Lady Chatterley's Lover Study Guide
One of the most scandalous novels of its age, “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” couldn’t be published openly without censorship. The author was blamed for graphically depicting sex scenes and disrupting the morals of the society. Unexpurgated version wasn’t printed in the United Kingdom until 1960, when the norms were loosened a bit. Was it really so obscene and vulgar? What is it? A pornographic piece? An erotic novel, the prudish society wasn’t ready for? And why “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” is now considered a classical book?
Nowadays, the book is famous not for the sexual part of its content (which can now be considered quite mildly erotic by the modern standards). The author raises a crucial question: is love possible without physical pleasure, can people love with their minds only, without sexual drive? The main heroine of the book, Lady Chatterley, finds her answers, but there are lots of others, chosen by the secondary characters. We see different types of relationships: acceptable and unacceptable by the “normal” society. Polyamory, BDSM-style relations and even the ones that have a lot to deal with parental issues and incestuous desires. The value of the novel is so high mostly because, despite of the time of writing, the author doesn’t condemn any of the participants of such relations. Every of them has the right to search for love and sexual experience in every way they want. Moreover, the very definition of love means different things for different people: from emotional close relationship to kinks and sheer passion to mutual respect and intellectual pleasures.
The ideas of the novel with relationships between the members of different social statuses, adultery, kinky sex (for that time) and sexual pleasure in general, were too revolutionary for the readers of the times of Lawrence. It was natural to resist and be disgusted of them. But now, as modern people with broader worldview, we can fully understand and praise the novel for depicting the wide variety of love possible between human beings.