Lady Chatterley's Lover

by: D.H. Lawrence

Section V: Chapters 11 & 12

Summary Section V: Chapters 11 & 12

Lady Chatterley's Lover does, it should be noted, make some provision for the health and sustenance of the coal-miners, who would be jobless in a return to pre-industrial England. This provision comes in the form of a plan by Mellors to restore the humanity and the dignity of the coal-miners, given in chapter 15. If Mellors had his way, he says, he would tell the coal-miners to stop working so hard: "no need to work that much." He would dress them in red pants and white jackets. Within a month, women--inflamed, presumably, by these outfits--would begin to act like women, and men would be real men. They could pull down the mining village and erect a "few beautiful buildings" to house everybody. What is remarkable about this plan is that Mellors seems quite passionate about it; Connie takes it seriously; and it is actually repeated in Mellors' letter to Connie which comprises the final pages of the novel. It is, indeed, one of the thoughts on which the novel ends. It may be understood, it seems, as a proposal that this novel takes seriously as an ideal vision for the future of the working classes. The reader must determine whether the serious proposal of this plan is a failing or strength in this novel; it should be evident, however, that this the novel is one which draws its power as a social critique not from its vision of a better future, but rather from its condemnation of a corrupted present. Still, the reader should not confuse baby with bathwater; at heart--however impractical and even ridiculous the specific plan might be--this novel and Lawrence believe that the social order will be improved when people learn to trust and appreciate their bodies and their sensual urges.

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