Lady Chatterley's Lover
by D.H. Lawrence
Lady Chatterley's Lover Chapter 10 Summary
- Now that Clifford is trying to be a big industrialist, he doesn't want his old friends around. Also, he's discovered the radio, and he sits alone for hours playing Farmville or whatever people did on the radio back in the 1920s.
- You'd think that this would give Connie more freedom, but it doesn't. Clifford is totally in control of his work life, but at home he's terrified that Connie's going to leave him (which actually sounds like a pretty rational fear).
- In a twist that is surprising to no one, ever, Clifford's hang-dog dependency doesn't make Connie more faithful to him; it just makes her want to run away.
- So she heads off to the hut in the clearing where Mellors works. He gives her a key for the hut, and they argue about whether or not she really minds if he's there. (Hint: she doesn't.)
- Mellors is trying to raise pheasants in the clearing, and one morning Connie comes to see hens sitting on pheasant eggs. Connie loves it. Watching the hens hatch the chicks makes her feel sad about her own childlessness, but she can't stay away.
- One day, she goes to the hut after dinner and the gamekeeper is there. He helps her to hold one of the chickens, and she's so sad about life, motherhood, Clifford, whatever, that she starts to cry.
- Naturally, this makes him want to have sex with her. He leads her into the hut and "with a queer obedience" she lies down (10.67). They have sex.
- She isn't too into it but, after it's over, she realizes that she does want "to be had for the taking" (10.71). Anastasia Steele, there's a new submissive in town.
- They have some post-coital conversation about how they've just had sex and that's going to make things complicated, and then she heads off. The narrator, however, stays with Mellors.
- He eats bread and cheese, drinks a beer, and thinks about Connie. It's not good. He likes her and thinks she's nice, but he knows that the gossip rags are going to get a big kick out of the fact that Lady Chatterley is sleeping with her husband's gamekeeper.
- Connie, meanwhile, is playing hostess at home, but she's really just thinking about Mellors. Her big problem is that he doesn't really treat her like a person—just a woman. It's no big deal to him that she's Lady Chatterley or even Constance; he just likes touching her. But maybe, she thinks, that's not really a problem.
- The next day she goes the clearing. It's raining; Mellors doesn't come. She goes back to the house and pours tea for Clifford; and then heads back to check on the keeper. (You really wish these people would just get some cell phones.)
- He finally shows up and they complain a little more about Society before getting down to business.
- Connie is still a frigid modern woman at this point, so she can't respond properly to Mellors's passion. She even thinks it's kind of ridiculous ("it" being sex), but she goes through with it ("it" still being sex) anyway. It's not entirely clear at this point why she's having sex with him at all.
- The next day, she goes off with Clifford to visit a nice old squire named Leslie Winter, who would be utterly shocked if he knew that she were sneaking off behind the bleachers with a gamekeeper.
- Four days pass. She can't bring herself to go back, but she wanders the woods anyway and ends up visiting a neighbor, Mrs. Flint. Mrs. Flint shows off her baby, a nice chubby little red headed one-year old. Connie enjoys herself, and somehow being around these ordinary working people makes her want to see Mellors again.
- And what do you know—she runs into him on her way home. He basically forces her into have sex with him, holding her so tight that she can't resist.
- It turns out that all Connie needs is coerced sex, because she ends up having an orgasm at the same time that he does. This is totally miraculous to Mellors, and he goes on about it for a while. And it makes Connie fall in love with him. The way D.H. Lawrence phrases it, she decides to "give up her hard bright female power" (10.328).
- Once Connie arrives home, Mrs. Bolton can tell something is up. She's got a lover, Mrs. Bolton is sure of it. But who? Clifford knows something is wrong—or is it finally right?—too, only he can't tell what it is.
- Later that night, the gamekeeper is sitting in his cottage and thinking about how depressing the world is. Everyone just works for money—but as we've already learned, money makes the world go 'round. You can't not have it.
- Eventually he heads out to do his nightly rounds. He finds himself standing in front of the big house, thinking about Connie.
- At the window—but where he can't see her—Mrs. Bolton looks out and see him. She gets it: Mellors is the lover! It's totally shocking, but not really shocking at all, come to think of it, since's he's the sexiest man around Tevershall. Even Mrs. Bolton had a bit of a thing for him when she was younger.
- Finally Mellors gets sick of standing there like a stalker and leaves.
- Mrs. Bolton tucks the knowledge away.
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