o proud, to o i n d e p e n d e n t , t o e x h i b i t f r a n k l y e i t h e r i t s j o y o r i t s p a i n . She h a t e d a d i s p l a y o f s e n t i m e n t . And even i n the most i n t i m a t e abandonments she would have made r e s e r v e s , and would have e x p e c t e d r e s e r v e s , t r u s t i n g t o a l o v e r ' s powers o f d i v i n a t i o n , and to h e r own'. The f o u n d a t i o n o f h e r c h a r a c t e r was a haughty m o r a l i n d e p e n - dence, and t h i s q u a l i t y was what she most admired i n o t h e r s . C h i r a c ' s i n a b i l i t y t o draw from h i s own p r i d e s t r e n g t h t o s u s t a i n h i m s e l f a g a i n s t t h e blow o f h e r r e f u s a l g r a d - u a l l y k i l l e d i n h e r t h e s e x u a l d e s i r e w hich he had a r o u s e d , and w h i c h d u r i n g - 93 - a few days f l i c k e r e d up under t h e s t i m u l u s o f f a n c y and o f r e g r e t . S o p h i a saw w i t h i n c r e a s i n g c l e a r n e s s t h a t h e r u n r e a s o n i n g i n s t i n c t had been r i g h t i n s a y i n g nay. And when, i n s p i t e o f t h i s , r e g r e t s s t i l l v i s i t e d h e r , she would comfort h e r s e l f i n t h i n k i n g : ' I cannot be b o t h e r e d w i t h a l l t h a t s o r t o f t h i n g . I t i s not wo r t h w h i l e . What does i t l e a d t o ? I s not l i f e c o m p l i c a t e d enough w i t h o u t t h a t ? No, no'. I w i l l s t a y as I am. At any r a t e I know what I am i n f o r , as t h i n g s a r e ! ' And she would r e f l e c t upon h e r h o p e f u l f i n a n - c i a l s i t u a t i o n , and the p r o s p e c t o f a c o n s t a n t l y s u f f i c i e n t income. (OWTT pp. 364-5) I n s h o r t , she w a n t e d — s o f a r as she was cap a b l e o f c l o s e r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h a n y o n e — a Samuel Povey: A photograph o f Samuel i n t h e ye a r b e f o r e h i s d e a t h was r e a l l y i m p o s i n g . S o p h i a s t a r e d a t i t , i m p r e s s e d . I t was t h e p o r t r a i t o f an honest man. (OWT, p. 420) The c o s t o f d e r a c i n a t i o n i s what one c r i t i c c a l l s S o p h i a ' s " r e t r e a t from l i f e " i n t o the m i s e r l i n e s s t h a t i s metaphor f o r h e r e m o t i o n a l s t a t e no l e s s than an a c t u a l c o n d i t i o n : Ricevman S t e p s makes c l e a r B e n n e t t ' s a t t i t u d e t oward t h e m i s e r . H i s con- demnation o f S o p h i a ' s g r a d u a l l y growing a s c e t i c i s m p r a c t i s e d i n t h e name o f money i s e q u a l l y u n s p a r i n g , and e x p l a i n s why he p e r m i t s Constance t o have t h e l a s t word on S o p h i a ' s "wasted and s t e r i l e l i f e . " A l t h o u g h he d e v o t e s an e n t i r e book o f The O l d Wives' T a l e t o what he c o n s i d e r s Constance's m e a n i n g f u l and - 9k - r i c h l i f e i n B u r s l e y , f i v e pages s u f - f i c e him a f t e r Sophia r e j e c t s C h i r a c . " T h i s was the end o f Sophia's romantic adventures i n France....For Sophia the c o n c l u s i o n o f the seige meant c h i e f l y t h a t p r i c e s went down." The l a s t f i v e pages present an i n c r e a s i n g l y unpleasant p o r t r a i t o f Sophia "employing two s e r - vants, working them very hard at low wages," a Sophia "who has a c q u i r e d the la n d l a d y ' s manner," and who, wi t h t y p i - c a l Bennett symbolism, i s known as Mrs. Frensham, a woman who has " f o r g o t t e n the face o f l o v e , " who i s "the la n d l a d y : e f f i c i e n t , s t y l i s h , d i p l o m a t i c , and tremendously experi e n c e d , " t h a t Bennett b r i n g s back to B u r s l e y , i n v o l v e d at l a s t , caught by the m i l d Constance... . ^ 3 Even Sophia's r e g r e t t h a t she has no c h i l d i s phrased w i t h r e f e r e n c e to the theme of m i s e r l i n e s s . L i k e Soames F o r s y t e , Sophia t h i n k s o f a c h i l d as a v a l u a b l e p o s s e s s i o n : I f t h i r t y thousand pounds or so cou l d have bought a son l i k e C y r i l , she would have bought one f o r h e r s e l f . She b i t t e r l y r e g r e t t e d t h a t she had no c h i l d . In t h i s she envied Constance. A c h i l d seemed to be the one commodity worthy having. She was too f r e e , too exempt from r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . (QWT. p. 4 3 0 ) I f P a r i s o f f e r e d Sophia no v i a b l e o p p o r t u n i t y f o r f u l - f i l l m e n t beyond the H o t e l Frensham, B u r s l e y , on the ot h e r hand, can even o f f e r i t s i n h a b i t a n t s o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r r e a l heroism beyond the commercial g o a l s which l e a d to Sophia's p u r e l y economic success. Samuel Povey, "to whom Heaven had granted a minimum share o f i m a g i n a t i o n , " d i e s i n the - 95 - d e f e n c e o f an i m a g i n a t i v e i d e a l , as embodied i n h i s c o u s i n , D a n i e l Povey. As v a l u e s always a r e i n t h i s n o v e l , t h a t i d e a l i s shown i n h i s t o r i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e . D a n i e l was ...one o f t h e remnant who had k e p t a l i v e t h e g r e a t Pan t r a d i t i o n from the days o f t h e Regency t h r o u g h t h e v a s t , a r i d V i c t o r i a n expanse o f y e a r s . (QWT. p. 151) The s i g n i f i c a n c e o f Samuel's a c t i o n s i n defence o f h i s c o u s i n i s s t r e s s e d , w i t h immense e f f e c t , by the s i n g l e p l a c e i n the n o v e l i n which B e n n e t t b r e a k s i n t o t h e f i r s t p e r s o n : A c a s u a l d e a t h , s c a r c e n o t i c e d i n t h e r e a c t i o n a f t e r t h e g r e a t f e b r i l e demon- s t r a t i o n ' . B e s i d e s , Samuel Povey never c o u l d impose h i m s e l f on t h e b u r g e s s e s . He l a c k e d i n d i v i d u a l i t y . He was l i t t l e . I have o f t e n l a u g h e d a t Samuel Povey. But I l i k e d and r e s p e c t e d him. He was a v e r y honest man. I have always been g l a d t o t h i n k t h a t , a t the end o f h i s l i f e , d e s t i n y took h o l d o f him and d i s p l a y e d , t o t h e o b s e r v a n t , t h e v e i n o f g r e a t n e s s w h i c h runs t h r o u g h e v e r y s o u l w i t h o u t e x c e p t i o n . He embraced a cause, l o s t i t , and d i e d o f i t . (QWT, p. 215) T h i s may seem a d e s p e r a t e case o f s p e c i a l p l e a d i n g by B e n n e t t , inasmuch as Samuel Povey h i t h e r t o appears a most u n l i k e l y c a n d i d a t e f o r h e r o i s m . But Samuel's l a c k o f i n d i v i d u a l i t y i s to be c o n t r a s t e d w i t h S o p h i a ' s "haughty m o r a l independence," and i s i n k e e p i n g w i t h t h e e p i c n a t u r e o f the n o v e l . He a c t s w i t h i n the community, f i n d i n g i n i t - 9 6 - h i s l a r g e r s t a t u r e . The events o f the f i r s t t h r e e s e c t i o n o f the novel are c a r e f u l l y p a t t e r n e d so as to f a l l i n t o p a r a l l e l s from book to book. But when Bennett b r i n g s the two s i s t e r s t o g e t h e r a g a i n i n the f o u r t h book, "What L i f e I s , " he forms p a r a l l e l s w i t h i n the book i t s e l f so as to make e x p l i c i t the e s s e n t i a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n the l i v e s o f the s i s t e r s . The important t h i n g i s not t h a t they d i e , but the way i n which they d i e . I t i s the gauge by which we f i n a l l y measure t h e i r success as human bein g s . Sophia suddenly apprehends the h o r r o r o f l i f e when she stands beside the body o f her husband: Sophia then experienced a pure and p r i m i t i v e emotion, uncoloured by any moral or r e l i g i o u s q u a l i t y . She was not s o r r y t h a t G e r a l d had wasted h i s l i f e , nor t h a t he was a shame to h i s years and to her. The manner o f h i s l i f e was o f no importance. What a f f e c t e d her was th a t he had once been young, and th a t he had grown o l d , and was now dead. That was a l l . Youth and v i g o u r had come to t h a t . Yough and v i g o u r always came to t h a t . E v e r y t h i n g came to t h a t . . . . He and she had once l o v e d and burned and q u a r r e l l e d i n the g l i t t e r i n g and s c o r n f u l p r i d e o f youth. But time had worn them out. 'Yet a l i t t l e w h i l e . ' she thought, 'and I s h a l l be l y i n g on a bed l i k e that'. And what s h a l l I have l i v e d f o r ? What i s the meaning o f i t ? ' The r i d d l e o f l i f e i t s e l f was k i l l i n g her, and she seemed to drown i n a sea o f i n e x p r e s s i b l e sorrow. (OWT, p. 435) - 9 7 - T h i s v i s i o n o f l i f e i s l i t e r a l l y a n n i h i l a t i n g ; she d i e s a few h o u r s l a t e r . Her d e s p a i r does not grow i n e v i t a b l y out o f l i f e , but out o f h e r own i n c a p a c i t y t o respond t o l i f e , as we see even by what she most r e g r e t s . She laments o n l y th e c o n d i t i o n o f b e i n g young: C o u l d she e x c i t e l u s t now? Ahl t h e i r o n y o f such a question'. To be young and s e d u c t i v e , t o be a b l e t o k i n d l e a man's e y e — t h a t seemed t o h e r t h e s o l e t h i n g d e s i r a b l e . Once she had been so'. (QWT, p. 485) I t i s w o r t h n o t i n g the d i f f e r e n c e between Constance's g r i e f f o r S o p h i a and S o p h i a ' s own r e g r e t : I n s p i t e o f t h e f a c t t h a t S o p h i a was dead she s t i l l p i t i e d S o p h i a as a woman whose l i f e had been w a s t e d . The i d e a o f S o p h i a ' s wasted and s t e r i l e l i f e , and o f t h e f a r - r e a c h i n g i m p o r t a n c e o f a d h e r i n g t o p r i n c i p l e s , r e c u r r e d t o h e r a g a i n and again....And y e t t h e r e had been something so f i n e about Sophia'. Which made S o p h i a ' s case a l l t h e more p i t i a b l e ' . Constance n e v e r p i t i e d h e r - s e l f . The i n v i n c i b l e common sense o f a sound n a t u r e p r e v e n t e d h e r , i n h e r b e s t moments, from f e e b l y d i s s o l v i n g i n s e l f - p i t y . She had l i v e d i n h o n e s t y and k i n d l i n e s s f o r a f a i r number o f y e a r s , and she had t a s t e d t r i u m p h a n t h o u r s . . . .True, she was old'. So were thousands o f o t h e r p e o p l e . W i t h whom would she be w i l l i n g t o exchange l o t s ? She had many d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n s . But she r o s e s u p e r i o r t o them. When she s u r v e y e d h e r l i f e , and l i f e i n g e n e r a l , she would t h i n k , w i t h a s o r t o f t a r t but not s o u r c h e e r f u l n e s s : ' W e l l . t h a t i s what l i f e i s ' . ' (QWT. p. 516] - 98 - T h i s r o b u s t n e s s i n t h e f a c e o f d e a t h a r i s e s d i r e c t l y out o f Constance's i m p e r v i o u s n e s s t o change: The i d e a s o f h e r p a r e n t s and h e r gr a n d - p a r e n t s had s u r v i v e d i n t a c t i n Constance. I t i s t r u e t h a t C o n s t a n c e ' s f a t h e r would have shuddered i n Heaven c o u l d he have seen Constance s o l i t a r i l y p l a y i n g c a r d s o f a n i g h t . But i n s p i t e o f c a r d s , and a son who never went t o c h a p e l , Constance, under t h e v a r i o u s i n f l u e n c e s o f d e s t i n y , had remained e s s e n t i a l l y what her f a t h e r had been. Not i n h e r was t h e f o r c e o f e v o l u t i o n m a n i f e s t . There a r e thousands such. (OWT, p. 492) But t h e s e cannot e x i s t much l o n g e r . S t . Luke's Square i s as d e c r e p i t as John B a i n e s was a t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h e n o v e l , and Constance i s d i s p o s s e s s e d . The s h o p — t h e f o c u s o f t h e f a m i l y l i f e , w h i c h we have seen a b s o r b i n g i n f i n i t e s ! mai changes from t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h e n o v e l — h a s been swallowed a t a g u l p by a new s o r t o f c o m m e r c i a l i s m j u s t as ( i t i s t h e same t h i n g ) B u r s l e y ' s p o s i t i o n has been usurped by H a n l e y . M a r i a C r i t c h l o w i s t h e c a s u a l t y o f p r o g r e s s : She had seen B a i n e s ' s i n i t s m a g n i f i c e n t prime, when B a i n e s ' s almost c o n f e r r e d a f a v o u r on customers i n s e r v i n g them.... She had f o u g h t , and she kept on f i g h t i n g , s t u p i d l y . She was not aware t h a t she was f i g h t i n g a g a i n s t e v o l u t i o n , not aware t h a t e v o l u t i o n had chosen h er f o r one o f i t s v i c t i m s ' . (OWT, pp. 503-4) S i g n i f i c a n t l y , C y r i l i s c o m p l e t e l y removed from t h e v a l u e s o f B u r s l e y (and t h e r e b y causes Constance much s u f - f e r i n g ) — h o w f a r , i s shown by h i s i n d i f f e r e n c e t o money: - 9 9 - C y r i l showed no emotion whatever on l e a r n i n g h i m s e l f t h e i n h e r i t o r o f t h i r t y - f i v e thousand pounds. He d i d not seem t o c a r e . He spoke o f t h e sum as a m i l l o i n a i r e might have spoken o f i t . I n j u s t i c e t o him i t i s t o be s a i d t h a t he c a r e d n o t h i n g f o r w e a l t h , except i n so f a r as w e a l t h c o u l d g r a t i f y h i s eye and e a r t r a i n e d t o a r t i s t i c v o l u p t u o u s - n e s s . B u t , f o r h i s mother's sake, and f o r t h e sake o f B u r s l e y , he might have a f f e c t e d a l i t t l e s a t i s f a c t i o n . H i s mother was somewhat h u r t . (QWT. p. 495) He i s s k e t c h e d i n as a p o r t o t y p e o f Edwin C l a y h a n g e r ( o r , r a t h e r , as a p r o t o t y p e o f Edwin's i d e a l o f e x i s t e n c e ) : He had now r e a c h e d th e age o f t h i r t y - t h r e e . H i s h a b i t s were as i n d u s t r i o u s as e v e r , h i s p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h h i s a r t as keen. But he had a c h i e v e d no fame, no s u c c e s s . He earned n o t h i n g , l i v i n g i n c o m f o r t on an a l l o w a n c e from h i s mother. He seldom spoke o f h i s p l a n s and n e v e r o f h i s hopes. He had i n f a c t s e t t l e d down i n t o a d i l e t t a n t e , h a v i n g l e a r n t g e n t l y t o s c o r n t h e t r i u m p h s which he l a c k e d the f o r c e t o w i n . He i m agined t h a t i n d u s t r y and a r e g u l a r e x i s t e n c e were s u f f i c i e n t j u s t i f i c a t i o n i n t h e m s e l v e s f o r any man's l i f e . C o nstance had dropped the h a b i t o f e x p e c t i n g him t o a s t o u n d t h e w o r l d . He was r a t h e r grave and p r e c i s e i n manner, c o u r t e o u s and t e p i d , w i t h a t o u c h o f c o n d e s c e n s i o n toward h i s environment; as though he were c o n t i n u a l l y p e r m i t t i n g t h e p e r s p i c a c i o u s t o l e a r n t h a t he had n o t h i n g t o l e a r n — i f the t r u t h were known'. H i s humour had assumed a m o d i f i e d form. He o f t e n s m i l e d t o h i m s e l f . He was u n e x c e p t i o n a b l e . (QWT, p. 494) S i n c e B u r s l e y i t s e l f i s t h e f o c u s o f t h e n o v e l , i t i s o n l y a p p r o p r i a t e t h a t t h i s r e f u g e e from t h e F i v e Towns i s p a l e - 100 - i n comparison w i t h the l e a s t i n h a b i t a n t o f the town. ( I f Constance i s u s u a l l y r a t h e r comic, C y r i l i s p o s i t i v e l y a s i n i n e . ) But i n Bennett's next important n o v e l , Clavhanger, t h i s s o r t o f c h a r a c t e r , s t i l l d e c i d e d l y p a l e , i s the author's c h i e f c o n c e r n — i n t h i s sense, Clavhanger i s sequel to The O l d Wives' T a l e . Most o f the e a r l i e r c r i t i c s o f Bennett t r e a t the Clayhanger t r i l o g y as a r a t h e r i n f e r i o r performance. Walter A l l e n complains about i t s formlessness as an i n h e r e n t danger o f the c h r o n i c l e s t r u c t u r e . But, w h i l e i t would be f o o l i s h to c l a i m t h a t the Clayhanger n o v e l s taken e i t h e r as a t r i l o g y o r s e p a r a t e l y are the same s o r t o f v i r t u o s o s p e r f o r - mance as the e a r l i e r n o v e l , a more re c e n t c r i t i c , James H a l l , has shown t h a t they are m e a n i n g f u l l y arranged around a p r e o c c u p a t i o n t h a t runs through most o f Bennett's important work. T h i s i s the c o n f l i c t between the v a l u e s o f what H a l l c a l l s " p r i m i t i v i s m " and " t a s t e " — t h a t i s , between the v a l u e s r e p r e s e n t e d by the n a t i v e environment (Bursley) and those o f a more v a r i e d c u l t u r a l l i f e which i s o f t e n r e p r e s e n t e d by London or P a r i s (but can be embodied f o r Edwin, a t l e a s t , even by B r i g h t o n ) . Each o f the Clayhanger n o v e l s i s a working out o f some phase o f t h i s c o n f l i c t . In Clavhanger, the d i f f e r e n t v a l u e s are represented f o r Edwin by h i s f a t h e r , D a r i u s Clayhanger, - 101 - and the Orgreave f a m i l y , r e s p e c t i v e l y . In H i l d a Lesswavs, we see a s t r u g g l e s i m i l a r to Edwin's, enacted by the woman whom he w i l l e v e n t u a l l y marry. In These Twain, the con- f l i c t o f l o y a l t i e s to the opposing s e t s o f va l u e s i s worked out between Edwin and H i l d a themselves. Thus, i t can be seen that t h i s p r i m a r i l y s o c i a l c o n f l i c t ( o c c u r i n g when the community begins to fragment) i s c a s t i n the form o f those even more fundamental c o n f l i c t s o f which Bennett was so a c u t e l y aware: the c o n f l i c t o f youth with dominating age, and o f male wi t h female. Only the f i r s t t h r e e books o f Glavhanger, which d e a l w i t h the r e l a t i o n s h i p o f Edwin w i t h h i s f a t h e r , are p r i m a r i l y f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e , although the c h r o n i c l e form re-emerges toward the end o f These Twain, when Edwin opposes h i s stepson's p l a n to go t o London t o become an a r c h i t e c t . But the c h r o n i c l e s t r u c t u r e , such as i t i s , f u n c t i o n s i n the same b a s i c way as i n The O l d Wives' T a l e . I t i s , o f course, the g e n e r a t i o n r e p r e s e n t e d by Edwin's step-son which f i n a l l y and f o r e v e r shakes the dust o f B u r s l e y from i t s f e e t . In terms o f The Rainbow, i t i s o n l y t h i s g e n e r a t i o n which i s thor o u g h l y i n d i v i d u a l i z e d out from i t s environment. U n l i k e Lawrence's n o v e l , the Clayhanger t r i l o g y i s l e a s t concerned with the persons who are f r e e o f environmental determinism. To be f r e e o f one's environment i s , i n the - 1 0 2 - terms o f Bennett's f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e s , t o cease t o e x i s t (which i s , i n t u r n , o n l y a r e f l e c t i o n o f the f a c t t h a t the environment has ceased to e x i s t as a separate e n t i t y ) . The Clayhanger t r i l o g y are s t i l l n o v e l s "about" B u r s l e y . I t i s worth n o t i n g t h a t Edwin and C y r i l Baines are more or l e s s contemporaries (both c h a r a c t e r s , as young men, p a t r o n i z e the t a i l o r who has i n t r o d u c e d London f a s h i o n s the shop i n S t . Luke's Square, mentioned i n the Centenary episode, s t i l l belongs to the B a i n s e s ) . That i s , Bennett i s working with the same concept o f change; i t i s the same g e n e r a t i o n which attempts to move out o f the o r b i t o f the val u e s o f B u r s l e y . However, we do not see B u r s l e y i t s e l f as a s l o w l y changing organism as we do i n The O l d Wives' T a l e . The most v i v i d l y s i g n i f i c a n t changes have o c c u r r e d a g e n e r a t i o n e a r l i e r . I t i s D a r i u s whom we are shown as the product o f change. Edwin, on the o t h e r hand, i s d e f i n e d i n t h e f i r s t t h r e e - q u a r t e r s o f Clavhanger not so much by what he embodied ( i t i s h i s f a t e — g i v e n the h i s t o r y o f the en v i r o n m e n t — n o t to embody very much) but by the way i n which he r e a c t s to the people around him. And, while the c o n f l i c t o f youth w i t h age i s worked out w i t h i n the Clayhanger f a m i l y (and i s o n l y r e s o l v e d i n the i n e v i t a b l e b i o l o g i c a l way, when Edwin gains the upper hand d u r i n g h i s f a t h e r ' s i l l n e s s ) , the presence o f the c o n f l i c t i n - 103 - s e t s o f s o c i a l v a l u e s w i t h i n t h e environment i s not a r r a n g e d i n a s t r i c t l y c h r o n o l o g i c a l way. Mr. Orgreaves ( t h e member o f t h e f a m i l y whose h o l d on Edwin's i m a g i n a t i o n i s s t r o n - g e s t ) i s the contemporary o f D a r i u s — a l t h o u g h i t s h o u l d be s a i d t h a t t h e p e r s o n a l i t i e s o f h i s c h i l d r e n a re r a t h e r dim i n c omparison w i t h him, as Edwin i s t o D a r i u s (and C y r i l t o Constance and S o p h i a ) . We are a l l o w e d an a l t o g e t h e r w i d e r v i s i o n o f the pos- s i b i l i t i e s o f B u r s l e y t h a n s u i t e d B e n n e t t ' s purpose i n The O l d Wives' T a l e . The town i s , a f t e r a l l , l a r g e r t h a n S t . Luke's Square. B u r s l e y , a t one time a t l e a s t , c o u l d produce t h i n g s o f r e a l b e a u t y — a s e v i d e n c e d by t h e S y t c h p o t t e r y ( a l t h o u g h t h a t i s ac c o u n t e d f o r by t h e f a c t t h a t i t i s G e o r g i a n , much as D a n i e l Povey i s i n t h e e a r l i e r n o v e l a c c o u n t e d f o r by t h e f a c t t h a t he i s t h e s p i r i t u a l h e i r o f t h e Regency). The n a t i v e c u l t u r e , w i t h w h i c h t h e Orgreaves have no more c o n t a c t t h a n t h e B a i n s e s had, may not be v e r y h i g h l y d e v e l o p e d , b u t i n Edwin's y o u t h i t s t i l l has r i c h - n e ss and v i t a l i t y — a s we see i n t h e g l e e - s i n g e r s , the c l o g - d a n c e r , the "Blood-Tub." B u r s l e y does n o t , as we might i n f e r f r o m The O l d Wives' T a l e , d i e p r i n c i p a l l y from anaemia and Wesleyan s e x u a l mores. The p o i n t o f a l l t h i s i s t h a t t h e f o c u s has changed. I n The O l d Wives' T a l e . we have John B a i n e s , whose f u n c t i o n 104 - i s c h i e f l y symbolic, followed by Constance and Sophia who are f u l l y developed c h a r a c t e r s i n whom we see the s p e c i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which Bennett p o s i t s as the s t r e n g t h s o f the environment, f o l l o w e d by C y r i l who i s t o a l l y u n l i k e the p r e v i o u s g e n e r a t i o n , j u s t as S t . Luke's Square i t s e l f has changed beyond r e c o g n i t i o n . And we know as much about the minute changes o f the Square, as they occur, as we do about the l i v e s o f the c h a r a c t e r s — t h e y are a s p e c t s o f the same t h i n g . But i n Clavhanger the d i f - f e r i n g s e t s of v a l u e s o f the e a r l i e r Bainses and o f C y r i l are presented s i d e by s i d e , i n c o n f l i c t w i t h each o t h e r . I t i s the d i f f e r e n c e between d e p i c t i n g B u r s l e y i n i t s time o f s t r e n g t h through the c h i e f c h a r a c t e r s and i n d e p i c t i n g Edwin as he i s c o n f r o n t e d by such a c h a r a c t e r i n h i s f a t h e r . That t h e r e c o u l d be such a d i f f e r e n c e o f v a l u e s i s , o f course, a f u n c t i o n o f B u r s l e y ' s d i s i n t e g r a t i o n - . Only now are t h e r e c h a r a c t e r s s u f f i c i e n t l y d i f f e r e n t i a t e d out from the environment to f e e l i t as a d e t e r m i n i n g p r e s s u r e . L i k e C y r i l Baines, Edwin i s " a r t i s t i c " i n temperament. T h i s temperament i s r a t h e r c a r e f u l l y d e l i n e a t e d by Bennett as more than a matter o f c u l t u r a l t a s t e : The i m p a r t i a l and unmoved s p e c t a t o r t h a t sat somewhere i n Edwin, as i n everybody who possesses a r t i s t i c s e n s i - b i l i t y , watching h i s s e c r e t l i f e as from a conning tower.... - 105 - Even the b o o r i s h D a r i u s r e c o g n i z e s Edwin's d i f f e r e n c e from h i m s e l f : Edwin, h i s own son, had a p e r s o n a l d i s t i n c t i o n t h a t he c o u l d never compass. He had an o r i g i n a l grace. In the essence o f h i s being he was s u p e r i o r to both h i s f a t h e r and h i s s i s t e r s . (Clavhanger, p. 92) . There i s no attempt to account f o r Edwin i n terms o f h e r e d i t y . In C y r i l ' s case, one c o u l d , I suppose, f i n d h e r e d i t a r y j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r h i s t a s t e s ( i f not h i s tem- perament) i n such s m a l l t h i n g s as Sophia's l o v e f o r r e a d i n g as a g i r l (which she abandons when she gets down to the s e r i o u s business o f l i v i n g ) — w e are c a r e f u l l y t o l d t h a t her mother, l i k e Darius Clayhanger, read a b s o l u t e l y n o t h i n g but a r e l i g i o u s weekly. In Buddenbrooks, Mann i n c o r p o r a t e s the i n c r e a s i n g s e n s i t i v i t y to imma t e r i a l values i n t o t he h i s t o r y o f h i s f a m i l y as a h e r e d i t a r y symptom o f the f a m i l y ' s d e c l i n i n g v i t a l i t y — " a r t emerges as the d e s t r o y e r o f l i f e . , , : i - 5 Although Edwin's a r t i s t i c p r o c l i v i t i e s are not accoun- t e d f o r w i t h such thoroughness i n terms of h e r e d i t y , he and Hanno Buddenbrook have much i n common. Edwin i s a n a t u r a l s p e c t a t o r : For i t i s Edwin's g r e a t n e s s , h i s f l a i r , to be p a r t i c u l a r l y s e n s i t i v e s p e c t a t o r at the c r i s e s o f o t h e r s . D a r i u s - watching-at-Edwin's-death-bed would - 106 f a i l i n a double s e n s e — t h e r e would be n o t h i n g impressive about the death o f Edwin, and i f there were, D a r i u s would not be a r t i s t enough to p e r c e i v e i t . ] _ D L i k e Hanno, what Edwin watches as h i s f a t h e r d i e s i s the end of a way o f l i f e . Bennett a c h i e v e s a d i f f e r e n t s o r t o f f o r c e , but i n i t s way as f i n e as Mann's, by r e f r a i n i n g from the attempt t o show that Edwin i s j u s t the embodiment of h e r e d i t a r y t e n d e n c i e s . The dramatic value o f the s i t u a t i o n i s enhanced by the very f a c t t h a t D a r i u s and Edwin are so a l i e n to one another, that each i s so l i t t l e i m p l i c a t e d i n the o t h e r . In Clavhanger. Edwin's c o n f l i c t i s s p e c i f i c a l l y with h i s f a t h e r (and t h a t b u t t r e s s o f p a r t r i a r c h a l a u t h o r i t y , Auntie Hamps). But Bennett makes the reader e n t i r e l y c l e a r on the p o i n t t h a t D a r i u s h i m s e l f (as thoroughly as any c h a r a c t e r i n Zola) has been formed by h i s experience o f the environment. He i s w h o l l y the product o f n i n e t e e n t h century economics. That he i s , when he had come so near to being t h e i r v i c t i m , i s a p e r p e t u a l source o f wonder to him: D a r i u s had never spoken to a s o u l o f h i s n i g h t i n the B a s t i l l e . A l l h i s i n f a n c y was h i s own f e a r f u l s e c r e t . H i s l i f e , seen whole, had been a mira- c l e . But none knew that except h i m s e l f and Mr. Shushions. A s s u r e d l y Edwin never even f a i n t l y suspected i t . To - 107 Edwin Mr. Shushions was n o t h i n g but a f e e b l e and t e d i o u s o l d man. (Clavhanger, p. 3$) D a r i u s ' s sense o f the " m i r a c l e " i s what makes him a sym- p a t h e t i c c h a r a c t e r to the r e a d e r . Bennett engages our sympathy by:the Zola-esque sketch o f D a r i u s ' s c a r e e r as a c h i l d l a b o u r e r i n the p o t t e r i e s . But the new g e n e r a t i o n has grown too f a r away from i t s r o o t s to r e c o g n i z e them: Edwin's grand misfortune was that he was b l i n d t o the m i r a c l e . Edwin had never seen the l i t t l e boy i n the B a s t i l l e . But D a r i u s saw him always, the i n f a n t who had begun l i f e at a rope's end. Every hour o f D a r i u s ' s present e x i s t e n c e was r e a l l y an astounding marvel to D a r i u s . (Clavhanger, p. 39) To D a r i u s , Edwin i s simply perverse i n not wanting to perpetuate the m i r a c l e by working i n the p r i n t i n g shop. Bennett g i v e s a p i c t u r e o f the Clayhangers' f a m i l y l i f e which i s as i n t e n s e as anything i n The Way o f A l l F l e s h . Edwin l o a t h e s D a r i u s ' s domestic tyranny w i t h a p a s s i o n equal to E r n e s t P o n t i f e x ' s h a t r e d f o r h i s p a r e n t s . I t i s , i n both cases, the h a t r e d o f the s l a v e f o r the m a s t e r — a n exacerbated form o f y o u t h f u l resentment a t the domination o f age. One o f the a t t r a c t i o n s o f the Orgreaves i s t h a t t h e i r f a m i l y l i f e i s q u i t e d i f f e r e n t . The supper at t h e i r house on the n i g h t he meets H i l d a i s c a r e f u l l y set out as a c o n t r a s t t o the d e s c r i p t i o n o f the g h a s t l y - 108 - meals i n the Clayhanger household t h a t punctuate the n o v e l . The Orgreaves manage through t h e i r m u l t i p l i c i t y o f shared t a s t e s and concerns to escape the h o r r i d i n t e n - s i t y o f the Clayhangers' l i f e t o g e t h e r: He was d i s g u s t e d more comprehensively by the t r a d i t i o n . ; . u n i v e r s a l i n h i s c l a s s and i n most c l a s s e s , a c c o r d i n g to which r e l a t i v e s c o u l d not be f o r m a l l y p o l i t e to one another....They had been too b r u t a l l y i n t i m a t e , and the r e s u l t was i r r e m e d i a b l e . (Clavhanger, pp. 228"-9) From the beginning o f D a r i u s ' s i l l n e s s , Bennett uses t h i s r e n d i t i o n o f p r o v i n c i a l domestic manners at t h e i r worst to p o r t r a y a s u b t l y d e l i n e a t e d change i n Edwin. I f Edwin cannot understand h i s f a t h e r , he does begin to under- stand the process by which one becomes a domestic t y r a n t : ...compassion and i r r i t a t i o n fought an i n t e r m i n a b l e g u e r i l l a . Now one obtained the advantage, now the o t h e r . For a l l t h e i r p i t y , Edwin and Maggie f e e l the impatience o f the h e a l t h y f o r the d e b i l i t y o f i l l n e s s : And as the weeks passed h i s c h i l d r e n ' s manner o f humouring him became i n c r e a s - i n g l y p e r f u n c t o r y , and t h e i r movements i n p u t t i n g r i g h t the n e g l i g e n c e o f h i s a t t i r e i n c r e a s i n g l y brusque. V a i n l y they t r i e d to remember i n time t h a t he was a v i c t i m and not a c r i m i n a l ; they would remember a f t e r the c a r e l e s s remark and a f t e r the c u r t g e s t u r e , when i t was too l a t e . H i s malady obsessed them; i t was i n the a i r of the house, omnipresent; i t weighed upon them, c o r - r o d i n g the nerve and e x a s p e r a t i n g the - 109 - s p i r i t . Now and then, when D a r i u s had vented a bur s t o f i r r a t i o n a l anger, they would say to each other w i t h c a s u a l b i t t e r n e s s t h a t r e a l l y he was too annoying. (Clavhanger. p. 3$6) Edwin i s i n c a p a b l e o f being the s o r t o f b u l l y t h a t h i s f a t h e r was. But he t y r a n n i z e s over Maggie as completely, i f not so b r u t a l l y , as h i s f a t h e r before him. The time comes when he i s thoroughly capable o f goading h i s s i s t e r to t e a r s ; mealtimes i n the household improve o n l y m a r g i n a l l y a f t e r D a r i u s ' s death. Bennett seems to be u n d e r l i n i n g the f a c t t h a t we are b i l o g i c a l l y determined i n another than the u s u a l h e r e d i t a r y sense o f the n a t u r a l i s t s — t h a t , d e s p i t e the p o l i t e n e s s o f s o c i a l conventions, we e x i s t i n a s t a t e o f nature i n which the str o n g prey oh the weak, the young a g a i n s t the o l d . The p i c t u r e o f the domestic l i f e o f t h e Clayhangers approaches G i s s i n g ' s v i s i o n i n New Grub S t r e e t . o f a Darwinian s t r u g g l e f o r s u r v i v a l . Edwin i s by no means more f i t than h i s peers, but w i t h i n the household he has the rudimentary advantages o f h e a l t h and maleness, and he does not f a i l to e x p l o i t them. N e v e r t h e l e s s , Edwin's a t t i t u d e toward h i s f a t h e r grows more complex dur i n g D a r i u s ' s i l l n e s s . The i l l n e s s p r o v i d e s h i s l o n g e d - f o r revenge, but he has too much i m a g i n a t i v e s e n s i t i v i t y to e x u l t : Once Edwin looked forward to a moment when he might have h i s f a t h e r at h i s - 1 1 0 mercy, when he might revenge h i m s e l f f o r t h e i n s u l t s and t h e b u l l y i n g t h a t had been h i s . Once he had c l e n c h e d h i s f i s t and h i s t e e t h , and had s a i d , "When you're o l d , and I've got you, and you can't h e l p y o u r s e l f . . . ' . " That moment had come, and i t had even en a b l e d and f o r c e d him t o r e f u s e money, t o h i s f a t h e r — r e f u s e money t o h i s fa t h e r ' . . . .As he l o o k e d a t t h e poor f i g u r e f u m b l i n g towards the door, he knew t h e h u m i l i a t i n g p e t t i n e s s o f revenge. As h i s anger f e l l , h i s shame grew. ( C l a v h a n g e r . p. 4 0 9 ) S i m i l a r l y , Edwin's r e l a t i o n s h i p t o B u r s l e y i t s e l f i s more complex t h a n might be i n d i c a t e d by sheer h a t r e d o f h i s f a t h e r and a f f e c t i o n f o r the O r g r e a v e s . H i s a t t i t u d e toward h i s environment i s as a m b i v a l e n t as h i s f e e l i n g s f o r h i s d y i n g f a t h e r , s i m p l y because t h e y are t h e same t h i n g s . The f i n e s t s o u r c e o f i r o n y i n t h e n o v e l i s the way i n wh i c h Edwin moves toward t h e v a l u e s o f B u r s l e y as he assumes dominance o v e r h i s f a t h e r , even w h i l e r e m a i n i n g s e n s i t i v e t o t h e v a l u e s w i t h w h i c h H i l d a i s more f i r m l y a l i g n e d . T h i s i s not a p r o c e s s o f t h e b u r i e d v a l u e s s u r f a c i n g , as t h e y do i n S o p h i a i n P a r i s . I t i s , r a t h e r , the i n e v i t a b l e r e s u l t o f r e m a i n i n g i n B u r s l e y when he i s c u r s e d by t h e a b i l i t y t o see both s i d e s o f e v e r y t h i n g . B e n n e t t has an a b s o l u t e g e n i u s f o r h a n d l i n g p o i n t o f view, and nowhere does i t work b e t t e r t h a n the way i n w h i c h as Edwin s h i f t s a l i g n m e n t , even our v i e w o f t h e Orgreaves - I l l - (which e a r l i e r i s n e a r l y always through Edwin) changes. ( I f one were t o ask why t h i s i s d i f f e r e n t than the changing p o i n t o f view about Soames i n the Saga, the r e p l y would o b v i o u s l y be t h a t t h e r e i t i s Galsworthy's mind which seems to be changing.) Indeed, the b e g i n n i n g o f t h i s change i s i m p l i c i t i n the f i r s t scene a t the Orgreaves' house. Mr. Orgreaves' f a m i l y preys on him f o r the support o f t h e i r r i c h l y v a r i e d l i v e s . I f D a r i u s i s the t y r a n t i n h i s f a m i l y , Mr. Orgreaves i s the f i n a n c i a l v i c t i m o f h i s . T h i s theme, at f i r s t merely comic, gathers a note o f d e s p e r a t i o n l a t e r i n the n o v e l . And tyranny i n the name o f f a m i l y t i e s i s not a s p e c i a l i t y of a p a r t i c u l a r set o f v a l u e s . Janet Orgreave, an exact p a r a l l e l to Maggie Clayhanger, spends her youth t e n d i n g her p a r e n t s . But l i k e Edwin, she i s avenged by her power i n t h e i r weakness o f o l d age. Because Edwin hates h i s f a t h e r i n h i s s t r e n g t h , he i s i n c a p a b l e o f sympathy f o r B u r s l e y as r e p r e s e n t e d by D a r i u s . But we are given a wider view o f the town through another r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f B u r s l e y ' s past, James Y a r l e t t (who, i n t u r n , p r o v i d e s another p e r s p e c t i v e o f D a r i u s ) , f o r whom even Edwin has r e s p e c t and a d m i r a t i o n . I t i s B i g James who t a k e s Edwin to the meeting o f the B u r i a l S o c i e t y where he sees the c l o g - d a n c e r . I t i s important t h a t t h i s performance o f one o f the minor a r t s of the r e g i o n (growing d i r e c t l y out - 112 - o f the l o c a l i n d u s t r y , as Bennett p o i n t s out with more care than s t r i c t l y necessary) becomes Edwin's symbol o f s e x u a l i t y . Edwin h i m s e l f i s conscious o f the v i t a l i t y i n h e r e n t i n the v a l u e s o f B u r s l e y . And he knows he hasn't got i t : He was a f r a i d because he knew, vaguely and s t i l l deeply, that he could n e i t h e r buy nor s e l l as w e l l as h i s f a t h e r . I t was not a q u e s t i o n o f b r a i n s ; i t was a q u e s t i o n o f i n d i v i d u a l i t y . A sense o f honour, o f f a i r n e s s , a temperamental g e n e r o s i t y , a h a t r e d o f meanness, o f t e n prevented him from pushing a b a r g a i n to the l i m i t . He c o u l d not b r i n g h i m s e l f to haggle d e s p e r a t e l y . And even when the p r i c e was not the main d i f f i c u l t y , he c o u l d not t a l k t o a customer, o r to a person whose customer he was, w i t h the same rough, g r u f f , c a j o l i n g , b u l l y i n g s k i l l as h i s f a t h e r had done n a t u r a l l y , by the merely b l i n d e x e r c i s e o f i n s t i n c t . H i s f a t h e r , w i t h a l l h i s clumsiness, and h i s u n s c i e n t i f i c methods, had a c e r t a i n q u a l i t y , u n s e i z a b l e , unanalysable, and Edwin had not t h a t q u a l i t y . (Clavhanger. p. 392) Edwin's involvement w i t h B u r s l e y beyond h i s f a t h e r had been by chance, when he saved h i s f a t h e r ' s p r i n t i n g shop from d i s a s t e r : By h i s own a c t o f c o o l , nonchalant, unconsidered courage i n a c r i s i s , he had, i t seemed, d e f i n i t e l y proved him- s e l f to possess a s p e c i a l a p t i t u d e i n a l l branches o f the b u s i n e s s o f a p r i n t e r and a s t a t i o n e r . Everybody assumed i t . Everybody was p l e a s e d . Everybody saw t h a t Providence had been k i n d to D a r i u s and to h i s son. The - 113 - f a t h e r s o f t h e town, and t h e mothers, who l i k e d Edwin's c o m p l e x i o n and f a i r h a i r , t o l d each o t h e r t h a t not e v e r y p a r e n t was so f o r t u n a t e as Mr. C l a y - hanger; and what a b l e s s i n g i t was t h a t t h e o l d b r e e d was not a f t e r a l l d y i n g out i n t h o s e newfangled days. Edwin c o u l d not escape from the u n i - v e r s a l a s s u m p t i o n . He f e l t i t round him as a net w h i c h somehow he had to c u t . ( C l a v h a n g e r . p. 115) He n e v e r does manage t o cut t h e n e t . E n t r a p p e d "by some- t h i n g w i t h o u t a name i n t h e a i r which the mind b r e a t h e s , " ( C l a v h a n g e r , p. 2 2 5 ) he does not even t r y v e r y h a r d . I n a f e e b l e enactment o f h i s f a t h e r ' s r o l e , he w i l l f i n a l l y oppose t h e p l a n o f h i s s t e p - s o n t o go to London t o become an a r c h i t e c t , i n These Twain. The i m p o r t a n t d i f f e r e n c e between h i m s e l f and h i s f a t h e r — t h e d i f f e r e n c e w h i c h i s a comment upon B u r s l e y ' s weakening h o l d upon h e r i n h a b i t a n t s — w i l l be t h a t he does not manage t o make h i s o p p o s i t i o n f e l t . The C e n t e n a r y c e l e b r a t i o n i s a s p l e n d i d s e t - p i e c e , t h e e q u i v a l e n t i n C l a v h a n g e r o f the hanging a t A u x e r r e i n The Ol d Wives' T a l e , o r o f t h e r e v i v a l m eeting i n Anna o f t h e F i v e Towns. As i n t h e e a r l i e r n o v e l s , the f e e l i n g s o f t h e c h i e f c h a r a c t e r s o f the n o v e l c r y s t a l l i z e around i t . Edwin, a t f i r s t d i s d a i n i n g t h e whole performance, i s o n l y drawn to i t ( i n t h e t e e t h o f h i s own f a m i l y ' s enthusiasm) by t h e t e p i d i n t e r e s t o f t h e O r g r e a v e s . The e f f e c t o f the e p i s o d e i s immeasurably h e i g h t e n e d ( i t i s , o f c o u r s e , Z o l a ' s - 114 - t e c h n i q u e o f d e a l i n g w i t h p e o p l e i n the mass) by Edwin's d i v i d e d f e e l i n g s as s p e c t a t o r . K e e n l y aware o f the comedy o f the s w e a t i n g crowds v i c a r i o u s l y b a t h i n g i n t h e b l o o d o f th e Lamb, he i s moved c h i e f l y because H i l d a i s engrossed i n . . . a l l t h i s made something not me r e l y i m p r e s s i v e , but b e a u t i f u l , something t h a t had a t r u e i f narrow d i g n i t y ; something t h a t m i n i s t e r e d t o an i d e a l i f a low one. ( C l a v h a n g e r , p. 259) When Mr. Shu s h i o n s a p p e a r s , Edwin i s u n c o n s c i o u s o f h i s importance:^7 Thus was t h e d o d d e r i n g o l d f o o l who had g i v e n h i s y o u t h t o Sunday s c h o o l s when Sunday s c h o o l s were n ot p a t r o n i z e d by p r i n c e s , a r c h - b i s h o p s , and l o r d mayors, when Sunday s c h o o l s were t h e s c o r n o f t h e i n t e l l i g e n t , and had some- t i m e s t o be h e l d i n p u b l i c houses f o r l a c k o f b e t t e r accommodation, t h u s was he t a k e n o f f f o r a show and a museum c u r i o s i t y who had not even t h e w i t t o guess t h a t he had sown what t h e y were r e a p i n g . And D a r i u s C l a y h a n g e r s t o o d o b l i v i o u s a t a h i g h window o f t h e s a c r e d Bank. And Edwin, who, a l l u n c o n s c i o u s , owed t h e v e r y f a c t o f h i s e x i s t e n c e t o t h e d o t i n g i m b e c i l e , r e g a r d e d him c h i e f l y as a f i g u r e i n a t a b l e a u , as the chance i n s t r u m e n t o f a woman's b e a u t i f u l r e v e l a t i o n . Mr. Shus h i o n ' s s o l e c r i m e a g a i n s t s o c i e t y was t h a t he had f o r g o t t e n t o d i e . ( C l a v h a n g e r . p. 252) The C e n t e n a r y i s a communal t r i b u t e t o one o f t h e f o u n d a t i o n s o f B u r s l e y ' s p a s t . The Sunday s c h o o l s , i n - 115 - p r o v i d i n g the f i r s t f r e e s c hools f o r the c h i l d r e n o f the p o t t e r i e s (Mr. Shushions taught D a r i u s to r e a d ) , brought about the f i r s t fragmentation o f the economic s t r u c t u r e o f the community—as D a r i u s ' s own c a r e e r a t t e s t s . We are i n v i t e d to compare the Centenary with the other o c c a s i o n o f p u b l i c c e l e b r a t i o n which o c c u r s i n the n o v e l , the J u b i l e I t i s c a r e f u l l y l i n k e d with t h i s one. Dari u s does not n o t i c e Mr. Shushions at the Centenary, and i s unaware o f the o l d man's po v e r t y . He does not know u n t i l too l a t e t h a t the o l d man has gone to the workhouse from which he had, as a young man, rescued D a r i u s ' s f a m i l y . As on o t h e r o c c a s i o n s , Edwin has no comprehension of the causes o f h i s f a t h e r ' s f e e l i n g f o r Mr. Shushions: What he d i d not suspect was the e x i s t e n c e of circumstances which made the death o f Mr. Shushions i n the workhouse the most d i s t r e s s i n g tragedy t h a t c o u l d by any p o s s i b i l i t y have happened to D a r i u s Clayhanger. (Clavhanger. p. 334 ) D a r i u s c o l l a p s e s immediately a f t e r Mr. Shushion's f u n e r a l ; the o r g a n i z a t i o n o f the f u n e r a l (which D a r i u s regards as a sacred o b l i g a t i o n ) i s h i s l a s t p u b l i c a c t . Da r i u s ' s i l l n e s s prevents Edwin from going to London w i t h the Orgreaves f o r the J u b i l e e c e l e b r a t i o n s . He wander through the d e s e r t e d town with James Y a r l e t t to see B u r s l e y f o r l o r n attempt at l o c a l c e l e b r a t i o n o f the event. The - 116 ox i s an i n t e r e s t i n g analogue t o t h e e l e p h a n t i n The O l d Wives' T a l e . I t i s a l l o w e d no such s y m b o l i c v a l u e , but B e n n e t t pushes toward symbolism by a comic j u x t a p o s i t i o n o f i d e a s : . " I t ' s a grand s i g h t ' . " s a i d B i g James, ' w i t h s i m p l e e n t h u s i a s m . "A grand sight'. R e a l o l d E n g l i s h ' . And I w i s h her w e l l ! " He meant t h e Queen and Empress. Then su d d e n l y , i n a d i f f e r e n t t o n e , s n i f f i n g t h e a i r , " I doubt i t ' s t u r n ed! I ' l l s t e p a c r o s s and ask Mr. Day." ( C l a v h a n g e r . p. 394) I f t h e f i r s t c e l e b r a t i o n i s a t r i b u t e t o B u r s l e y ' s own p a s t , t h i s second one i n d i c a t e s how g r e a t l y the town i s changed i n t h e p r e s e n t . The a t t r a c t i o n e x e r t e d by London on t h i s o c c a s i o n i s f e l t by the whole community. B u r s l e y as a way o f l i f e i s as dead as the ox. We have been brought t o the same p o i n t , i n terms o f t h e f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e , as t h e l a s t s e c t i o n o f The O l d Wives' T a l e . T h e r e f o r e , D a r i u s d i e s ( a l t h o u g h we may l o s e s i g h t o f t h e s y m b o l i c a s p e c t o f h i s death i n t h e p r o c e s s o f l e a r n i n g more t h a n we want t o know about Cheyne-Stokes b r e a t h i n g ) . H i s slow d e a t h i s t h e analogue o f S o p h i a ' s and C o n s t a n c e ' s i n e f f e c t u a l o l d age. A f t e r a l l t h e y e a r s o f s u p p r e s s e d r e b e l l i o n , Edwin i s f r e e . B u t , caught i n t h e no-man's-land between c o n f l i c t i n g s e t s o f v a l u e s ( i n t erms o f t h e n o v e l , between p e r i o d s o f s o c i a l h i s t o r y ) , he i s i n c a p a b l e o f u s i n g h i s freedom: - 117 The prospect o f freedom,, o f r e l e a s e from a h o r r i b l e and h u m i l i a t e d s e r v i - t u d e — t h i s prospect ought to have d a z z l e d and l i f t e d him, i n the s a f e , i n v i o l a b l e p r i v a c y o f h i s own h e a r t . But i t d i d not.... (Clavhanger. p. 350) In the terms o f these n o v e l s , to be f r e e i s t o l a c k i d e n t i t y , to have n o t h i n g to do. I f C y r i l Baines i s a d i l e t t a n t e a r t i s t , Edwin i s a d i l e t t a n t e a t l i f e , "so i n v o l v e d i n l i v i n g t h a t he doesn't make much o f a l i f e o f i t a f t e r a l l , " - ^ H i l d a begins h i s o s t e n s i b l e rescue when she "sends him a message" i n the person o f her son. He w i l l marry H i l d a (she, o f course, i s the one who proposes), and he sees t h a t as a v i c t o r y scored a g a i n s t B u r s l e y : Somewhere w i t h i n h i m s e l f he smiled as he r e f l e c t e d t h a t he, i n h i s f a t h e r ' s p l a c e , i n h i s f a t h e r ' s very c h a i r , was thus under the s p e l l o f a woman whose c h i l d was nameless. He smiled g r i m l y at the thought o f Auntie Hamps, of C l a r a , o f the p i e t i s t i c Albert'. They were of a d i f f e r e n t r a c e , a d i f - f e r e n t generation'. They belonged t o a dead world'. (Clavhanger. p. 573) But t h a t world e x i s t e d most i m p o r t a n t l y to Edwin i n h i s f a t h e r , and Edwin's v i c t o r y over B u r s l e y has r e a l l y o n l y o c c u r r e d by v i r t u e o f h i s f a t h e r ' s death. I t i s a very minor one. The c h i l d i s not h i s c h i l d . And no one, a f t e r a l l , w i l l care very much when he marries H i l d a . B u r s l e y - 118 - u l t i m a t e l y triumphs i n Edwin not because i t i s s t i l l s t r o n g , but because he i s so weak. At the beginning o f The O l d Wives' T a l e , Bennett makes l a r g e c l a i m s f o r B u r s l e y : I t has e v e r y t h i n g t h a t England has, i n c l u d i n g t h i r t y m i l e s o f W a t l i n g S t r e e t ; and England can show nothing more b e a u t i f u l and n o t h i n g u g l i e r than the works o f nature and the works o f man to be seen w i t h i n the l i m i t s o f the country. I t i s England i n l i t t l e , l o s t i n the midst o f England, unsung by s e a r c h e r s a f t e r the extreme; per- haps o c c a s i o n a l l y somewhat sore at t h i s n e g l e c t , but how proud i n the i n s t i n c t i v e cognizance of i t s r e p r e s - e n t a t i v e f e a t u r e s and t r a i t s ' . We are convinced of the importance o f what B u r s l e y r e p r e s e n t s i n E n g l i s h experience while we read The Old Wives' T a l e and the f i r s t t h r e e books o f Clavhanger. Given the unpromising nature o f the m a t e r i a l , i t i s no mean achievement t h a t Bennett's a r t convinces us. The a r t o f The Old Wives' T a l e i s always i n t e r e s t i n g — s o much so, t h a t the c h i e f p l e a s u r e o f r e a d i n g the n o v e l i s the r e c o g n i t i o n o f the manner o f the achievement. But i t i s one o f the p e c u l i a r i t i e s o f the n o v e l as an a r t f o r m — e v e n a f t e r James, and Moore, and Bennett h i m s e l f — t h a t we make judgments upon i t beyond the p u r e l y a e s t h e t i c . And we come e v e n t u a l l y to f e e l t h a t B u r s l e y , c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y , assumes too much f o r i t s e l f . - 119 I t was never a l l o f England, and the range of experience i t p r o v i d e d f o r was l i m i t e d . As Bennett was p e r f e c t l y - aware, one Constance Baines i s enough. No one laments her p a s s i n g . By the nature o f h i s s u b j e c t , Bennett cannot f r e e the F i v e Towns nove l s from the l i m i t a t i o n s o f the " r e g i o n a l novel."-*-9 I n the very p e r f e c t i o n o f h i s technique, by which e v e r y t h i n g f i t s so harmoniously, Bennett l e a v e s us f e e l i n g he has gi v e n too l i t t l e i n h i s epi c o f E n g l i s h l i f e . Even a l l o w i n g f o r i t s d e f i c i e n c i e s , Bennett has gi v e n us l e s s o f B u r s l e y than George E l i o t gave us o f Middlemarch. And, j u s t as Bennett r e f u s e s t o acknowledge the f a c t t h a t B u r s l e y i s not a l l of England, he a l s o a v o i d s the i m p l i c a t i o n s o f Lawrence's fundamental c o n v i c t i o n t h a t an i n d i v i d u a l i s not merely the p e r s o n f i c a t i o n o f h i s environment, t h a t no human being worth the t r o u b l e of d e l i n e a t i n g : i n a n o v e l can be d e f i n e d i n such terms without l o s s to t r u t h (and, u l t i m a t e l y , to a r t ) . Only Lawrence, among these two g e n e r a t i o n s o f c h r o n i c l e r s , manages at once s u c c e s s f u l l y to render i n the account o f a f a m i l y the e v o l u t i o n o f a p a r t i c u l a r p a r t o f E n g l i s h s o c i e t y (as Bennett does), and to i n v e s t i t wi t h s i g n i f i c a n c e beyond time and p l a c e (as Hardy does). - 120 Footnotes - Chapter V As has been p o i n t e d out by two r e c e n t a r t i c l e s : I r v i n g K r eutz, "Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Woolf," Modern F i c t i o n S t u d i e s . V I I I (Summer, 1 9 6 2 ) , 1 0 3 - 1 1 5 , and Samuel Hynes, "The Whole C o n t e n t i o n Between Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Woolf," Novel. I ( 1 9 6 7 - 6 3 ) , 3 4 - 4 4 . 2 Walter A l l e n , A r n o l d Bennett (London: Horn and Van-Thai, 1 9 4 3 ) , p. 2 4 . 3 I b i d . , pp. 3 9 - 4 0 . 4 Georges Lafourcade, A r n o l d Bennett: A Study (London: F r e d e r i c k M u l l e r , 1 9 3 9 ), p. 1 1 3 . 5 A l l e n , A r n o l d Bennett T pp. 7 0 - 1 . E. M. F o r s t e r . Aspects o f the Novel (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1 962 [ 1 9 2 9 ] ) , pp. 4 5 - 6 . 7 Z o l a T s p r e f a c e to the f i r s t volume o f Les Rougon- Macquart. quoted by L e v i n i n Gates o f Horn, p. 3 3 5 . ^ James Hepburn, The A r t o f A r n o l d Bennett (Blooming- ton: Indiana Univ. Press, 19^3 ) 7 pp. 1 4 - 1 5 . ^ Lafourcade, A r n o l d Bennett, p. 1 1 4 . ^ A r n o l d Bennett, The Old Wives' T a l e (London: Dent, 1935 ( 1903J f r , p. 2 3 7 . ^ J . B. Simons, A r n o l d Bennett and His Novels: A C r i t i c a l Study (Oxford: B l a c k w e l l , 1 9 3 6 ) , p. 1 0 1 . - 1 21 - 12 E. M. W. T i l l y a r d , The. E p i c S t r a i n i n the E n g l i s h Novel (London: Chatto and Windus, 1 9 5 8 ) , p. 1 8 5 . 13 James H a l l , A rnold Bennett: P r i m i t i v i s m and Taste ( S e a t t l e : Univ. o f Washington P r e s s , 1 9 5 9 ) , p. 6 9 - 7 0 . r . J " ^ A r n o l d Bennett, Clavhanger (London: Methuen, 1 947 | 1 9 1 0 j ) , p. 2 3 0 . 15 E r i c H e l l e r , The I r o n i c German: A Study o f Thomas Mann (Boston: L i t t l e , Brown, 1 9 5 8 ) , pp. 5 1 - 2 . H a l l , P r i m i t i v i s m and Taste, p. 1 0 3 . 17 ' D a r i u s ' s p o s i t i o n i n the scene i s very important. 18 F r i e r s o n , The Novel i n T r a n s i t i o n , p. 1 5 3 . That Bennett was at h i s best as a r e g i o n a l n o v e l i s t — a t h e o r y beloved o f h i s e a r l y c r i t i c s who came from the Midlands t h e m s e l v e s — i s d i s p r o v e d by Riceyman Steps. - 1 2 2 CHAPTER VI The Lost G i r l i s usually l a b e l l e d as D. H. Lawrence's attempt to c a p i t a l i z e upon Bennett's popular success: Lawrence did not want to be poor, though he could always make the best of poverty. It was natural, then, that as he brooded over England's b e s t - s e l l e r of 1 9 1 2 , he should wonder why he with h i s g i f t s as a writer and even closer to the bone know- ledge of i n d u s t r i a l England than Bennett, should not also write a b e s t - s e l l e r of realism.]_ But that attempt—which only a f t e r the war became The Lost G i r l — h a s i t s beginnings i n e x t r i c a b l y mingled with those of Lawrence's f i n e s t novels, The Rainbow and Women in Love. In Lawrence's l e t t e r s of the period, i t i s often d i f f i c u l t to t e l l whether he i s r e f e r r i n g to The Lost G i r l or to the other work. At other times, what now seems the lesser a r t i s t i c achievement, then seemed greater i n i t s importance to the author: I have written 1 3 0 pages of my newest novel, The S i s t e r s . It i s a queer novel, which seems to have come by i t s e l f . I w i l l send i t you. You may d i s l i k e i t — i t hasn't got hard out- l i n e s — a n d of course i t ' s only f i r s t d r a f t — b u t i t i s pretty neat, for me, i n composition. Then I've got 2 0 0 pages of a novel which I'm s a v i n g — which i s very lumbering—which I ' l l c a l l , p r o v i s i o n a l l y , The Insurrection of Miss Houghton. That I shan't send you yet, but i t i s , to me, f e a r f u l l y - 123 - excit i n g . I t l i e s next my heart, for the present. But I am f i n i s h i n g The S i s t e r s . I t w i l l only have 300 pages. It was meant for the jeunes f i l l e s , but already i t has f a l l e n from grace. I can only write what I f e e l pretty strongly about: and that, at present, i s the r e l a t i o n between men and women. After a l l , i t i s the problem of to-day, the establishment of a new r e l a t i o n , or the readjustment of the old one, between men and women. In a month 0  The S i s t e r s w i l l be finished (D.V.)/ Moreover, the pot-boiler view of the novel tends to obscure the c r u c i a l point that i t was formed, even i n i t i a l l y , at least as much out of a reaction against Bennett's realism, as out of the desire to write a successful r e a l i s t novel. In thanking his f r i e n d , A.W. McLeod, for sending him Anna of the Five Towns, Lawrence wrote: I hate England and i t s hopelessness, I hate Bennett's resignation. Tragedy ought r e a l l y to be a great kick at misery. But Anna of the Five Towns seems l i k e an acceptance—so does a l l the modern s t u f f since Flaubert. I hate i t . I want to wash again quickly, wash o f f England, the oldness and grubbiness and despair.3 Indeed, I should l i k e to argue i n t h i s chapter that The Lost G i r l i s not an emulation of Bennett's realism, but a de l i b e r a t e l y "anti-Bennett," or a n t i - n a t u r a l i s t , novel i n form as well as subject. Lawrence was not, of course, opposed to the native - 124 - English realism of the nineteenth century. We know from Jessie Chambers' book that he was a youthful admirer of George E l i o t , and i n a l e t t e r to A. W. McLeod he mentions Mark Rutherford with admiration even as he points i n the d i r e c t i o n of h i s antipathy: I think H i l a i r e Belloc i s conceited. F u l l of that French showing-off which goes down so well i n England, and i s so smartly shallow.. And I have always a greater respect of Mark Rutherford: I do think he i s j o l l y good—so thorough, so sound, and so b e a u t i f u l . ^ He i s passionately opposed to the "new realism" (as imported from France), i n which f a i l u r e i s b u i l t into the determinist conception of the characters' l i v e s . At the same time, he perceives the aesthetic concomitant to t h i s dreariness of view: Thomas Mann seems to me the l a s t sick sufferer from the complaint of Flaubert. The l a t t e r stood away from l i f e as from a leprosy. And Thomas Mann, l i k e Flaubert, f e e l s vaguely that he has i n him something f i n e r than ever physical l i f e revealed. Physical l i f e i s a disordered corruption, against which he can f i g h t with only one weapon, h i s f i n e aesthetic sense, his f e e l i n g f o r beauty, for per- f e c t i o n , f o r a certain f i t n e s s which soothes him, and gives him an inner pleasure, however corrupt the s t u f f of l i f e may be. There he i s , a f t e r a l l these years, f u l l of disgust and loathing of himself as Flaubert was, and Germany i s being voiced, or p a r t l y so, by him. And so, with r e a l s u i c i d a l intention, l i k e Flaubert's, he s i t s , a l a s t too-sick d i s c i p l e , reducing himself grain by grain 125 to the statement of h i s own disgust, patiently, s e l f - d e s t r u c t i v e l y , so that his statement at least may be perfect i n a world of curruption.^ That i s , there i s a sort of aesthetic determinism which accompanies the new realism, which Lawrence i s quick to i s o l a t e . Zola, i n his q u a s i - s c i e n t i f i c enthusiasm f o r his s o c i a l "experiments," i s too b r i s k l y keen to get on with the job of dissecting society to consider seriously anything so r a r i f i e d as the aesthetics of the novel. But the subject matter of naturalism has other sources, i n Huysmans and the brothers Goncourt. And they, l i k e Flaubert and h i s c i r c l e , were concerned with form as something d i s t i n c t from subject. This preoccupation with style i s central to t h e i r English h e i r s , George Moore and the Bennett of The Old Wives' Tale and Ricevman Steps. Now, Lawrence himself i s b r i l l i a n t l y capable of virtuoso performances, as The Rainbow and Women i n Love a t t e s t . Nevertheless, as the proponent of the novel as the "book of life,"*-* Lawrence was thoroughly committed to the subjection of form to matter—that i s , i n h i s work matter always dictates form;.. A l l Lawrence's tec h n i c a l innovation i s toward the promotion of t h i s , h i s cardinal t e n e t — t h a t the no v e l i s t i s committed not to formal a r t , but to l i f e . Lawrence's quarrel with the formal art of the new - 126 - realism i s worked out very thoroughly i n The Lost G i r l . At the outset, any pretense of that authorial o b j e c t i v i t y which i s the hallmark of the n a t u r a l i s t s i s abandoned i n t h i s intensely self-conscious work. On one of the most important of the many occasions when the author comes forward, he denounces the chosen subject matter of the n a t u r a l i s t s . I t i s worth noticing how markedly the tone l i f t s a f t e r he has dispensed with "ordinariness": There have been enough st o r i e s about ordinary people. I should think the Duke of Clarence must even have found malmsey nauseating, when he choked and went purple and was r e a l l y asphyxiated i n a butt of i t . And ordinary people are no malmsey. Just ordinary tap- water. And we have been drenched and deluged and so nearly drowned i n perpetual floods of ordinariness, that tap-water tends to become a r e a l l y h ateful f l u i d to us. We loathe i t s out-of-the-tap tastelessness. We detest ordinary people. We are i n p e r i l of our l i v e s from them: and i n p e r i l of our souls too, f o r they would damn us one and a l l to the ordinary. Every i n d i v i d u a l should, by nature, have his extraordinary points. But nowadays you may look f o r them with a microscope, they are so worn-down by the regular machine-friction of our average and mechanical days. There was no hope for Alvina i n the ordinary. I f help came, i t would have to come from the extraordinary. Hence the extreme p e r i l of her case. Hence the b i t t e r fear and humiliation she f e l t as she drudged shabbily on i n Manchester House, hiding herself as much as possible from public view. Men can suck the - 127 heady juice of exalted self-importance from the b i t t e r weed of f a i l u r e — f a i l u r e s are usually the most conceited of men: even as was James Houghton. But to a woman, f a i l u r e i s another matter. For her i t means f a i l u r e to l i v e , f a i l u r e to estab l i s h h e r s e l f on the face of the earth. And t h i s i s humiliating, the ultimate humiliation. (L. G., pp. 107-3) In Lawrence's view, society ( i n the sense of ordinary people) must not be allowed to swamp the i n d i v i d u a l . I r o n i c a l l y , i n the novel i t i s the bourgeoise French- woman who objects to the l i t e r a r y heroines who submit unwillingly to society. But there i s no doubt that she n voices Lawrence's own view : 'But your Sue now, i n Jude the Obscure— i s i t not an in t e r e s t i n g book? And i s she not always too p r a c - t i c a l l y prac- t i c a l ! I f she had been impractically p r a c t i c a l she could have been quite happy. Do you know what I mean?—no. But she i s ridiculous} Sue: so Anna Karenine. Ridiculous both. Don't you think?...Why did they both make every- body unhappy, when they had the man they wanted, and enough money? I think they are both s i l l y . I f they had been beaten, they would have l o s t a l l t h e i r p r a c t i c a l ideas and troubles, merely forgot them, and been happy enough. I am a woman who says i t . Such ideas they have are not t r a g i c a l . No, not at a l i i They are nonsense, you see, nonsense. That i s a l l . Nonsense. Sue and Anna, they a r e — n o n s e n s i c a l . That i s a l l . No tragedy whatsoever. Nonsense. I am a woman. I know men also. And I know nonsense when I see i t . Englishwomen are a l l nonsense: 128 the worst women i n the world for nonsense. (L. G., pp. 178-9) Therefore, we cannot take the l e i s u r e l y opening of the novel as the promise of a n a t u r a l i s t study of milieu, cast into the family chronicle form, that the second sentence seems to suggest: Take a mining townlet l i k e Wood- house, with a population of ten thousand people, and three genera- tions behind i t . This space of three generations argues a c e r t a i n well- established society. The old 'County' has f l e d from the sight of so much disembowelled coal, to f l o u r i s h on mineral r i g h t s i n regions s t i l l i d y l l i c . Remains one great and inaccessible magnate, the l o c a l coal owner: three generations old, and clambering on the bottom step of the 'County', kicking o f f the mass below. Rule him out. A well established society i n Woodhouse, f u l l of fine shades, ranging from the dark of coal-dust to g r i t of stone-mason and saw- dust of timber-merchant, through the l u s t r e of l a r d and butter and meat, to the perfume of the chemist and the disinfectant of the doctor, on to the serene gold-tarnish of bank-managers, cashiers f o r the firm, clergymen and such-like, as f a r as the automobile refulgence of the general-manager of the c o l l i e r i e s . Here the ne plus u l t r a . The general manager l i v e s i n the shrubberied seclusion of the so- c a l l e d Manor. The genuine H a l l , abandoned by the 'County', has been taken over as o f f i c e s by the firm. Here we are then: a vast sub- stratum of c o l l i e r s ; a thick - 129 - s p r i n k l i n g o f t r a d e s p e o p l e i n t e r m i n g l e d w i t h s m a l l employers o f l a b o u r and d i v e r - s i f i e d by e l e m e n t a r y s c h o o l m a s t e r s and n o n c o n f o r m i s t c l e r g y ; a h i g h e r l a y e r o f bank-managers, r i c h m i l l e r s and w e l l - t o - do i r o n m a s t e r s , e p i s c o p a l c l e r g y and t h e managers o f c o l l i e r i e s : t h e n t h e r i c h and s t i c k y c h e r r y o f t h e l o c a l coal-owner g l i s t e n i n g o v e r a l l . Such the c o m p l i c a t e d s o c i a l system o f a s m a l l i n d u s t r i a l town i n t h e M i d l a n d s o f E n g l a n d , i n t h i s y e a r o f g r a c e 1920. But l e t us go back a l i t t l e . Such i t was i n t h e l a s t calm y e a r o f p l e n t y , 1913. ( L . G., p. 11) T h i s o pening passage rewards a t t e n t i o n on s e v e r a l c o u n t s — not l e a s t , because i t s d e t a i l s c o n t a i n Lawrence's h i s - t o r i c a l a ccount o f how such p l a c e s as Woodhouse came t o be as t h e y are (note t h a t t h e o l d H a l l i s now t h e o f f i c e o f t h e m i n i n g f i r m , f o r example). But most o f a l l , i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g f o r t h e emphasis on d a t e s . Woodhouse, we a r e t o l d , i s now ( i n 1920) as i t was i n 1913. That i s , t h e community has not been a f f e c t e d by t h e war ( a f a c t w h i c h w i l l form an i m p o r t a n t c o n t r a s t t o A l v i n a ' s p o s i t i o n a t t h e end o f t h e n o v e l , when she h e r s e l f i s so a p p a l l i n g l y v u l n e r a b l e t o t h e f o r c e s o f modern h i s t o r y ) . The i r o n y o f t h e o p e n i n g i s r e i n f o r c e d when we d i s c o v e r t h a t Woodhouse now i s as i t was i n t h e 1330's—when t h e a c t i o n o f t h e n o v e l a c t u a l l y b e g i n s . Thus, we are shown as c l e a r l y as p o s s i b l e t h a t — a p p e a r a n c e s t o t h e c o n t r a r y — t h i s n o v e l w i l l not be about Woodhouse i n t h e - 130 - the way that the Bennett novels which have been discussed are about Bursley. Woodhouse, apparently incapable of change, has congealed; Lawrence makes us f e e l that i t i s no longer i n t e r e s t i n g i n i t s e l f . Given the fact that t h i s i s a novel by an author who elsewhere excels at creating a "sense of place," we are j u s t i f i e d (indeed, encouraged by the relaxed tone of the opening) i n refusing to take the environment over^-seriously as a threat to i n d i v i d u a l s . Throughout the novel, Lawrence gets a good deal of comedy out of Woodhouse's i n t r a c t i b i l i t y . But, f i n a l l y , we f e e l that James Houghton i s a human (as opposed to commercial) f a i l u r e not on account of blows dealt to his s e n s i b i l i t y by the Woodhouse louts, but because of the flaws inherent i n his "romantic-commercial" nature. Lest we miss the point of h i s re f u s a l to subscribe to environmental determinism, the author launches into what promises to be a n a t u r a l i s t description of Alvina's t r a i n i n g period i n the Islington h o s p i t a l . The d e t a i l s are d i s t r e s s i n g esnough f o r the most hardened n a t u r a l i s t , but Lawrence merely abandons them: Surely enough books have been written about heroines i n s i m i l a r circumstances. There i s no need to go into the d e t a i l s of Alvina's six months i n I s l i n g t o n . (L. G., p. 4 6 ) - 131 - There does follow, however, one n a t u r a l i s t set-piece. I t i s interesting that the emphasis f a l l s not on the sufferer's s o c i a l being, but upon her animality: It would be useless to say she was not shocked. She was profoundly and awfully shocked. Her whole state was perhaps l a r g e l y the resu l t of shock: a sort of play-acting based on hysteria. But the dreadful things she saw i n the l y i n g - i n h o s p i t a l , and afterwards, went deep, and finished her youth and her tutelage f o r ever. How many infernos deeper than Miss Frost could ever know, did she not travel? the inferno of the human animal, the human organism i n i t s convulsions, the human s o c i a l beast i n i t s abjection and i t s degradation. For i n her l a t t e r half she had to v i s i t the slum cases. And such casesl A woman ly i n g on a bare, f i l t h y f l o o r , a few old coats thrown over her, and vermin crawling everywhere, i n spite of the sanitary inspectors. But what did the woman, the sufferer, herself care I -She ground her teeth and screamed and yel l e d with pains. In her calm periods she lay stupid and i n d i f f e r e n t — o r she cursed a l i t t l e . But abject, stupid indifference was the bottom of i t a l l : abject, brutal indifference to everything—yes, everything. Just a piece of female functioning, no more. (L. G., p. 47) It i s Lawrence's point (however much the reader may want to question i t ) that t h i s woman's si t u a t i o n i s no di f f e r e n t than that of Mrs. Tukes l a t e r i n the novel, for a l l the differences of t h e i r respective environments. - 1 3 2 - What t h i s interlude i n Alvina's l i f e provides i s a necessary inoculation against g e n t i l i t y which serves her well when she goes back to Woodhouse. For, even i f we are not to take Woodhouse at i t s own estimate, Keith Sagar underestimates Alvina's environment: Lawrence goes ' r e a l l y a substratum deeper' because he has created h i s Woodhouse world i n a l l i t s ' r e a l i t y ' i n order to have an absurd troupe of phony Indians make i t disappear at the toss of a feathered head. The unreality,- absurdity of the cir c u s troupe i s essential to the s a t i r e ; they must share none of the standards of society they invade.g Alvina i s never a c t i v e l y threatened by society i n i t s Woodhouse or Lancaster manifestations. I t s re s t r i e t i v e n e s s i s dangerous only i n the sense that i t does not seem l i k e l y to provide any opportunity f o r escape. The sort of f u l f i l l m e n t which involves at once a personal r e l a t i o n - ship and v i t a l i n t e r - a c t i o n with society at large i s never regarded as p o s s i b l e — n o r , Woodhouse being what i t i s , desirable. Alvina w i l l have to seize upon unconventional means of f u l f i l l i n g her extraordinary (i n terms of Woodhouse) demands upon l i f e . After the experience and insight gained i n Islington, Alvina i s not only capable of l i v i n g by other than Woodhouse standards, but (often comically) w i l l i n g to abandon - 133 - conventional behaviour i n order to gain her ends. Her a b i l i t y to stand thus d i s t i n c t from her environ- ment i s from the f i r s t explained i n hereditary terms. We hear a good deal about Alvina being her father's daughter. In s t r i c t l y l i t e r a l terms, she i s most recognizably his he i r i n her i n a b i l i t y to make money: Here was James Houghton's own daughter....Being her father's daughter, we might almost expect that she did not make a penny.... She had become a maternity nurse i n order to practise i n Woodhouse, just as James Houghton had purchased h i s elegancies to s e l l i n Woodhouse. And father and daughter a l i k e calmly expected Woodhouse demand to r i s e to t h e i r supply. So both a l i k e were defeated i n t h e i r expectations. (L. G., pp. 55-6) But i n f a c t , whereas James Houghton (incurably drunk upon the romance of commerce) becomes thoroughly enmeshed i n Woodhouse values, Alvina's commercial f a i l i n g s are only a function of her s u p e r i o r i t y over Woodhouse. The suggestion that f a i l u r e i n the abstract might be an hereditary quality (no s i l l i e r , a f t e r a l l , than hereditary c r i m i n a l i t y ) i s only exploited for so long as Lawrence wants to create suspense over whether Alvina can f i n d any means to f u l f i l l - ment i n Woodhouse. Lawrence's serious concern with heredity i n t h i s novel i s as a means of rendering a method of characterization - 134 - which also informs The Rainbow (and Women i n Love). In the famous l e t t e r to Garnett, he wrote: You mustn't look i n my novel for the old stable ego—of the character. There i s another ego, according to whose action the i n d i v i d u a l i s unrecognizable, and pass through, as i t were, a l l o t r o p i c states which i t needs a deeper sense than any we've been used to exercise, to discover c a l l y unchanged element. (Like as diamond and coal are the same pure single element of carbon. The ordinary novel would trace the histo r y of the diamond—but I say, 'Diamond, what! This i s carbon.' And my diamond might be coal or soot, and my theme i s carbon.)^o This new concept of character allows, above a l l , f o r change; Lawrence i s attempting to free himself even of the r e s t r i c t i o n s of consistency i n the development of character. In The Lost G i r l , i t s serious implications have comic overtones. Alvina, transferred from Woodhouse to I s l i n g t o n , changes almost beyond recognition: Was Alvina her own r e a l s e l f a l l t h i s time? The mighty question arises upon us, what i s one's own r e a l self? It c e r t a i n l y i s not what we think we are and ought to be. Alvina had been bred to think of herself as a de l i c a t e , tender, chaste creature with unselfish i n c l i n a t i o n s and a pure, 'high' mind. Well, so she was, i n the more-or-less exhausted part of he r s e l f . But high- mindedness was already stretched beyond the breaking point. Being a woman of some f l e x i b i l i t y of temper, wrought through generations to a f i n e , p l i a n t - 135 - hardness, she flew back. She went right back on high-mindedness. Did she thereby betray i t ? We think not. I f we turn over the head of the penny and look at the t a i l , we don't thereby deny or betray the head. We do but adjust i t to i t s own complement. And so with high- mindedness. I t i s but one side of the medal—the crowned reverse. On the obverse side the three legs s t i l l go kicking the soft-footed spin of the universe, the dolphin f l i r t s and the crab l e e r s . So Alvina spun her medal, and her medal came down t a i l s . Heads or t a i l s ? Heads for generations. Then t a i l s . See the poetic j u s t i c e . Now Alvina decided to accept the decision of her fa t e . Or rather, being s u f f i c i e n t l y a woman, she didn't decide anything. She was her own fate. She went through her t r a i n i n g experience l i k e another being. She was not her- s e l f , said Everybody. When she came home to Woodhouse at Easter, i n her bonnet and cloak, Everybody was simply knocked out. Imagine that t h i s f r a i l , p a l l i d , d i f f i d e n t g i r l , so l a d y - l i k e , was now a rather f a t , warm-coloured young woman, strapping and strong- looking, and with a certa i n bounce. (L. G., pp. 4S-9) While Lawrence i s unarguably at some pains to put the explanation for Alvina's a b i l i t y to enter upon t h i s other order of experience i n hereditary terms, the attempt does not seenu.altogether successful. High-mindedness has worked i t s e l f to i t s natural conclusion i n James Houghton; Alvina has inherited from him the a b i l i t y to react against high-mindedness. What they have i n common, presumably, 136 - i s the a b i l i t y to work out t h e i r own fates without accepting an externally imposed notion of what those fates ought to be. From the f i r s t , however, we are aware that Lawrence sets up the heredity theme only i n order to tinker with i t . He i s t r y i n g to f i t into i t something that (away from the cramped milieu of Woodhouse) f i t s more na t u r a l l y into larger terms. He i s c l e a r l y presenting a d u a l i s t i c notion of the h i s t o r y of European c i v i l i z a t i o n . The characters polarize around the two modes of experience, and the aptness of the two-sides-of-a-coin metaphor becomes obvious. The j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r even trying to a l i g n the p o l a r i z a t i o n along a heredity theme i s surely that Lawrence i s portraying one mode of experience i n the process of wearing out (whereas i d e a l l y both would co-exist): She knew she was right—amply and b e a u t i f u l l y r i g h t , her darling, her beloved Miss Frost. E t e r n a l l y and g l o r i o u s l y r i g h t . And yet—and y e t — i t was a r i g h t which was f u l f i l l e d . There.were other r i g h t s . There was another side to the medal. Purity and highmindedness—the b e a u t i f u l , but unbearable tyranny. The b e a u t i f u l , unbearable tyranny of Miss F r o s t l It was time for that perfected flower to be gathered into e t e r n i t y . Black-purple and red anemones were due, r e a l Adonis blood, and strange i n d i v i d u a l orchids, spotted and f a n t a s t i c . Time for Miss Frost to - 137 - die. She Alvina, who loved her as no one else would ever love her, with that love which goes to the core of the universe, knew that i t was time for her d a r l i n g to be folded, oh, so gently and s o f t l y , into immortality. M o r t a l i t y was busy with the day a f t e r her day. I t was time f o r Miss Frost to die. (L. G., p. 51) When Alvina encounters C i c i o , the immediate concern of the novel i s resolved: she has been rescued from the ranks of p r o v i n c i a l spinsterhood. Alvina has seen f u l f i l l - ment a l l along i n sexual terms, and the action of the novel has hitherto been concerned almost exclusively with her attempts to f i n d a mate. In the process, l i f e i n pr o v i n c i a l England i s shown as being completely i n i m i c a l to any sort of i n d i v i d u a l f u l f i l l m e n t — " t h e r e was a t e r r i b l e crop of old maids." But since i t i s Lawrence's whole point that Alvina ought not endure i t , that f i n a l l y she need not accept i t , he does not have to treat i t very portentously. The special sort of s o c i a l comedy that i s allowed for by English realism (and rendered f i n e l y by Bennett i n The Old Wives' Tale) can be f u l l y exploited and even exaggerated, since Alvina's character surpasses the l i m i t s of the usual r e a l i s t concerns with l i f e i n a given environment. And so s k i l f u l i s Lawrence that we can laugh at the comedy and s t i l l accept h i s serious concern with the issue of Alvina's l i f e . - 138 - The standard c r i t i c i s m of The Lost G i r l i s that i t f a l l s into two d i s t i n c t parts: On The Lost G i r l the f i r s t judgment- i s evidently the ri g h t one; the splendid conclusion cannot make up for i t s inconsistency with what went before, and there i s no concealed thread to bind the disproportionate elements together The usual reason given for t h i s apparent s t r u c t u r a l flaw i s that the novel was begun i n 1913, but had to be abandoned during the war, and was not finished u n t i l 1920. It seems pointless to argue that the novel as we have i t i s as Lawrence planned i t i n 1913. But the s h i f t into another mode toward the end of a work i s an ess e n t i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Lawrence's work a f t e r Sons and Lovers. Thus, i t i s not only The Lost G i r l and The, Man Who. Died (both of which were resumed a f t e r an interval) which end very d i f f e r e n t l y than they begin—so do The Rainbow, Women i n Love, The V i r g i n and the Gypsy, and St. Mawr. I would suggest that the decided s h i f t i n focus and tone which occurs when Alvina and C i c i o depart for I t a l y i s due not to any i n a b i l i t y on the part of the nov e l i s t to resolve "disproportionate elements," but to a determination to d i f f e r e n t i a t e them. From the beginning of the novel, Lawrence has written i n two markedly d i f f e r e n t s t y l e s — - 139 - i n s e v e r a l o f the longer passages a l r e a d y quoted, we can see them s i d e by s i d e . That A l v i n a i s l o s t to Woodhouse s c a r c e l y matters. The p a r t o f E n g l i s h experience t h a t Woodhouse r e p r e s e n t s i s a dead i s s u e : For t h e r e behind, behind a l l the sun- shine, was England. England, beyond the water, r i s i n g with ash-grey, corpse- grey c l i f f s , and s t r e a k s o f snow on t h e downs above. England, l i k e a long,ash- grey c o f f i n s lowly submerging. She watched i t , f a s c i n a t e d and t e r r i f i e d . I t seemed to r e p u d i a t e the sunshine, to remain u n i l l u m i n a t e d , l o n g and ash- grey and dead, with s t r e a k s o f snow l i k e cerements. That was England! Her thoughts flew t o Woodhouse, the grey c e n t r e o f i t a l l . Home! (L. G., p. 374) However, i n I t a l y , A l v i n a ' s i n h e r i t e d s t r e n g t h s (having n o t h i n g to do wi t h James Houghton) are seen as E n g l i s h s t r e n g t h s , and become (on a d i f f e r e n t , but analogous, order o f experience from Sophia Baines' B u r s l e y h e r i t a g e i n P a r i s ) s u r v i v a l v a l u e s : There i s no mistake about i t , A l v i n a was a l o s t g i r l . She was cut o f f from e v e r y t h i n g she belonged t o . Ovid i s o l a t e d i n Thrace might w e l l lament. The s o u l i t s e l f needs i t s own mysterious nourishment. T h i s n o u r i s h - ment l a c k i n g , n o t h i n g i s w e l l . Having escaped s t u l t i f i e d p r o v i n c i a l E n g l i s h l i f e , she i s con f r o n t e d with the absence o f a l l sense of c i v i l i z a t i o n : 140 - C i c i o and P a n c r a z i o c l u n g t o h e r , e s s e n t i a l l y , as i f she saved them a l s o from e x t i n c t i o n . I t needed a l l h e r courage. T r u l y , she had t o support the s o u l s o f the two men. A l v i n a f e l t t h e c u r i o u s p a s s i o n i n P a n c r a z i o ' s v o i c e , t h e p a s s i o n o f a man who has l i v e d f o r many y e a r s i n E n g l a n d , and who, coming back, i s d e e p l y i n j u r e d by t h e a n c i e n t male- v o l e n c e o f t h e remote, somewhat gloomy h i l l - p e a s a n t r y . She u n d e r s t o o d a l s o why he was so g l a d to have h e r i n h i s house, so proud, why he l o v e d s e r v i n g h e r . He seemed t o see a f a i r n e s s , a l u m i n o u s n e s s i n t h e n o r t h e r n s o u l , something f r e e , t ouched w i t h d i v i n i t y such as 'these p e o p l e here' l a c k e d C i c i o ' s a b i l i t y t o o f f e r A l v i n a a r e l a t i o n s h i p u n l i k e any o t h e r i n the n o v e l i s e x p l a i n e d i n terms o f h i s not b e i n g E n g l i s h . N e v e r t h e l e s s , he r e p r e s e n t s o n l y i m p e r f e c t l y t h a t mode o f e x p e r i e n c e w h i c h , from the t i m e o f h e r i n i t i a t i o n as a n u r s e , she has been p r e p a r e d t o A l v i n a w a t c h i n g him, as i f h y p n o t i z e d , saw h i s o l d b e a u t y , formed t h r o u g h c i v i l i z a t i o n a f t e r c i v i l i z a t i o n , and a t t h e same time she saw h i s modern v u l g a r i a n i s m , and decadence. Added t o h e r sense o f a l i e n a t i o n and t h e v i c i s s i t u d e s o f h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h C i c i o , i s t h e even more t e r r i f y i n g ( L . G., p. 370) e n t i r e l y . a c c e p t : ( L . G., p. 265) p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t C i c i o may not have t h e courage and v i t a l i t y - 141 - n e c e s s a r y to s u r v i v e the war. W i l l i n g as Lawrence i s to t i n k e r with the c o n v e n t i o n a l n a t u r a l i s t mechanics o f h e r e d i t y and environment, he i s so c o n s t i t u t i o n a l l y h o s t i l e to the n o t i o n o f determinism t h a t he r e f u s e s to e n t e r t a i n the i d e a t h a t C i c i o might be k i l l e d f o r any reason o t h e r than a f a i l u r e o f v i t a l i t y w i t h i n him- s e l f . By a powerful e x e r t i o n o f w i l l , A l v i n a can attempt to f o r c e him t o the commitment to l i f e . But we are by no means sure o f her success: To A l v i n a , the l a s t o f the f a n t a s t i c but pure-bred race o f Houghton, the problem o f her f a t e was t e r r i b l y abstruse. (L. G., p. 190) I t i s the fundamental assumption o f n a t u r a l i s m t h a t the i n d i v i d u a l i s determined by h e r e d i t y and environment. In The L o s t G i r l , as i n The Rainbow. Lawrence uses the con- cept o f h e r e d i t y i n a v a r i e t y o f ways. But i t i s never used as a l i m i t i n g f o r c e — r a t h e r i t p r o v i d e s p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r escape from the r e s t r i c t i o n s o f environment. The f u r t h e r p r i n c i p l e o f n a t u r a l i s m — t h a t i f an i n d i v i d u a l stands out a g a i n s t h i s environment he i s bound to be i t s v i c t i m — L a w r e n c e assents t o , i n The L o s t G i r l and elsewhere, o n l y i n s o f a r as the i n d i v i d u a l i s w i l l i n g t o be engaged w i t h s o c i e t y . H i s r e a l concern i s with the s u c c e s s f u l attempt o f the i n d i v i d u a l to break out o f h i s m i l i e u i n 142 - o r d e r t o achieve f u l f i l l m e n t . In the process o f doing t h i s , he i s l i a b l e to f a i l u r e at many p o i n t s and f o r many reasons—some o f them, i n the broadest sense, s o c i a l . But these hazards are o f an e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t o r d e r than those which appear w i t h i n the r e s t r i c t e d m i l i e u o f the n a t u r a l i s t convention. And even i n t h i s , h i s n o v e l most d i r e c t l y concerned w i t h n a t u r a l i s m , i t i s o n l y t h a t o r d e r o f experience w i t h which Lawrence i s s e r i o u s l y concerned. - 143 - Footnotes - Chapter VI D. H. Lawrence, The Lost G i r l (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1 950 U-920J ) , Introduction by Richard Aldington, p. 8~. 2 H. T. Moore, ed., The Collected Letters of D. H« Lawrence. V o l . I (London: Heinemann, 1 9 6 2 ), l e t t e r to Edward Garnett dated Id A p r i l 1 9 1 3 , p. 2 0 0 . 3 Moore, Collected Letters, l e t t e r to A. W. McLeod dated 6 October 1 9 1 2 , p. 1 5 0 . 4 I b i d . 5 D. H. Lawrence, Phoenix I, p. 3 1 2 . Phoenix I, p. 532 and elsewhere. 7 See "Study of Thomas Hardy," Phoenix I. 3 This phrase i s surely a dig at Bennett's o f t - repreated phrase, "romance of commercialism." 9 Keith Sagar, The Art of D. H. Lawrence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1 9 6 6 ) , pp. 37-3. Moore, Collected Letters, l e t t e r to Edward Garnett dated 5 June 1 9 1 4 , p. 232. Graham Hough, The Dark Sun (London: Duckworth, 1 9 5 6 ) , p. 9 5 . - 144 - CHAPTER VII Unlike The Lost G i r l , The Rainbow i s pre-eminently a family chronicle. The chronicle form, which i n The Lost G i r l i s f i r s t altered beyond recognition and then v i r t u a l l y dismissed, i s i n t h i s novel the s t r u c t u r a l embodiment of the primary concern of the novel: The rendering of the continuity and rhythm of l i f e through the in d i v i d u a l l i v e s has involved a marvellous i n - vention of form, and no one who sees what i s done w i l l complain of the absence of what i s not done. I t i s the same l i f e , and they are d i f f e r e n t l i v e s , l i v i n g d i f f e r e n t l y the same problems—the same though d i f f e r e n t — i n three i n t e r l i n k e d generations: that i s how the form i s f e l t . ^ In a l e t t e r already quoted, Lawrence wrote: I can:only write what I f e e l pretty strongly about: and that, at present, i s the r e l a t i o n between men and women. After a l l , i t i s the problem of today, the establishment of a new r e l a t i o n , or the readjustment of the old one, between men and women.2 As we have seen, i n The Lost G i r l t h i s concern i s i n t e r - preted almost e n t i r e l y i n sexual terms. In the diminished world', of Woodhouse, there i s no question of any other f u l f i l l m e n t — o n l y a damaged human being (that i s , one determined by the environment) could f i n d f u l f i l l m e n t within such an unpromising milieu. In The Rainbow, the - 145 issue i s made i n f i n i t e l y more complex by the increasingly conscious need of the characters for a two-fold f u l f i l l - ment—both through a personal (sexual) r e l a t i o n s h i p , and through meaningful s o c i a l relationships (that i s , through a function i n s o c i e t y ) . Indeed, the promise of t h i s l a t t e r i s the growing significance of the main image of the novel? The rainbow metaphor comes to stand for many things before the novel i s f i n i s h e d , but f i n a l l y i t stands for the p o s s i b l i t y of r e c o n c i l i a t i o n between the v i t a l s e l f and the human community.^ Where The Lost G i r l only , alludes to i t , The Rainbow i s i n a very important sense about s o c i a l change. We are constantly allowed to make the sort of comparisons between the l i v e s of one generation and another that we do i n Mann's Buddenbrooks. And, just as i n the German novel, the differences!.that we f i n d are the r e f l e c t i o n s of s o c i a l change. There are no stock characters i n t h i s novel, and yet Tom Brangwen (the yeoman farmer), Lydia Lensky (as the erstwhile revolutionary and emancipee), W i l l Brangwen (the Ruskinian craftsman), Ursula (the "new woman"), and Skrebensky (imperialist) are recognizable s o c i a l types. In t h i s context, the chronicle structure portrays at once the increasingly conscious demands through successive generations of i n d i v i d u a l characters upon t h e i r - 146 environment, and the progressive f a i l u r e of the environ- ment to provide viable ways of f u l f i l l m e n t for the characters. The novel begins as a sort of pastoral epic. The farmers are f u l f i l l e d by t h e i r l i f e on the farm; t h e i r wives, by that l i f e as i t i s enhanced by dreams of another l i f e . There s t i l l are actual human embodiments of the imaginative i d e a l : The lady of the H a l l was the l i v i n g dream of t h e i r l i v e s , her l i f e was the epic that inspired t h e i r l i v e s . In her they l i v e d imaginatively, and i n gossiping of her husband who drank, of her scandalous brother, or of Lord William Bentley her f r i e n d , member of parliament for the d i v i s i o n , they had t h e i r own Odyssey enacting i t s e l f , Penelope and Ulysses before them, and Circe and the swine and the endless web. i But the intrusion of the modern world into the landscape i s the start of the action of the novel. The Brangwens become a v e s t i g i a l enclave, e x i s t i n g rather precariously i n r e l a t i o n to the modern world: About 1^40, a canal was constructed across the meadows of the Marsh Farm, connecting the newly-opened c o l l i e r i e s of the Erewash Valley. A high embank- ment t r a v e l l e d along the f i e l d s to carry the canal, which passed close to the homestead, and, reaching the road, went over i n a heavy bridge. So the Marsh was shut o f f from - 147 - I l k e s t o n , and enclosed i n the small v a l l e y bed, which ended i n a bushy h i l l and the v i l l a g e s p i r e o f Cossethay. The Brangwens r e c e i v e d a f a i r sum o f money from t h i s t r e s p a s s a c r o s s t h e i r l a n d . Then, a short time a f t e r w a r d s , a c o l l i e r y was sunk on the o t h e r s i d e o f the c a n a l , and i n a while the Midland Railway came down the v a l l e y at the f o o t of the I l k e s t o n h i l l , and the i n v a s i o n was complete. The town grew r a p i d l y , the Brangwens were kept busy producing s u p p l i e s , they became r i c h e r , they were almost tradesmen. S t i l l the Marsh remained remote and o r i g i n a l , on the o l d q u i e t s i d e o f the c a n a l embankment, i n the sunny v a l l e y where slow water wound along i n company of s t i f f a l d e r s , and the road went under a s h - t r e e s past the Brangwens 1 garden gate. But, l o o k i n g from the garden gate down the road to the r i g h t , t h e r e , through the dark archway o f the c a n a l ' s square aqueduct, was a c o l l i e r y s p i n n i n g away i n the near d i s t a n c e , and f u r t h e r , r e d , crude houses p l a s t e r e d on the v a l l e y i n masses, and beyond a l l , the dim smoking h i l l o f the town. The Homestead was j u s t on the safe s i d e of c i v i l i z a t i o n , o u t s i d e the gate. (Rainbow, pp. 11-12) We must beware o f o v e r - s i m p l i f i c a t i o n : "Progress i s not the ogre that t u r n s the Brangwens out o f the p a s t o r a l Eden. I t must be remembered t h a t the g e n e r a t i o n which f i r s t f e e l s the e f f e c t s o f change i s a l s o the f i r s t to be g i v e n n a m e s — t h a t i s , they are the f i r s t t o be s u f f i c i e n t l y d i f f e r e n t i a t e d from t h e i r landscape t o be seen (however b r i e f l y ) as i n d i v i d u a l s . I f the i n h e r i t e d s t r e n g t h s o f the environment are what make the Brangwens unusual people as they enter i n t o the modern world—make them a s p e c i a l c a s e — y e t what makes them i n t e r e s t i n g i n the f i r s t p l a c e i s t h a t they do t u r n t h e i r f a c e s toward c i v i l i z a t i o n . However, i n a l l the r i c h n e s s o f t h i s n o v e l , the i n c r e a s i n g impoverishment o f the environment i n i t s r e l a t i o n to the main c h a r a c t e r s i s the one aspect o f the c h r o n i c l e s t r u c t u r e which Lawrence a l l o w s to be r i g i d l y schematized. And whether the impoverishment i s not due to the d i f f e r e n - t i a t i o n o f the c h a r a c t e r s from t h e i r environment i s not so much a d e c l a r e d p r i n c i p l e (as i n Hardy's novels) as the hov e r i n g consciousness o f a f e a r f u l p o s s i b i l i t y . L i k e A l v i n a Houghton, Tom Brangwen (although u n c o n s c i o u s l y ) seeks f u l f i l l m e n t i n sexual terms, i n an " i n n a t e d e s i r e to f i n d a woman the embodiment o f a l l h i s i n a r t i c u l a t e , power- f u l r e l i g i o u s impulses." (Rainbow, p. 20) But i n the episode a t Matlock (which i s the presage o f h i s meeting with L y d i a ) , Tom r e a l i z e s the p o s s i b l i t i e s o f a two-fold f u l f i l l m e n t — t h r o u g h the encounter w i t h the g i r l , and the meeting with her f o r e i g n companion. Together they p r o v i d e the m a t e r i a l s o f Tom's v i s i o n o f f u l f i l l m e n t : The r e s u l t o f these encounters was, th a t he dreamed day and n i g h t , absorbedly, o f a voluptuous woman and o f the meeting w i t h a s m a l l , withered f o r e i g n e r o f anc i e n t b r e e d i n g . No sooner was h i s - 149 mind f r e e , no sooner had he l e f t h i s own companions, than he began t o imagine an in t i m a c y w i t h f i n e - t e x t u r e d , s u b t l e - mannered people such as the f o r e i g n e r at Matlock, and amidst t h i s s u b t l e i n t i m a c y was always the s a t i s f a c t i o n of a voluptuous woman. (Rainbow, p. 25) L i k e the women o f the gener a t i o n s preceding him (the p o i n t i s made that he was h i s mother's f a v o u r i t e c h i l d ) , Tom sees h i s i m a g i n a t i v e i d e a l i n terms o f a c t u a l people whom he has encountered w i t h i n h i s environment. F u r t h e r , having d e r i v e d the i d e a l from a c t u a l experience w i t h i n h i s m i l i e u , he f i n d s w i t h i n i t the embodiment o f the i d e a l , i n L y d i a Lensky. In t h i s g e n e r a t i o n , at l e a s t , the breaking up o f the o l d way o f l i f e , and the i n c u r s i o n s i n t o i t from a f a r , are an enrichment o f i t — a r e p o s i t i v e g a i n . Tom has not yet a t t a i n e d consciousness; t h a t i s , he i s not modern. T h e r e f o r e , f u l f i l l m e n t must come to him i n terms o f a c t u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Thus, by marriage t o L y d i a , he makes a symbolic c o n n e c t i o n with the wider world i n which she has had her p a s t . But i t i s not a very f i r m l i n k , s i n c e she has w i l l i n g l y and c o n s c i o u s l y renounced her p a s t . And, i n h i s attempt to make yet another c o n n e c t i o n with the world o u t s i d e , he p a r t i a l l y f u l f i l l s h i s needs i n h i s a f f e c t i o n f o r L y d i a ' s daughter, Anna—who thus becomes h i s s p i r i t u a l h e i r . But the p o i n t i s , Tom needs f u l f i l l m e n t - 150 - o f i m a g i n a t i v e p o s s i b i l i t i e s always i n terms o f people, and h i s environment provides those p e o p l e — e v e n p r o v i d i n g f o r e i g n e r s as the embodiment o f h i s needs which extend beyond the environment. Tom i s o n l y a p a r t i a l success i n h i s endeavour to come to consciousness, f o r a l l the f u l - f i l l m e n t o f h i s marriage to L y d i a . But t h a t marriage i s one o f the fundamental p o s i t i v e s o f the n o v e l . I t forms the measure to which we compare a l l the o t h e r sexual r e l a t i o n s h i p s of the b o o k — i n terms of the dominating symbol o f the n o v e l , i t i s one p i l l a r o f the a r c h . Anna grows up w i t h i n the r i c h n e s s emanating from Tom and L y d i a ' s " l o n g m a r i t a l embrace." But she, more c o n s c i o u s l y thanrher s t e p - f a t h e r , wants"also to reach out toward the world from the l i f e at the Marsh Farm: She was h o s t i l e t o her parents, even w h i l s t she l i v e d e n t i r e l y w i t h i n them, w i t h i n t h e i r s p e l l . Many ways she t r i e d , o f escape. She became an assiduous church-goer. But the language meant n o t h i n g to her: i t seemed f a l s e . She hated to hear t h i n g s expressed, put i n t o words. W h i l s t the r e l i g i o u s f e e l i n g s were i n s i d e her they were p a s s i o n a t e l y moving. In the mouth o f the c l e r g y man, they were f a l s e , i n d e c e n t . She t r i e d to read. But again the tedium and the sense o f f a l s i t y o f the spoken word put her o f f . She went to s t a y with g i r l f r i e n d s . At f i r s t she thought i t s p l e n d i d . But then the i n n e r boredom came on, i t seemed to her a l l nothingness. And she f e l t always - 151 - b e l i t t l e d , as i f never, never c o u l d she s t r e t c h her l e n g t h and s t r i d e her s t r i d e . Her mind r e v e r t e d o f t e n t o the t o r - t u r e c e l l o f a c e r t a i n Bishop o f France, i n which the v i c t i m c o u l d n e i t h e r stand nor l i e s t r e t c h e d out, never. Not t h a t she thought o f h e r s e l f i n any connexion w i t h t h i s . But o f t e n t h e r e came i n t o her mind the wonder, how the c e l l was b u i l t , and she c o u l d f e e l the h o r r o r o f the crampedness, as something v e r y r e a l . (Rainbow, p. 106) F a s t upon her consciousness o f t h i s c o n s t r i c t i o n appears Tom's nephew, W i l l Brangwen: Without knowing i t , Anna was wanting him to come. In him she had escaped. In him the bounds o f her experience were t r a n s g r e s s e d : he was the h o l e i n the w a l l , beyond which the sunshine b l a z e d on an o u t s i d e world. (Rainbow, p. 114) One of the reasons t h a t W i l l and Anna's marriage never achieves the s o r t o f s i g n i f i c a n c e r e presented by Tom and L y d i a ' s i s that f u l f i l l m e n t can no l o n g e r be w h o l l y i n terms of marriage. W i l l i s not so a p p r o p r i a t e a mate f o r Anna as L y d i a was f o r Tom simply because marriage i s now seen not so much as a f u l f i l l m e n t o f Anna's needs f o r something beyond the l i f e r e p r esented by Tom and L y d i a as i t i s an escape from the attempt to f i n d more a p p r o p r i a t e means of f u l f i l l m e n t when they are not immediately a v a i l a b l e (or even a l t o g e t h e r understood). Indeed, both W i l l and Anna undergo a s o r t o f d i a l e c t i c o f escapes from such an - 152 - achievement, of which marriage i s o n l y the most important o f s e v e r a l o t h e r s . L a t e r , Anna escapes from the complexi- t i e s o f the marriage i n t o her u l t i m a t e r o l e as mother f i g u r e . So a l s o , W i l l t u r n s toward a s o r t o f R u s k i n i a n c r a f t s m a n s h i p — a l w a y s i m i t a t i v e o r r e s t o r a t i v e , always i n r e l a t i o n to the past r a t h e r than c r e a t i v e o f the new. The r e l a t i o n s h i p o f W i l l and Anna i s w o n d e r f u l l y rendered. In a few chapters, Lawrence g i v e s us much more v i v i d l y the ebb and f l o w of dominance w i t h i n the marriage than Bennett manages i n an e n t i r e book (These Twain) devoted to the s u b j e c t . The sheer economy o f Lawrence's a r t i s too l i t t l e r e c o g n i z e d — t h e c r a f t whereby he makes a r e l a t i v e l y s m a l l number o f scenes convey the sense o f a long p e r i o d o f time, and o f a c a r e f u l examination o f a complex r e l a - t i o n s h i p . He never denies the complexity i n the i n t e r e s t o f s i m p l i c i t y , as Bennett seems so o f t e n to do i n h i s long p o r t r a y a l o f Edwin and H i l d a ' s marriage. Rather, he simply p a r t i c u l a r i z e s the g e n e r a l method o f p o r t r a y a l o f Tom and L y d i a ' s m a r r i a g e — o f the times o f c o n f l i c t (which are not, as i n These Twain, worked out i n a s e r i e s o f domestic s p a t s ) , i n t e r s p e r s e d w i t h hard-won moments o f peace. U n l i k e Bennett, Lawrence makes marriage more important than j u s t the s t a t e o f being domestic. And the account i s sympathe- t i c a l l y done; I t h i n k c r i t i c s have been too quick to see - 153 - W i l l and Anna as human f a i l u r e s . N e v e r t h e l e s s , the marriage i s f o r both W i l l and Anna an a b r o g a t i o n o f the i n d i v i d u a l search f o r f u l f i l l m e n t . W i l l f o r a long time abandons h i s a r t i s t i c work; Anna l a p s e s i n t o m a t e r n i t y , content with her p u r e l y b i o l o g i c a l f u n c t i o n : And soon again she was w i t h c h i l d . Which made her s a t i s f i e d and took away her d i s c o n t e n t . She f o r g o t she had watched the sun climb up and pass h i s way, a m a g n i f i c e n t t r a v e l l e r s u r g i n g forward. She f o r g o t t h a t the moon had looked through a window o f the h i g h dark n i g h t , and nodded l i k e a magic r e c o g n i t i o n , s i g n a l l e d her to f o l l o w . Sun and moon t r a v e l l e d on:, and l e f t her, passed her by, a r i c h woman en- j o y i n g her r i c h e s . She should go a l s o . But she c o u l d not go, when they c a l l e d , because she must s t a y a t home now. With s a t i s f a c t i o n she r e l i n q u i s h e d the adventure t o the unknown. She was h e a r i n g her c h i l d r e n . There was another c h i l d coming, and Anna la p s e d i n t o vague content. I f she were not the wayfarer to the un- known, i f she were a r r i v e d now, s e t t - l e d i n her b u i l d e d house, a r i c h woman, s t i l l her doors opened under the arch o f the rainbow, her t h r e s h o l d r e f l e c t e d the p a s s i n g o f the sun and moon, the great t r a v e l l e r s , her house was f u l l o f the echo o f j o u r n e y i n g . She was a door and a t h r e s h o l d , she h e r s e l f . Through her another s o u l was coming, to stand upon her as upon the t h r e s h o l d , l o o k i n g out, shading i t s eyes f o r the d i r e c t i o n to take. (Rainbow, p. 196) Now, from the very d i c t i o n o f t h i s passage i t ought - 154 - to be c l e a r t h a t Anna i s not a f a i l u r e . Indeed, t h i s passage l i n k s d i r e c t l y back to the c e l e b r a t i o n o f Tom's and L y d i a ' s f u l f i l l m e n t : Brangwen went out t o h i s work, h i s wife nursed her c h i l d and attended i n some measure to the farm. They d i d not t h i n k o f each o t h e r — w h y should they? Only when she touched him, he knew her i n s t a n t l y , t h at she was w i t h him, near him, th a t she was the gateway and the way out, tha t she was beyond, and t h a t he was t r a v e l l i n g i n her through the beyond. Whither?—What does i t matter? He responded always. When she c a l l e d , he answered, when he asked, her response came at once, o r at l e n g t h . (Rainbow, p. 961 But the consciousness o f what f u l f i l l m e n t i s — o r ought to b e — i s arranged along an e v o l u t i o n a r y p a t t e r n o f growing complexity. I t i s almost a s u f f i c i e n t reason t h a t Tom and L y d i a ' s marriage has been t h e i r source of f u l f i l l m e n t t h a t Anna's ought not to be a r e g r e s s i o n t o the b i o l o g i c a l f u l f i l l m e n t o f parenthood. For Tom Brangwen, i t w i l l be remembered, marriage has been at once sexual f u l f i l l m e n t and the symbol of a r e a c h i n g out beyond sexual f u l f i l l m e n t . F u r t h e r , m a t e r n i t y i s f o r Anna j u s t the s o r t o f r e g r e s s i o n which she h e r s e l f senses and f i g h t s i n W i l l ' s r e l i g i o u s m ysticism. But as "Anna V i c t r i x , " v i c t o r i o u s i n the c r e a t i v e power o f her b i o l o g i c a l f u n c t i o n , she has a l r e a d y danced to death any i n d i v i d u a l a s p i r a t i o n i n 155 h e r s e l f or i n W i l l . W i l l has been from the f i r s t por- t r a y e d as " s t u n t e d , " or "thwarted," or " i n c o m p l e t e " — t h a t i s , debarred at the o u t s e t from f u l f i l l m e n t . S i g n i f i c a n t l y , h i s f a m i l y i s the f i r s t branch of the Brangwens to be removed from the land; W i l l h i m s e l f has a "meaningless" job i n I l k e s t o n . H i s f a t h e r , A l f r e d , i s p o r t r a y e d i n much the same terms as George P o n t i f e x (the f i r s t urban c h a r a c t e r o f t h a t n o v e l ) . W i l l a s p i r e s to a m y s t i c a l l i f e o f the senses such as Tom and L y d i a achieve (even as he r e c o g n i z e s h i s i n f e r i o r i t y t o Tom), perhaps because he knows—has had a c t u a l experience to prove—how l i t t l e o f f u l f i l l m e n t can be i n a s o c i a l r o l e . He has a l r e a d y been damaged by modern s o c i e t y — h e n c e h i s t u r n i n g back toward R u s k i n i a n medievalism (which serves, a l s o , as a c r i t i q u e o f t h a t endeavour; i t i s an admission o f d e f e a t ) . But f o r Anna i t i s w i l l f u l a b r o g a t i o n — a conscious d e n i a l o f p o s s i b i l i t i e s w i t h i n h e r s e l f . W i l l and Anna's daughter, U r s u l a , r e a c t s v i o l e n t l y a g a i n s t the domestic muddle, "the p e r p e t u a l tyranny o f young c h i l d r e n . " (Rainbow, p. 30l) She dreams o f the sons o f God coming amongst the daughters o f men, but i n f a c t i t i s Anton Skrebensky who comes: She l a i d h o l d o f him at;;once f o r her dreams. Here was one such as those Sons - 156 - o f God who saw t h e d a u g h t e r s o f men, t h a t t h e y were f a i r . He was no son o f Adam. Adam was s e r v i l e . Had not Adam been d r i v e n c r i n g i n g o u t o f h i s n a t i v e p l a c e , had not the human r a c e been a beggar e v e r s i n c e , s e e k i n g i t s own being? But Anton Skrebensky c o u l d n o t beg. He was i n p o s s e s s i o n o f h i m s e l f , o f t h a t , and no more. Other people c o u l d not r e a l l y g i v e him a n y t h i n g n o r t a k e a n y t h i n g from him. H i s s o u l s t o o d a l o n e . (Rainbow, p. 2 9 2 ) I f Anna found w i t h i n h er environment t h e o p p o r t u n i t y f o r a l e s s complete f u l f i l l m e n t t h a n she h e r s e l f was c a p a b l e o f , U r s u l a i s f a c e d w i t h a r e a l i t y t h a t has no c o n n e c t i o n w i t h h e r i m a g i n a t i v e i d e a l . So f a r from b e i n g i n p o s s e s - s i o n o f h i m s e l f , Anton p o s s e s s e s o n l y a dim n o t i o n o f a s o c i a l r o l e : T . . . I hate houses t h a t n e v e r go away, and p e o p l e j u s t l i v i n g i n t h e houses. I t ' s a l l so s t i f f and s t u p i d . I h a t e s o l d i e r s , t h e y a r e s t i f f and wooden. What do you f i g h t f o r , r e a l l y ? ' ' I would f i g h t f o r t h e n a t i o n ! 'For a l l t h a t , you a r e n ' t t h e n a t i o n . What would you do f o r y o u r s e l f ? ' ' I b e l o n g t o t h e n a t i o n and must do my d u t y by t h e n a t i o n . ' 'But when i t d i d n ' t need your s e r v i c e s i n p a r t i c u l a r - - w h e n t h e r e i s no f i g h t i n g ? What would you do the n ? ' He was i r r i t a t e d . ' I would do what everybody e l s e does.' 'What?' 'N o t h i n g . I would be i n r e a d i n e s s f o r when I was needed.' The answer came i n e x a s p e r a t i o n . ' I t seems t o me,' she answered, 'as i f you weren't a n y b o d y — a s i f t h e r e weren't - 157 anybody t h e r e , where you a r e . Are you anybody, r e a l l y ? You seem l i k e n o t h i n g t o me.' (Rainbow, p. 31l) Skrebensky d e p a r t s t'o t h e Boer war, and U r s u l a a l s o moves out i n t o the w o r l d . What she f i n d s t h e r e conduces to a f u l f i l l e d l i f e even l e s s t h a n what she i s d e t e r m i n e d t o l e a v e a t home. The "shame" (as t h e c h a p t e r d e a l i n g w i t h t h e s e e v e n t s i s l a b e l l e d ) p e r t a i n s to t h e l i v e s o f the p e o p l e she f i n d s t h e r e as much as to t h e a f f a i r e w i t h W i n i f r e d I n g e r . Indeed, t h e y a r e p a r t o f the same t h i n g : U r s u l a was i n t r o d u c e d by h e r f r i e n d t o v a r i o u s women and men, e d u c a t e d , u n s a t i s f i e d p e o p l e , who s t i l l moved w i t h i n the smug p r o v i n c i a l s o c i e t y as i f t h e y were n e a r l y as tame as t h e i r outward b e h a v i o u r showed, but who were i n w a r d l y r a g i n g and mad. I t was a s t r a n g e w o r l d t h e g i r l was swept i n t o , l i k e a chaos, l i k e t h e end o f t h e w o r l d . She was too young t o u n d e r s t a n d i t a l l . Y e t t h e i n n o c u l a t i o n passed i n t o h e r , t h r o u g h h e r l o v e f o r her m i s t r e s s . (Rainbow, p. 343) W i n i f r e d i s young Tom Brangwen's a p p r o p r i a t e mate, and t h e y a r e t h e damned s o u l s o f t h e n o v e l : But h e r U n c l e Tom and h e r m i s t r e s s remained t h e r e among t h e horde, c y n i c a l l y r e v i l i n g t h e monstrous s t a t e and y e t a d h e r i n g t o i t , l i k e a man who r e v i l e s h i s m i s t r e s s , y e t who i s i n l o v e w i t h h e r . She knew her U n c l e Tom ' p e r c e i v e d what was g o i n g on. But she knew moreover t h a t i n s p i t e o f h i s c r i t i c i s m and - 153 - condemnation, he s t i l l wanted t h e g r e a t machine. H i s o n l y happy moments, h i s o n l y moments o f pure freedom were when he was s e r v i n g t h e machine. Then and t h e n o n l y , when t h e machine caught him up, was he f r e e from t h e h a t r e d o f h i m s e l f , c o u l d he a c t w h o l l y , w i t h o u t c y n i c i s m and u n r e a l i t y . H i s r e a l m i s t r e s s was t h e machine, and t h e r e a l m i s t r e s s o f W i n i f r e d was t h e machine. She t o o , W i n i f r e d , w orshipped t h e impure a b s t r a c t i o n , the mechanisms o f m a t t e r . There, t h e r e i n th e machine, i n s e r v i c e o f t h e machine, was she f r e e from t h e c l o g and d e g r a - d a t i o n o f human f e e l i n g . There i n t h e monstrous mechanism t h a t h e l d a l l m a t t e r , l i v i n g o r dead, i n i t s s e r v i c e , d i d she a c h i e v e h e r consummation and her p e r f e c t u n i s o n , h e r i m m o r t a l i t y . H a t r e d sprang up i n U r s u l a ' s h e a r t . I f she c o u l d she would smash t h e machine. Her s o u l ' s a c t i o n s h o u l d be th e smashing o f t h e g r e a t machine. I f she c o u l d d e s t r o y t h e c o l l i e r y , and make a l l t h e men o f W i g g i s t o n out o f work, she would do i t . L e t them s t a r v e and grub i n t h e e a r t h f o r r o o t s , r a t h e r t h a n s e r v e such a Mol o c h as t h i s . (Rainbow, p. 350) U r s u l a h e r s e l f comes t o terms w i t h t h e w o r l d i n t h e t e a c h i n g p o s i t i o n a t I l k e s t o n , a t l e a s t t o the e x t e n t o f l e a r n i n g how t o s u r v i v e i n i t . But she i s f o r c e d t o r e c o g n i z e t h a t t h e w o r l d o f e v e n t s , t h e w o r l d beyond her c h i l d h o o d — s o much d i m i n i s h e d i n f a c t , when compared to what i t had seemed t o t h e e a r l i e r g e n e r a t i o n s o f Brangwen women—does not encompass the s o r t o f f u l f i l l m e n t she wants. At b e s t i t i s m e r e l y i r r e l e v a n t ; a t w o r s t , a c t i v e l y h o s t i l e . 159 - T h e r e f o r e , she i s r a t h e r removed from i t s concerns: She was i s o l a t e d now from the l i f e o f her c h i l d h o o d , a f o r e i g n e r i n a new l i f e , or work and mechanical c o n s i d e r a t i o n . She and Maggie, i n t h e i r d i n n e r hours and t h e i r o c c a s i o n a l t e a s at the l i t t l e r e s t a u r a n t , d i s c u s s e d l i f e and i d e a s . Maggie was a great s u f f r a g e t t e , t r u s t i n g i n the v o t e . To U r s u l a the vote was never a r e a l i t y . She had w i t h i n her the strange, passionate knowledge of r e l i g i o n and l i v i n g f a r t r a n s c e n d i n g the l i m i t s of the automatic system t h a t contained the vote. But her fundamental or g a n i c knowledge had as yet to take form and r i s e t o u t t e r n a c e . For her, as f o r Maggie, the l i b e r t y o f woman meant something r e a l and deep. She f e l t t h a t somewhere, i n something, she was not f r e e . And she wanted to be. She was i n r e v o l t . For once she were f r e e she c o u l d get somewhere. Ah, the wonderful, r e a l somewhere t h a t was beyond her, the some- where t h a t she f e l t deep] deep i n s i d e - her. (Rainbow, p. 4 0 6 ) U r s u l a ' s commitment i s not to s o c i e t y , but to l i f e : She was staunch f o r j o y , f o r happiness, and permanency, i n c o n t r a s t w i t h Maggie, who was f o r sadness, and the i n e v i t a b l e passing-away o f t h i n g s . U r s u l a s u f f e r e d b i t t e r l y at the hands o f l i f e , Maggie was always s i n g l e , always w i t h h e l d , so she went i n a heavy brooding sadness t h a t was almost meat to her. In U r s u l a ' s l a s t w i n t e r at S t . P h i l i p ' - s the f r i e n d s h i p o f the two g i r l s came to a climax. I t was d u r i n g t h i s w i n t e r t h a t U r s u l a s u f f e r e d and enjoyed most keenly Maggie's funda- mental sadness o f enclosedness. Maggie enjoyed and s u f f e r e d U r s u l a ' s s t r u g g l e s a g a i n s t the c o n f i n e s o f her l i f e . And then the two g i r l s began to d r i f t a part, as U r s u l a broke from t h a t form o f l i f e wherein Maggie must remain e n c l o s e d . (Rainbow, p. 4 1 2 ) 160 B e f o r e U r s u l a escapes from the s c h o o l t o t h e u n i v e r s i t y , she i s g i v e n t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o t u r n b a c k — t o renounce t h e e f f o r t t o w a r d t h e t w o - f o l d f u l f i l l m e n t w h i c h t h e n o v e l c h r o n i c l e s — t h r o u g h m a r r i a g e t o Maggie S c h o f i e l d ' s b r o t h e r , Anthony. The manner o f her r e f u s a l i s an i n d i c a t i o n o f h e r complete c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f h e r s p e c i a l r e q u i r e m e n t s o f l i f e : She t u r n e d away, she t u r n e d round from him, and saw the e a s t f l u s h e d s t r a n g e l y r o s e , t h e moon coming y e l l o w and l o v e l y upon a r o s y s k y , above t h e d a r k e n i n g , b l u i s h snow. A l l t h i s so b e a u t i f u l , a l l t h i s so l o v e l y l He d i d not see i t . He was one w i t h i t . Her s e e i n g s e p a r a t e d them i n f i n i t e l y . . . . She l i k e d Anthony, though. A l l h er l i f e , a t i n t e r v a l s , she r e t u r n e d to the thought o f him and o f t h a t w h i c h he o f f e r e d . But she was a t r a v e l l e r , she was a t r a v e l l e r on t h e f a c e o f t h e e a r t h , and he was an i s o l a t e d c r e a t u r e l i v i n g i n f u l f i l m e n t o f h i s own senses. She c o u l d not h e l p i t , t h a t she was a t r a v e l l e r . She knew Anthony, t h a t he was not one. But oh, u l t i m a t e l y and f i n a l l y , she must go on and on, s e e k i n g t h e g o a l t h a t she knew she d i d draw n e a r e r t o . (Rainbow, p. 4-17) When U r s u l a i s t h o r o u g h l y d i s i l l u s i o n e d w i t h u n i v e r - s i t y , Anton Skrebensky r e a p p e a r s . She w i l l f u l l y b l i n d s h e r s e l f t o t h e f a c t t h a t , even though t h e u n i v e r s i t y o f f e r s a sham f u l f i l l m e n t , m a r r i a g e t o Anton would be o n l y a n o t h e r escape. I t would be l e s s than m a r r i a g e t o Anthony S c h o f i e l d . S k r e b e n s k y — a c o n s c i o u s b e i n g l i k e h e r s e l f — 161 - cannot t u r n back to a s o u l l e s s l i f e o f the senses without denying h i m s e l f as a human b e i n g . I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t h a t , on the f i r s t n i g h t o f t h e i r resumed c o u r t s h i p , we hear echoes o f the water imagery t h a t l a s t o c c u r r e d i n the f l o o d t h a t swept away Tom Brangwen, and with him the o l d e r , l e s s complex way o f l i f e : The thought o f walking i n the dark, f a r - r e a c h i n g water-meadows, beside the f u l l r i v e r , t r a n s p o r t e d her. Dark water f l o w i n g i n s i l e n c e through the b i g r e s t l e s s n i g h t made her f e e l w i l d . (Rainbow, p. 445) U r s u l a i s i n danger o f a r r i v i n g at the p o i n t at which L y d i a Lensky was b e f o r e she came to Derbyshire—--with the c r u c i a l d i f f e r e n c e t h a t the o l d l i f e (as represented by her grandfather) i s gone f o r e v e r . When U r s u l a d i s c o v e r s t h a t she i s pregnant, a f t e r the engagement has been broken, she undergoes the f i n a l temptation to l a p s e back i n t o p u r e l y p h y s i c a l l i f e : Her f l e s h t h r i l l e d , but her s o u l was s i c k . I t seemed, t h i s c h i l d , l i k e the s e a l set on her own n u l l i t y . Yet she was g l a d i n her f l e s h t h a t she was w i t h c h i l d . She began to t h i n k , t h a t she would w r i t e to Skrebensky, that she would go out to him, and marry him, and l i v e simply as a good wif e to him. What d i d the s e l f , the form o f l i f e , matter? Only the l i v i n g from day to day mattered, the beloved e x i s t e n c e i n the body, r i c h , p e a c e f u l , complete, w i t h no beyond, no f u r t h e r t r o u b l e , no f u r t h e r c o m p l i c a t i o n . She had been wrong, she had been arrogant - 162 - and w i c k e d , w a n t i n g t h a t o t h e r t h i n g , t h a t f a n t a s t i c freedom, t h a t i l l u s o r y , c o n c e i t e d f u l f i l m e n t w h i c h she had imagined she c o u l d n ot have w i t h Skrebensky. Who was she t o be w a n t i n g some f a n t a s t i c f u l f i l m e n t i n h e r l i f e ? Was i t not enough t h a t she had h e r man, h e r c h i l d r e n , h e r p l a c e o f s h e l t e r under t h e sun. Was i t not enough f o r h e r , as i t had been enough f o r her mother? She would marry and l o v e h e r husband and f i l l h e r p l a c e s i m p l y . That was the i d e a l . (Rainbow, p. 434-5) I t i s , o f c o u r s e , not t h e i d e a l . I n t h e terms o f t h i s n o v e l , t o be f u l l y c o n s c i o u s i s t o be s e l f - r e s p o n s i b l e . I n t h e e p i s o d e o f t h e h o r s e s , U r s u l a works out o f t h i s modd o f s i m p l e a b n e g a t i o n . I t i s i m p o r t a n t t h a t t h e h o r s e s a r e d e s c r i b e d i n t h e same v o c a b u l a r y as t h e e a r l i e r d e s c r i p t i o n o f Anthony S c h o f i e l d . I n s o f a r as t h e y have a s i m p l e e q u i v a l e n t , t h e h o r s e s s t a n d f o r p u r e l y p h y s i c a l b e i n g , and t h e y r e p r e s e n t t o U r s u l a t h e t e m p t a t i o n ( w h i c h , i n t h e f a c e o f a l l h er t h w a r t e d e f f o r t s t o f i n d f u l f i l l - ment i n t h e w o r l d , by t h i s t i m e amounts t o compulsion) t o r e v e r t t o such a mode o f b e i n g when t h e r e i s i n f a c t no v i a b l e way o f d o i n g so; Anton i s much l e s s t o h e r t h a n h e r f a t h e r was t o Anna. U r s u l a , i n becoming f u l l y c o n s c i o u s , has e v o l v e d away from such a l i f e . J u s t as i m p o r t a n t , so has t h e environment changed. As U r s u l a has become more complex, t h e environment has become l e s s c omplete. - 163 - I n k e e p i n g w i t h Lawrence's a b s o l u t e i n s i s t e n c e upon s e l f - d e t e r m i n a t i o n (we a r e reminded o f t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f C i c i o ' s d e a t h , a t t h e end o f The L o s t G i r l ) , once U r s u l a has f r e e d h e r s e l f f r o m th e h o r s e s , t h e baby i s m i s c a r r i e d . That i s , h e r c h o i c e s were o n l y t e m p o r a r i l y d e t e r m i n e d even by a n o t i o n o f h e r b i o l o g i c a l r o l e . C r i t i c s o f t e n comment'* t h a t , i n t h e e x i g e n c y o f h e r demands upon l i f e , U r s u l a ceases t o be a s y m p a t h e t i c c h a r a c t e r t o the r e a d e r — n o t a b l y , i n h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p t o Anton Skrebensky. But t h i s modern S t . U r s u l a i s not t o be a m a r t y r . We a r e c a r r i e d back t o t h e C h r i s t i a n s a i n t ' s m y t h o l o g i c a l p r o t o t y p e i n t h e scenes under th e moon. The T e u t o n i c goddess Hb'rsel i s an - I s i s f i g u r e : The goddess H o r s e l was, i n f a c t , t h e moon-deity, g l i d i n g i n h e r s i l v e r s k i f f o v e r the b l u e sea o f t h e sky, accompanied by her t r a i n o f stars.£ U n l i k e T e s s , a more p a s s i v e Persephone f i g u r e , U r s u l a i s e x c e e d i n g l y f i e r c e f o r s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n , even t o t h e p o i n t o f d e s t r o y i n g such a human n u l l i t y as Anton. A f t e r the e p i s o d e o f t h e h o r s e s , U r s u l a goes t h r o u g h a dark n i g h t o f t h e s o u l i n which h e r s p i r i t u a l j o u r n e y i n g seems u n m i t i g a t e d l y b l e a k and p r o f i t l e s s : She had an i d e a t h a t she must walk f o r t h e r e s t o f h e r l i f e , w e a r i l y , w e a r i l y . S tep a f t e r s t e p , s t e p a f t e r s t e p , and always a l o n g t h e wet, r a i n y r o a d between - 164 - the hedges. Step a f t e r step, step a f t e r step, the monotony produced a deep, c o l d sense of nausea i n her. How profound was her c o l d nausea, how profound! (Rainbow, p. 491) But out o f the p a i n and misery of her i l l n e s s , her complete i n d i v i d u a l i t y i s f o r g e d : Her s o u l l a y s t i l l and permanent, f u l l o f p a i n , but i t s e l f f o r ever. Under a l l her i l l n e s s , p e r s i s t e d a deep, u n a l t e r a b l e knowledge. (Rainbow, p. 49l) A n d - i t i s t h i s — h e r completion i n conscious i n d i v i d u a l i t y — which i s the p r e r e q u i s i t e f o r her v i s i o n o f a s o c i e t y i n which the two-fold f u l f i l l m e n t t h a t has been the a s p i r a t i o n o f a l l the g e n e r a t i o n s of the novel i s p o s s i b l e . The cost o f a r r i v i n g at t h i s p o i n t has been very g r e a t — U r s u l a has not known, and i s u n l i k e l y ever to know, the s o r t o f f u l - f i l l m e n t t h a t Tom and L y d i a achieved. But i t i s o n l y !she who a c t u a l l y sees the v i s i o n a r y r a i n b o w — t h e s e e i n g o f which is, the o t h e r p i l l a r of the rainbow: And then, i n the blowing c l o u d s , she saw a band o f f a i n t i r i d e s c e n c e c o l o r i n g i n f a i n t c o l o u r s a p o r t i o n o f the h i l l . And f o r g e t t i n g , s t a r t l e d , she looked f o r the h o v e r i n g c o l o u r and saw a rainbow forming i t s e l f . In once place i t gleamed f i e r c e l y , and, her heart anguished w i t h hope, she sought the shadow of i r i s where the bow should be. S t e a d i l y the c o l o u r gathered, m y s t e r i o u s l y , from nowhere, i t took presence upon i t s e l f , t h e r e was a f a i n t , v a s t rainbow. The - 165 - arc bended and strengthened i t s e l f t i l l i t arched i n d o m i t a b l e , making great a r c h i t e c t u r e o f l i g h t and c o l o u r and space of heaven, i t s p e d e s t a l s luminous i n the c o r r u p t i o n o f new houses on the low h i l l , i t s arch the top o f heaven. And the rainbow stood on the e a r t h . She knew t h a t the s o r d i d people who cr e p t h a r d - s c a l e d and separate on the face o f the world's c o r r u p t i o n were l i v i n g s t i l l , t h a t the rainbow was arched i n t h e i r blood and would q u i v e r to l i f e i n t h e i r s p i r i t , t h a t t h e y would c a s t o f f t h e i r horny c o v e r i n g o f d i s i n t e g r a t i o n , t h a t new, c l e a n , naked bodies would i s s u e to a new germination, to a new growth, r i s i n g to the l i g h t and to the wind and the c l e a n r a i n o f heaven. She saw i n the rainbow the e a r t h ' s new a r c h i - t e c t u r e , the o l d , b r i t t l e c o r r u p t i o n o f houses and f a c t o r i e s swept away, the world b u i l t up i n a l i v i n g f a b r i c o f T r u t h , f i t t i n g to the o v e r - a r c h i n g heaven. (Rainbow, pp. 495-6) The v i s i o n o f the rainbow, wi t h i t s accompanying imagery o f germination, echoes E t i e n n e ' s v i s i o n at the end o f Z o l a ' s G e r m i n a l — a v i s i o n which has a l s o been won from d e f e a t by e x i s t i n g s o c i a l r e a l i t i e s . The resemblance may be u n i n t e n t i o n a l , but i t serves as an important reminder o f how much th e r e i s , i n t h i s n o v e l t h a t seems so f a r removed from n a t u r a l i s m , t h a t i s i n f a c t the m a t e r i a l o f the n a t u r a l i s t s . I f we want t o view the novel i n t h i s way, we can see i t as r i g o r o u s l y " e x p e r i m e n t a l " as co u l d have gladdened the heart o f Z o l a : given these s p e c i a l people i n s p e c i a l circumstances ( c a r e f u l l y accounted f o r at the - 166 - s t a r t o f the n o v e l ) , they have a s p e c i a l q u e s t — t o achieve consciousness, which i n another way can be seen as the e f f o r t t o become modern. Having become modern, can they f i n d a way of e x i s t e n c e which w i l l enable them to l i v e by t h e i r o l d s t r e n g t h s — t h o s e which, i n terms o f modern England, made them s p e c i a l i n the f i r s t p l a c e . Where Bennett s t r e s s e s the t y p i c a l i t y o f h i s c h a r a c t e r s ("there are thousands such," he says o f Constance), where Galsworthy can see n o t h i n g i n the world but F o r s y t e s , Lawrence: s t r e s s e s the uniqueness, the s p e c i a l n e s s of the Brangwens. Where Hardy says t h a t such r a r e people cannot e x i s t i n the modern world, Lawrence a f f i r m s t h a t they must. When we r e v e r t t o the f i n a l v i s i o n o f the rainbow, we see the most important way i n which Lawrence d i f f e r s from Z o l a . For E t i e n n e , the v i s i o n i s a reward or compensation. But f o r U r s u l a , the v i s i o n — t h a t i s , the s p i r i t u a l v i c t o r y — i s the c u l m i n a t i o n o f a l l the endeavour o f the n o v e l . N e v e r t h e l e s s , The Rainbow c o n t a i n s many elements t h a t are Zola-esque. The e a r l y Brangwen men and t h e i r landscape have some o f the q u a l i t y and rhythm of l i f e t h a t Z o l a attempted to capture i n La T e r r e ( a g a i n , however, we see the d i f f e r e n c e s — Z o l a ' s farmers are o n l y b a r e l y d i f f e r e n t from t h e i r a n i m a l s ) . But t h a t which s p r i n g s to mind most immediately, o f course, i s the Wiggiston episode, where - 167 - Z o l a i s a c t u a l l y r e f e r r e d t o . Lawrence has i n common with Z o l a the a b i l i t y t o anthropomorphize the a c t u a l machine which r e p r e s e n t s modern, mechanized s o c i e t y , t o make i t monstrous, s y m b o l i c — a s the s t i l l i n the dram- shop i n L'Assommoir, or the shaft-head i n Germinal: The p i t was the great m i s t r e s s . U r s u l a looked out o f the window and saw the proud, demon-like c o l l i e r y w i t h her wheels t w i n k l i n g i n the heavens, the formless, s q u a l i d mass o f the town l y i n g a s i d e . I t was the s q u a l i d heap o f side-shows. The p i t was the main show, the r a i s o n d'etre o f a l l . How t e r r i b l e i t was! There was a h o r r i b l e f a s c i n a t i o n i n i t — h u m a n bodies and l i v e s s u b j e c t e d i n s l a v e r y to t h a t symmetric monster o f the c o l l i e r y . There was a swooning, per- verse s a t i s f a c t i o n i n i t . F or a moment she was d i z z y . (Rainbow, p. 350) But i n terms of the v a l u e s o f t h i s n o v e l , which are always human ones, W i g g i s t o n i s u n r e a l — " T h e whole p l a c e was u n r e a l , j u s t u n r e a l . " (Rainbow, p. 3 4 6 ) — f o r p r e c i s e l y those reasons which would appeal t o the n a t u r a l i s t on the grounds o f t h e i r r e a l i t y : No more would she s u b s c r i b e to the gre a t c o l l i e r y , to the g r e a t machine which has taken us a l l c a p t i v e s . In her s o u l , she was a g a i n s t i t , she disowned even i t s power. I t had o n l y to be f o r s a k e n t o be inane, meaning- l e s s . And she knew i t was meaningless. But i t needed a gr e a t passionate e f f o r t o f w i l l on her p a r t , s e e i n g the c o l l i e r y , - 1 6 3 - s t i l l to maintain her knowledge t h a t i t was meaningless. _ (Rainbow, p. 350) '~- The v a l u e s o f the machine are a metaphor juxtaposed a g a i n s t the v a l u e s o f the organic metaphor by which Lawrence's c h a r a c t e r s must l i v e . He does not deny the power o f the machine—no w r i t e r ever had a more h o r r i f i e d sense o f t h e inhuman nature o f modern s o c i e t y — b u t he i n s i s t s t h a t i t i s , by d e f i n i t i o n , humanly i r r e l e v a n t . I t i s o n l y the human f a i l u r e s ( U r s u l a ' s Uncle Tom, W i n i f r e d , Anton Skrebensky) who are a l l i g n e d w i t h the s o c i a l machine i n t h i s n o v e l . Lawrence a l s o pays t r i b u t e t o the new r e a l i s m , a f t e r the manner o f A r n o l d Bennett, i n the l o n g s e c t i o n o f the novel d e a l i n g w i t h U r s u l a ' s c a r e e r as a t e a c h e r . The l e n g t h o f t h i s s e c t i o n i s u s u a l l y judged as a s t r u c t u r a l flaw, which i s a s c r i b e d to the v i v i d n e s s o f Lawrence's memories o f h i s own t e a c h i n g career? "The Marsh and the F l o o d " serves as a watershed; b e f o r e i t Lawrence i s i n c o n t r o l , f o r c i n g our p e r c e p t i o n o f each experience i n t o a l a r g e r s e r i e s o f u n i t s , and a f t e r i t , as we . . w i l l see, he becomes more t e n t a t i v e and l e s s c a r e f u l . With U r s u l a we come to the p e r i o d i n the h i s t o r y which corresponds to Lawrence's own youth. Lawrence now begins to i n t r o d u c e s m a l l c h a r a c t e r s , names o f people who are mentioned but who never appear, long c o n v e r s a t i o n s that are not worked i n t o the f a b r i c o f the s h i f t i n g verb tenses and the c o n t i n u i t y o f time. The reason, o b v i o u s l y , i s t h a t Lawrence - 169 i s beginning to t r a n s c r i b e almost d i r e c t l y from h i s own experience.y But w h i l e the I l k e s t o n s e c t i o n o f the book may be l i a b l e to a charge o f undue l e n g t h i n e s s , i t cannot be d i s m i s s e d as autobiography. I t i s , f i r s t , a s p l e n d i d example o f Lawrence's a b i l i t y to work s t r i c t l y w i t h i n the r e a l i s t i c mode. But i t i s a l s o a very important part o f U r s u l a ' s development. Awful as the s c h o o l i s , she f e e l s compelled to succeed. Her d e t e r m i n a t i o n to s u r v i v e i s one o f the t h i n g s which most markedly d i f f e r e n t i a t e s her from her mother. She p a s s i o n a t e l y wants a p l a c e i n the modern world, the "world o f events" to which the Brangwen women have looked from the beginning o f the n o v e l . T h e r e f o r e , the d e p i c t i o n o f her i n a b i l i t y to f i n d a p l a c e there i s as important as t h a t o f her a b o r t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h Anton Skrebensky. F u r t h e r , i t seems to me t h a t the B e n n e t t - l i k e treatment o f the I l k e s t o n s e c t i o n and the Zola-esque aspects o f the W i g g i s t o n episode p r o v i d e the c l u e to the s t r u c t u r e o f the second h a l f o f the book. That i s , b r i e f l y , t h a t Lawrence modulates the s t r u c t u r e a c c o r d i n g to the e v o l u t i o n o f the m a t e r i a l s he i s working w i t h . Thus, the p a s t o r a l epic o f the beginning o f the n o v e l i s presented i n a rhythmic, i n c r e m e n t a l , almost hypnotic s t y l e t h a t i s the s t y l i s t i c - 170 - embodiment o f the content: But heaven and e a r t h was teeming around them, and how should t h i s cease? They f e l t the rush o f the sap i n s p r i n g , they knew the wave which cannot h a l t , but every year throws forward the seed to beget- t i n g , and, f a l l i n g back, l e a v e s the young-born on the e a r t h . They knew the i n t e r c o u r s e between heaven and e a r t h , sunshine drawn i n t o the b r e a s t and bowels, the r a i n sucked up i n the daytime, nakedness t h a t comes under the wind i n the autumn, showing the b i r d s ' n e s t s no l o n g e r worth h i d i n g . T h e i r l i f e and i n t e r - r e l a - t i o n s were such; f e e l i n g the p u l s e and body o f the s o i l , t h a t opened to t h e i r furrow f o r the g r a i n , and became smooth and supple a f t e r t h e i r ploughing, and c l u n g to t h e i r f e e t w i t h a weight t h a t p u l l e d l i k e d e s i r e , l y i n g hard and unresponsive when the crops were to be shorn away. The young corn waved and was s i l k e n , and the l u s t r e s l i d along the limbs o f the men who saw i t . They took the udder o f the cows, the cows y i e l d e d milk and pulse a g a i n s t the hands o f the men, the pulse o f the blood o f the t e a t s o f the cows beat i n t o the p u l s e of the hands o f the men. They mounted t h e i r horses, and h e l d l i f e between the g r i p o f t h e i r knees, they harnessed t h e i r horses at the wagon, and, w i t h hand on the b r i d l e - r i n g s , drew the heaving o f the horses a f t e r t h e i r w i l l . (Rainbow, pp. 7-3) T h i s g e n e r a l i z e d f i r s t p o r t i o n i s very b r i e f . I t i s f o l l o w e d by the s e c t i o n o f the book d e a l i n g w i t h L y d i a and Tom, which i s a l s o not very l o n g — a n d i s a l s o a d e s c r i p t i o n f o r the most p a r t (studded w i t h marvellous inconographic - 171 - scenes), r a t h e r than a c t u a l dramatic r e n d e r i n g o f t h e i r l i f e t o g e t h e r . The next s e c t i o n , d e a l i n g w i t h Anna and W i l l , i s a p p r e c i a b l y l o n g e r than the pr e c e d i n g one, but much s h o r t e r than the l a s t , which d e a l s w i t h U r s u l a ' s l i f e . I n p a r t , the apportionment o f l e n g t h to the v a r i o u s g e n e r a t i o n s i s a r e f l e c t i o n o f t h e i r own degree o f a r t i c u - l a t e n e s s . Tom Brangwen has ve r y l i t t l e to a c t u a l l y s a y — as we r e a l i z e when he f i n a l l y , so movingly s t r u g g l e s i n t o speech a t Anna's wedding. But when Lawrence a r r i v e s at U r s u l a ' s s e c t i o n , the no v e l s h a t t e r s i n t o fragments, as a r e f l e c t i o n o f her experience o f the world. As a "new woman," U r s u l a i s r e c o g n i z a b l y k i n to Sue Bridehead, as has o f t e n been p o i n t e d out. The Rainbow o v e r l a p s a c e n t r a l concern o f Thomas Hardy i n Tess o f the d ' U r b e r v i l l e s and Jude the Obscure. Moreover, t h a t concern the f e a r f u l consequences o f the movement o f modern E n g l i s h s o c i e t y away from i t s p a s t o r a l r o o t s i n t o i n d u s t r i a l i s m — i s much more thoroughly embodied i n the c h r o n i c l e s t r u c t u r e than i t i s i n the Hardy n o v e l s . Many o f Lawrence's s o c i a l p e r c e p t i o n s are s i m i l a r — i f not i d e n t i c a l — t o Hardy's. The awful sense o f l o s s which overwhelms Tess r e v e r b e r a t e s i n the l a t t e r h a l f o f The Rainbow. One o f the most s e r i o u s q u e s t i o n s o f the nov e l i s whether U r s u l a , r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f the f i r s t - 172 - g e n e r a t i o n of her f a m i l y to have s t r u g g l e d i n t o f u l l i n t e l l e c t u a l consciousness (which i s to have achieved modernity, i n the terms o f the n o v e l ) , has not l o s t more than she has g a i n e d — w h e t h e r she i s not t h e r e b y excluded from the o l d mode o f e x i s t e n c e wherein her grandparents l i v e d so r i c h l y . Anton Skrebensky's f a i l u r e as U r s u l a ' s l o v e r i s i n v o l v e d i n h i s u t i l i t a r i a n creed o f s e r v i c e to the s o c i a l machine, which i n t u r n i s p o r t r a y e d as p a r t o f the s p i r i t u a l b l i g h t which has desecrated the very land i t s e l f : The sun was coming. There was a q u i v e r i n g , a powerful, t e r r i f y i n g swim o f molten l i g h t . Then the molten source i t s e l f surged f o r t h , r e v e a l i n g i t s e l f . The sun was i n the sky, too powerful to look a t . And the ground beneath l a y so s t i l l , so p e a c e f u l . Only now and a g a i n a cock crew. Otherwise, from the d i s t a n t y e l l o w h i l l s t o the p i n e - t r e e s at the f o o t o f the downs, e v e r y t h i n g was newly washed i n t o being, i n a f l o o d of new, golden c r e a t i o n . I t was so u n u t t e r a b l y s t i l l and p e r f e c t with promise, the golden- l i g h t e d , d i s t i n c t l a n d , t h a t U r s u l a ' s s o u l rocked and wept. Suddenly he glanced at her. The t e a r s were running over her cheeks, her mouth was working s t r a n g e l y . 'What i s the matter?' he asked. A f t e r a moment's s t r u g g l e with her v o i c e , ' I t i s so b e a u t i f u l , ' she s a i d , l o o k i n g at the glowing, b e a u t i f u l l a n d . I t was so b e a u t i f u l , so per- f e c t , and so u n s u l l i e d . - 173 - He too r e a l i z e d what England would be i n a few hours' t i m e — a b l i n d , s o r - d i d strenuous a c t i v i t y , a l l f o r n o t h i n g , fuming w i t h d i r t y smoke and running t r a i n s and groping i n the bowels o f the e a r t h , a l l f o r n o t h i n g . A g h a s t l i n e s s came over him. He looked at U r s u l a . Her face was wet w i t h t e a r s , very b r i g h t , l i k e a t r a n s f i g u r a t i o n i n the r e f u l g e n t l i g h t . Nor was h i s the hand to wipe away the burning, b r i g h t t e a r s . He stood a p a r t , overcome by a c r u e l i n e f f e c t u a l i t y . (Rainbow, pp. 465-6) The outcome o f U r s u l a ' s e n t e r p r i s e — f i r s t to s t r u g g l e out of her m i l i e u i n order to achieve f u l l consciousness, and then to work toward a f u l f i l l m e n t i n which she does not deny t h a t mode of e x i s t e n c e , the i n s t i n c t i v e knowledge o f which i s her i n h e r i t a n c e from her grandparents and parents — i s no l e s s f r a u g h t with s o c i a l i m p l i c a t i o n than any o f the l a r g e r s i g n i f i c a n c e s o f Hardy's n o v e l s . The promise o f her v i s i o n at the end o f t h e n o v e l i s , a f t e r a l l , v e r y much the same as the promise that Tess h e r s e l f embodies, i f Angel C l a r e were o n l y capable o f a c c e p t i n g t h e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y o f her l o v e f o r him. The dangers r e p r e s - ented by the horses i n the episode which p r e c i p i t a t e s U r s u l a ' s i l l n e s s (and, very n e a r l y , her death) are those r e p r e s e n t e d to Tess by Alee. d ' U r b e r v i l l e . Although i n The Study o f Thomas Hardy Lawrence o f t e n seems to be w i l f u l l y misreading Hardy, I would suggest t h a t The Rainbow - 174 - p r o v i d e s evidence t h a t Lawrence read Hardy very w e l l indeed. H i s q u a r r e l i s o n l y with Hardy's acceptance o f what he sees about him: T h i s i s the tragedy o f Hardy, always the same: the tragedy o f those who, more or l e s s p ioneer, have d i e d i n the w i l d e r n e s s , whither they had escaped f o r f r e e a c t i o n , a f t e r having l e f t the w a l l e d secur- i t y , and the comparative imprison- ment, o f the e s t a b l i s h e d convention. T h i s i s the theme o f novel a f t e r n o v e l : remain q u i t e w i t h i n t h e convention, and you are good, s a f e , and happy i n the long run, though you never have the v i v i d pang of sympathy on your s i d e : or, on the ot h e r hand, be p a s s i o n a t e , i n d i v i d - u a l , w i l f u l , you w i l l f i n d the s e c u r i t y o f the convention a w a l l e d p r i s o n , you w i l l escape, and you w i l l d i e , e i t h e r o f your own l a c k o f s t r e n g t h t o bear the i s o l a t i o n and the exposure, or by d i r e c t revenge from the community, or from both.g Lawrence d i f f e r s from Hardy most markedly i n The Rainbow not i n h i s v i s i o n o f E n g l i s h s o c i e t y (which i s so a s t o n i s h i n g l y s i m i l a r ) , but i n n o v e l i s t i c method. Where Hardy tends toward myth, Lawrence remains more c a r e f u l l y a l i g n e d w i t h the r e a l i s t i c mode. We may know more about the c h a r a c t e r s o f The Rainbow than we can ever know about a c t u a l persons, but those c h a r a c t e r s are not g i v e n a dimension beyond the p u r e l y human. The l a r g e r s i g n i f i c a n c e which p e r t a i n s to Lawrence's n o v e l d e r i v e s from our f e e l i n g - 175 - t h a t t h e outcome o f U r s u l a ' s quest a f f e c t s o u r s e l v e s , t h a t h e r s t r u g g l e toward f u l f i l l m e n t i n i n c r e a s i n g l y h o s t i l e c i r c u m s t a n c e s i n v o l v e s a l l o f modern s o c i e t y . The m e c h a n i c a l d e a d l i n e s s o f modern s o c i e t y poses t h e same t h r e a t s as disembodiment i n t h e Hardy n o v e l s , but Lawrence's terms a r e more immediate, l e s s a b s t r a c t . Where Hardy has t r a n s f o r m e d t h e d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t h e n a t u r a l i s t s i n t o t r a g i c f a t a l i s m , Lawrence has c r e a t e d a p a s s i o n a t e d e n i a l o f a l l forms o f d e t e r m i n i s m — f o r him, as f o r B u t l e r , h e r e d i t a r y q u a l i t i e s may be a s o u r c e o f freedom i n i n i m i c a l s u r r o u n d i n g s . Even w h i l e u s i n g t h e t e c h n i q u e s o f n a t u r a l i s m to r e n d e r a p o r t r a i t o f a s o c i e t y brought i n t o b e i n g by an a c c e p t a n c e o f t h e assumptions o f n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y s c i e n c e , Lawrence was w o r k i n g t o w a r d an a n t i - n a t u r a l i s t g o a l — t h e t r i u m p h o f l i f e o v e r t h e r e s t r i c t i o n s o f h e r e d i t y and environment. But h i s a r t was immeasurably e n r i c h e d , h i s t e c h n i q u e d i v e r s i f i e d , by w o r k i n g t h r o u g h t h e i s s u e s o f n a t u r a l i s m t o get beyond i t — by not m e r e l y i g n o r i n g t h o s e i s s u e , as G a l s w o r t h y does i n The F o r s y t e Saga. - 176 Footnotes - Chapter VII F. R. Leavis, D. H. Lawrence: Novelist (Harmondsworth: Peregrine Books, 1964), p. 150. 2 Moore, Collected Letters, p. 200. J u l i a n Moynahan, The Deed of L i f e : The Novels and Tales of D. H. Lawrence (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1 9 6 3 T , p. 42. D. H. Lawrence, The Rainbow (Harmondworth: Penguin, 1949 1915 ), p. 11. E.g. Graham Hough, The Dark Sun. S. Baring-Gould, The Lives of the Saints (London: John C Nimmo, 1903), p. 547. Roger Sale, "The Narrative Technique of The Rainbow." Modern F i c t i o n Studies. V (1959-60, IT7 29-33. Lawrence, "Study of Thomas Hardy," Phoenix I, p. 411. - 177 - H i s t o r i c a l Footnote Women i n Love i s i n a very r e a l sense the sequel to The Rainbow: The problem Lawrence a p p a r e n t l y set h i m s e l f was t h a t o f e x p l a i n i n g the development o f i n d i v i d u a l i t y with ever more and more complex c h a r a c t e r s , o f proceeding, as i t were, to a B i r k i n and an U r s u l a and a G e r a l d and a Gudrun through a Tom and a L y d i a and a W i l l and an Anna. In Women i n Love i t becomes ev i d e n t , however, t h a t t r u e being i s more than a matter o f having a day, as w e l l as a n i g h t , goal.]_ But where the mood o f the end o f The Rainbow i s v i s i o n a r y , i n Women i n Love i t i s a p o c a l y p t i c . I r o n i c a l l y , what B i r k i n wants i s what Tom Brangwen wanted—marriage and a f r i e n d . By a s o r t o f m i r a c l e — f o r which The Rainbow i s the d e p i c t i o n o f the c a u s e — h e a t t a i n s to the marriage i n the death-haunted s o c i e t y . But i t probably i s not enough: Contemplating the f r o z e n corpse o f h i s f r i e n d , B i r k i n i s l e f t with n o t h i n g to d i s g u i s e from him the q u e s t i o n t h a t f a c e s him and U r s u l a : the qu e s t i o n of the k i n d o f success p o s s i b l e i n marriage, and i n l i f e , f o r a p a i r t h a t have cut themselves f i n a l l y a d r i f t . The s o c i e t y i n which, i f they had a p l a c e , t h e i r p l a c e would be, r e p r e s e n t s the c i v i l i - ? z a t i o n t h a t has been diagnosed i n G e r a l d . Women i n Love i s a no v e l about modern h i s t o r y , but i t i s not a f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e . . I t does, however, c o n t a i n with - 173 - i t t h e c h r o n i c l e o f t h e C r i c h f a m i l y — a c h r o n i c l e o f d e a t h l i n e s s where t h e account o f the Brangwen f a m i l y was a c h r o n i c l e o f l i f e and development. Women i n Love, which Lawrence a t one ti m e thought o f c a l l i n g D i e s I r a e , i s p r o f o u n d l y a war n o v e l . So f a r as L a w r e n c e — a s a s e r i o u s , i n n o v a t i n g a r t i s t who was concerned w i t h d e v e l - o p i n g t e c h n i q u e s t o newly embody what he had t o s a y — w a s concerned, t h e c h r o n i c l e form was a c a s u a l t y o f the F i r s t W o r l d War. The c o n c e r n s u n d e r l y i n g n a t u r a l i s m faded i n t o the background as a r t i s t s s t r u g g l e d t o come to terms w i t h t h e war. L i k e most contemporary w r i t e r s , Lawrence saw the war as a w a t e r s h e d o f h i s t o r i c a l c o n s c i o u s n e s s ; s o c i e t y seemed so fragmented, so c u t o f f from i t s p a s t , as t o make such a broad o r d e r i n g o f e x p e r i e n c e as p r o v i d e d f o r by t h e f a m i l y c h r o n i c l e n o v e l no l o n g e r v i a b l e . When an a r t i s t ' s v i s i o n o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l ' s r e l a t i o n t o s o c i e t y i s so b l e a k , and h i s p e r c e p t i o n o f t h e f r a g m e n t a t i o n o f s o c i e t y so i n t e n s e , t h e r e i s no l o n g e r any p o i n t t o an e x a m i n a t i o n o f even a p a r t o f t h a t s o c i e t y i n terms o f " t h e n " and "now." He must s i m p l y abandon t h e attempt t o impose such an o r d e r i n g . O n l y such a w r i t e r as John G a l s w o r t h y , who hadn't n o t i c e d the s e r i o u s i s s u e s o f n a t u r a l i s m , d i d n ' t n o t i c e t h a t t h e e x p e r i e n c e o f the war r e q u i r e d new forms o f e x p r e s s i o n . - 179 - H. M. D a l e s k i , The Forked Flame: A Study Lawrence (London: Faber, 1965), p. 181. 2 L e a v i s , D. H. Lawrence, pp. 1&8-9. 180 BIBLIOGRAPHY A l l e n , W a l t e r . Arnold Bennett. London: Home and • f a n T h a l , 19W. Baring-Gould, S. The L i v e s of the S a i n t s . London: John C. Nimmo, 1908. Barker, Dudley. The Man o f P r i n c i p l e : AVView o f John Galsworthy. London: Heinemann, 1963. W r i t e r by Trade: A View o f A r n o l d Bennett. London: A l l e n and Unwin, 1966. B a r t l e t t , Lynn G. and W i l l i a m R. Sherwood, eds. The E n g l i s h Novel: Background Readings. P h i l a d e l p h i a : J . B. L i p i n c o t t , 1967. Barzun, Jacques. Darwin. 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