classics · Lawrence · literature · review

The Rainbow

The RainbowAs famous as D. H. Lawrence is, I have to admit it was not until this week as my course reading specified, that I sat down to read my first Lawrence novel: The Rainbow.

It certainly surprised me. I was under some illusion it would be long over-descriptive romantic language, pleasantly this is clearly a modern book on nationhood, progression and society.

Banned back in 1915 after its first publication, Lawrence alters the status quo on what was acceptable to have in literature. Full of modern ideas, contrasts of generation and certainly with Ursula a sense of modern time is unearthed and rewritten. It presents, especially in terms of women, the vast growth in possibilities, education and freedom unknown in the restriction of the past. Yet as our knowledge grows, so too must our desire to explore this new world.

I loved the resemblance this novel holds with Wuthering Heights, the story of generations, altered heroines; new yet utterly familiar. It creates an impression of honest change at the beginning of the 20th Century, as we face a time of exploration; internally and externally. The continuous mother and daughter relationships echoes the novels need to move forward, as time demands.

This novel rose above my expectations and is a classic everyone should read.

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