Virginia Woolf and D.H. Lawrence have some similarities in spite of living in different times. We can put them in three titles: sexuality, politic and society. But both of them criticised different themes. Virginia Woolf criticised men and D.H. Lawrence criticised humanity.
When Virginia Woolf criticising men, she based on her life. Because, she lived in society which men were sovereign. D.H. Lawrence lived in same society in a different way. Because the society he lived was conservative. So, both of them reflected their lives to their works.
Virginia Woolf and D.H. Lawrence were radical in their times. Their thoughts and works were different. Sometimes they were excluded from the society or prevented. But never they compensated to their thoughts and aims. In my opinion, both of them wrote their works to depict their revolt and they showed the life that they never lived.
In D.H. Lawrence’s works, his most clear feature is his open mind to sexuality .He mentioned the sexuality in different ways. He didn’t talk about its ugliness, dirtiness. He did not mentioned with shyness about it. D.H. Lawrence mentioned sexuality like religious respect. He showed obviously that the sexuality based on the relationship between man and woman. Because according to him, the only way that the men and the women will not be alone, is love and love’s base is sexuality.
According to D.H. Lawrence; the lovers must be separate individual, not combine. But on the other hand he says that the lovers must be two people in togetherness, not a person like floating or two ships in same ocean or flying two eagles together. This is his concept of “otherness”. Here, the lovers are separate individual in that they have separate distinct personalities; both being equal and not one dominating the other. Both lovers must be seen as being two people, as the sense of humanity is very important for a relationship. Yet, they must also be together at the same time because this “humanity” needs an equal and mutual sharing between people. This involves a communication; this is not just like two birds flying near each other but not in communication. Two people must bring their separate personalities together in an act of communication and sharing. This is a conscious and deliberate sharing of each other’s separate individualism.
D.H. Lawrence defends that anyone is not simply man or woman. Everyone has a part of man or woman. In this point his opinion is combined to Virginia Woolf because she also thought like D.H. Lawrence. According to their opinion the person who has only man or woman’s brain cannot be successful. Virginia Woolf showed Shakespeare as an example.
The time, D.H. Lawrence brought up, was conservative .The English people behaved like there was nothing as sexuality. Neither they neither talked about nor thought it. Because of this reason, D.H. Lawrence had troubles about sexuality.
Also he brought up with his mother and she dominated him always. Even after she died. Because of this reason he never be happy in his relations. The women always dominate him. The result of this he wanted that the women didn’t attempt to be dominant on men. In fact, they must submit to the men. The changes in the society, was based on the belief that they can use their intelligence and make their own choice. But he believed that the reason was over valued and that individual demands were unimportant in the great flow of the universe. Women’s intelligence was not important for him. According to him, although they were intellectual and educated, they were ordinary people.
If we look at his works generally, we can say that, he is full of open mind to sexuality but he mentioned this with indirect way. Because his works were banned at his time. He created a world he could not live in real world. His writings are what he aspired to achieve but often could not express in reality, so “male love” was his ideal expression in literature. As a result, we can say that he is a conservative in indirect way.
D.H. Lawrence didn’t believe to democracy. Because people were not equal. He was extremely individualistic. According to him, the government must support to the compatriot are free and develop their self-conceit. The government have not chosen a bad aim.
In this way, we can connect D.H. Lawrence with Virginia Woolf .She was against to unequal ness. When we investigate her life, we see that in her youth she also had troubles because of this reason. The Oxford University did not accept her because of the gender. She could go to only the women collage of The Cambridge University. The possibilities of education nearly were not. But she managed to be successful as a writer.
The time, she was a writer, was also conservative. Because men were dominant as I can try to explain before. The women had no right for themselves. Women must have been stayed at home and gave birth a child. Virginia Woolf never hided her identity. This is a big courage for a woman for the conditions of that time.
D.H. Lawrence was against to industrialization. According to him, machines prevent the people’s life. They don’t help people, they make people lazy. People use machines for every work. Machines do not affect only people at the same time environment is effected.
America is other thing he was against. In America there were industrialization, political and social problems and greed of money. According to D.H. Lawrence these problems will make America worse. Greed of money made people aggressive and they tried to annihilate the natives of America.
He didn’t believe any of systems of government. He also did not believe in the government. He thought that the individual doesn’t serve to the government, it must be opposite of this. He was suggesting that the all laws must be removed. According to his opinion the formed social order on money must be destroy. Another order, which gives importance to human and human life, should replace.
In Lawrence, there is a strongly misanthropic quality too: he really didn’t much like humanity. He is usually cold, judgemental and superior. His narrators are often harsh and dismissive of the worlds they describe. This is especially so of women. Lawrence was deeply misogynistic at times, treating modern woman’s demands for education and jobs as a stupid mistake. His model of sexual freedom, in fact, was rather backing ward, too. Bourgeois’ money related conventions were bad, but so too was individual choice: the individual was merely part the great universal flow, and women’s place in this remained submissive, inactive, non-intellectual.
THE HORSE DEALER’S DAUGHTER
We are told that Mabel has kept house for her brothers, for ten years. In this time, the business, once prosperous, has disintegrated into a place where “ everything was gone to the dogs, there was nothing but debt threatening.”
The story begins with the brothers are watching the last horses walked away. The brothers likened to the horses. The narrator describes them similarly “showed a massive, slumberous strength, and a stupidity which held them in subjection.” As to Mabel, faint praise is given, saying, “she would have been good-looking, save for the impassive fixity of her face. ‘Bulldog” as her brothers called it. “The animal has learnt to hid her emotion.
“They were all frightened at the collapse of their lives, and the scene of disaster in which they were involved left them no inner freedom.”
As animals run to cover, and leave the weaker when fear occurs, so they wish to be rid of the sister, the weaker sibling.
D.H. Lawrence uses indirect means to portray sex: in the rhythm and repetition of words, he suggests it; he doesn’t directly state it. Also, the sexual acts are themselves partly metaphorical; they represent spirit soul, as well as emotional and physical erotic pleasure.
After Mabel’s attempting to suicide, her life was created by breathing. This is symbolic of the male or female physical union. Fergusson carries her to her home. He took off her wet, dirty clothes. This is symbolic of the prosaic reality of her life. After this sexual union between Mabel and Fergussson. This acts to bring each back to life from their miserable existence, they reconnects to the universe. ‘Their union is described in physical detail but also by the use of image repetition and rhythm.’
Virginia Woolf based on feminism in all her works. Because, she came face to face with most of difficulties of being woman. In 19th C. the man was dominant. Woman couldn’t do they want. Moreover, some of them were plainly men in disguise because they afraid of reaction of society. ‘To incorporate in a person of the opposite sex all that we miss in ourselves and desire in the universe and detest in humanity is a deep an universal instinct equality at all parts of the society.’ She criticized the order of the society.
In economic way, Virginia Woolf was supporting the economic independence of the women. According to her, the women’s freedom base on economic independence. In literature, they prevented by men. Men wrote the problems of the women. The books, which were written by women, didn’t printed or were banned. In family life, a young girl must have been married her family wanted. The women were lower than the men and they were despised. Their only works were being housewife and mother. The men made ”sexual barbarity“ and she said that” you must refuse to sell your brain for the sake of money”. According to Virginia Woolf the main problem of men is not that the women are low. They thinks that they are superior to the women or suppose like this.
In Mrs. Dalloway, we see an opposite character to 19th C. women. Clarissa is an upper class, middle aged English women and conventional. But she lives, as she wants. In her youth she loved Peter Walsh but then refused him because of his self-centred unconventionality. She married Richard, because he was dependable and represented security and stability.
Clarissa loves success, hates discomfort, and has a need to be liked. She is attracted to both men and women. She had fallen in love with her former friend Sally. In Clarissa’s realization of her feeling for Sally, she is not confused by her reaction to Sally’s openness.
“She felt that she had been given a present, wrapped up, and told just to keep it, not to look at it – a diamond, something infinity precious, wrapped up, which, as they walked she uncovered, or the radiance burnt through, the revelation, the religious feeling.”
While Virginia Woolf was writing Mrs. Dalloway, she wanted to criticize the settled regime. Because of this in Mrs. Dalloway, Hugh Whitbread is the representative of the regime. Peter Walsh is the opposite of him and according to Peter; Hugh Whitbread has nothing except the feature of English gentlemen. Hugh Whitbread has a job in Kingdom Palace. He wrote ridiculous letters, which was liked to Times. Peter Walsh degraded as saying that he preferred to listen the voice of the monkeys in India’s forest. Virginia Woolf is cruel to him and charges him with being hypocrisy. Because he helps people for his benefits.
At the end of the novel, Clarissa was afraid that the party would be obscure. But the president came to party and it wouldn’t be as she was afraid. In this way Virginia Woolf could reach her aim. He mentioned in a contemptuous way about her respected guests. But Clarissa welcomed them as nothing happens. At that time, Peter thought that all English were snob.
Virginia Woolf uses some techniques. First one is stream of consciousness to connect the thought of her characters. The novel is a continuous narrative, not divided into chapters. The thoughts of characters such as Mrs. Dalloway and Septimus Warren Smith are connected by external events in the world, such as the sound of a narrator or the sound of the Big Ben clock as it strikes the hour. Woolf shows that the thoughts of individuals can be connected in a way that reveals a unity in human existence, an exciting world of possibility.
Another technique is inferior monologue. She captures the private thought of her characters in this way. This allows her to transfer from one to another and allows the reader insight into each character’s mind. The narrative leaves one mind and enters another.
The clock is the example of the experiential sense of time, in which “ the moment” expands – as it is filled with meaning. The “Narrative consciousness” shows the distance as essential to a satisfying marriage – Richard gives Clarissa room to be herself. Clarissa can put some distance between herself and her feeling. The party at the end brings together the people who complete her.
Since the narrator’s mind is depending on the character’s mind, this allows the readers follow the minds of the characters. External object is introduced as a means of transition from the mind of one character to another.
The third techniques free indirect style. In Mrs. Dalloway, the past is inside the present. At the beginning, when Clarissa goes out to buy flower, I was sunny.
“A morning fresh as if issued to children on a beach: the kiss of a wave, chill sharp.”
This beautiful weather makes Clarissa remembered her summer house, the days at and Peter she fell in love madly.
• MİNA URGAN – D.H. LAWRENCE
• MİNA URGAN – VIRGINIA WOOLF