ANY MODERN NOVEL YOU LIKE
I am not a voracious reader of novels. But I like novels, because they present a true picture of life. The novel changes in themes and technique. The Victorian novels are large in scope. The method is digressive and discursive. In the modern novels, the writers explore the psychological workings of characters more searchingly and in symbolic language. The novel as it progresses has moved towards more inwardness, more introspectiveness, more psychological depth. Moreover, its form is more artistic, indirect and symbolic. I have read many modern novels like Passage to India by E. M. Forster, The Heart of Darkness by Conrad, The Lord of the Flies by Golding. The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene. But I like most D. H Lawrence’s
novels for their psychological interest. I have recently read his ‘The Rainbow’ which is a griping story of three generations and women’s liberation and fulfilment. The novel proceeds in three phases- the life of Tom Brangwen, the marriage of his step daughter to a Brangwen cousin and the struggle of the daughter of that marriage, Ursula to find her place in the world. Tom Brangwen married a Polish lady, Lydia and this awakens in him what may be called an inner response. They come together in their emotions. In the second generation, things are not so
easy. Anna and Will do not find fulfilment so easily. However, Anna finds fulfilment in her child-bearing. Both Lydia and Anna have appetities for experience. In Lydia it is subdued by convention and in Anna it is wild in the producing of children.
Ursula is the heroine of the novel. Her appetite for experience, frustration and fulfilment form the major interest of the novel. She is the prefiguration of the modern woman. She is at first a lonely maid. She feels disgusted with her home life, with her school, college and university and as a teacher. Lawrence ironically presents the system of education that does not foster and develop the instinctive life. Ursula is dissatisfied with the dry goods of knowledge as the university student. Teachers are machines ; syllabus is dull; teaching method is uninteresting. The system checks spontaneity and freedom. The dehumanising process and life- denying horror of learning and teaching bring in disillusionment. She feels trapped in her love affairs with Unifred Inger and Anton Skrebensky. She has also homosexual affairs with Unifred Inger. Her lover, Anton is not sufficiently a personality to impress himself on her. To Ursula her relationship with Anton is a burden. Her antagonism to the imprisoning male comes from a sense of subjugated femininity. Her restlessness for freedom and fulfilment is expressed in her
disillusionment, her love affairs. Ursula’s yearning for freedom is
communicated through the freedom of waves dashing against the shore. If Ursula could fly away from the flux of her experience, she would have the glimpse of the rainbow. The rainbow stands for a vision, the sweeping away of the corruption of houses, schools and factories and mechanically married life and the release of all the people on earth into a new life. It is a psychological and symbolic novel. Its technique is a mixture of
traditional novel and psychological novel exploring the inside of the characters through symbols and images. It had been proscribed for its alleged immorality. Iawrence treats love and sexual relationship : his characters seek vital fulfilment. He has a philosophy of sex. His impressionistic technique establishes the theme of fulfilment through complexity of experiences, conflicts of will and poetic imagery and suggestions.