Enduring Love Relationships

1300 Words6 Pages
At the time that it was published, D. H. Lawence’s Women in Love was an extremely controversial novel. However, Lawrence’s talent as a writer and his ability to explore the intricacies of human emotions such as love, have ensured that his work continues to be read even today. Women in Love follows several relationships and the struggles that the characters face in their pursuit of love. Three of the most notable relationships exist between Rupert and Ursula, Gerald and Gudrun, and Rupert and Gerald. Conflict plays a leading role in each of these relationships, but it affects them all differently. This essay will discuss how the conflict between characters functions in regards to these examples of the sexual relationships present within this…show more content…
After Ursula, Rupert, Gudrun, and Gerald travel there for a holiday, Ursula and Rupert decide to leave for Italy. Left alone; Gudrun and Gerald become embroiled in a conflict which is arguably the most vital conflict in the novel. Towards the beginning of the trip, they continuously question each other’s love. Despite this, neither of them is willing to admit to any deep attachment. Instead, they answer each other’s questions about their feelings in a vague manner or turn the question around on the other person. Eventually, they admit that they have no love for one another. However, their strong wills make it impossible for them to simply leave. Gudrun implores Gerald to say that he loves her and, when he finally does so, mocks him for saying it. She also tortures Gerald with the fact that he does not love her, causing Gerald to become so annoyed that he begins to think of how good it would be to kill her. As their strong wills begin to clash more frequently, it becomes clear that these two wish to inflict pain on one another and to cause each other great sorrow. Yet an attraction still exists and they continue to be involved romantically. The climax occurs when Gerald can no longer handle Gudrun’s intense friendship with Herr Loerke and almost strangles her to…show more content…
Arguably, the most erotic moment that they share is a wrestling match which they undertake in their underwear. Prior to the match, both men refuse a drink. This seems to suggest that, as they are both stripped almost fully naked and about to engage in physical contact, the idea of something that would further affect their judgement scares them. As they engage in this wrestling match, it is obvious that through this form of physical contact they are able to find unity in spirit. They are engaged in a masculine activity (wrestling), which enables them to fulfill homosocial desires while still maintaining their heterosexuality. The relationship that they share is very different to the relationships that they have with the Brangwen sisters. Gerald, who is usually strong-willed and dominating, allows Rupert to see the sensitive side of him. Lawrence reveals that Gerald is insecure by stating that “[h]e knew Birkin could do without him -- could forget and not suffer” (206). However, in their relationship, Rupert grows stronger. It is he who first reveals his feelings for Gerald, thus suggesting that he is the strong one in their relationship. The main cause of conflict between them is Gerald’s failure to agree to a full commitment, which signifies the forthcoming eternal separation which they face. Gerald is afraid of giving in to any homosocial desires, whereas
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