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Ordinary MasochismsAgency and Desire in Victorian and Modernist Fiction$
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Jennifer Mitchell

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780813066677

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813066677.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

The Rainbow’s Generational Masochisms

The Rainbow’s Generational Masochisms

(p.99) Chapter 4 The Rainbow’s Generational Masochisms
Ordinary Masochisms

Jennifer Mitchell

University Press of Florida

Husband and wife in D.H. Lawrence’s The Rainbow equally embrace and use masochism as a tool of intense interpersonal interaction. Lawrence approaches the first Brangwen generation, Tom and Lydia, with a subtle gesture to their capacity for masochism. As their daughter, Anna, marries Will, this second generation is marked by a keen consciousness of the need for mutual masochism in order to render their partnership successful. Anna and Will are extraordinarily well-matched and, in many ways, could be considered Lawrence’s marital ideal. In direct conversation with the flat and failed masochistic experimentation of their daughter, Ursula, Will and Anna’s relationship is telling in its dynamic reciprocity. This chapter traces the three generations in the novel and the ways in which Lawrence’s portrait of marital success is contingent upon the recognition of marriage as an already accepted, socially and legally sanctioned form of masochism.

Keywords:   The Rainbow, D.H. Lawrence, masochism

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