Lady Chatterley's Lover - Feminism

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Paige Green How does a feminist perspective open up new meaning in Lady Chatterley’s Lover? Feminism is the theory of political, economic and social equality of the sexes and began to gain real momentum during the 1960’s, the time in which Lady Chatterley’s Lover was on trial for obscenity: Thirty-two years after its publication! The rise of feminism brought a new perspective to the novel, which had been looked at primarily as a ‘dirty book’ and had not been given due consideration as a literary work: “F.R Leavis set out to judge which texts are valuable and which are not. Value, in such a view, is seen as a quality residing within texts themselves. And critics of this persuasion have generally stressed the importance of characteristics such as complexity, aesthetic unity, literary language, subject matter, and canonical status.” Through a study of feminism and feminist approaches to the novel, it has opened up new meanings in my reading of the text. Constance “Connie” Chatterley (formerly Reid), is an intellectual socially progressive female that is strong, aristocratic who is very sexually aware and has a healthy sexual appetite due to her time spent on the continent. While she did not know this would occur, in marrying a nobleman, albeit a minor one, she binds herself to aristocracy, a loveless marriage and the heartless, consuming world that comes with it. She is a new brand of woman trapped in an ‘old’ world structure. Clifford is a stereotypical aristocrat of the 20th century, he does not value or respect women, he is obnoxious, emotionally negligent and is constantly preoccupied with making money, and everything else is of little significance to him; he pursues money and fame through the manipulation of words. Curiously though, he needs Connie’s presence to feel safe and he depends on her influence for his writing, much like Lawrence himself who said
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