Lady Chatterley's Lover
by D.H. Lawrence
Lady Chatterley's Lover Chapter 14 Summary
- Connie makes her way to the meeting place and hooks up with Mellors, who's been waiting for her in the dark like a total stalker. They entertain themselves making fun of Clifford for not having balls (seriously) and then head into Mellors's cottage.
- He brings out treats: bread, butter, and some delicious pressed tongue.
- On the wall, Connie notices a hideous portrait of Mellors and his wife, which he really should have gotten rid of before inviting a girl over. Anyway, they decide jointly to destroy it, and Connie gets a little turned on watching Mellors handle his tools.
- Connie needles him about whether or not he still loves his wife. She's going to come back some day, she warns. Mellors launches into a long story about why he married her in the first place:
- He was a romantic, intellectual kid who got fed up with intellectual women who never wanted to have sex, so he quit his office job to work with horses.
- He married Bertha, his wife, because she liked having sex with him—only she turned on him, letting things go and not making dinner the way she was supposed to. And the sex! Bertha would never orgasm while Mellors was having sex with her, but she'd wait until he was done and then handle things herself. It pissed him off—"the old rampers have beaks between their legs, and they tear at you with it till you're sick. Self! Self! Self! All self!" (14.100). Yowza.
- Mellors gives her credit, saying that she even tried to lie still "and let me work the business" (14.101). Sounds awesome. Bertha evidently didn't think so, because she'd end up having to "tear, tear, tear, as if she had no sensation in her except in the top of her beak, the very outside top tip, that rubbed and tore" (14.100). You know, like in her clitoris, Mellors?
- Anyway, it's no surprise to us that Bertha eventually leaves him for a man who probably doesn't mind that Bertha actually wants to enjoy sex in her own way.
- The whole experience has made Mellors bitter about women. Really bitter. So bitter that it's time to gird your loins, or fasten your seatbelt, or whatever you do to prepare for an onslaught of racism, misogyny, and homophobia, because that's what we're about to get. In just a couple of pages, Mellors (and ergo Lawrence) manages to make an ass of himself about lesbians, gay men, women, and black people.
- Oh hey! But you're still supposed to sympathize with him. Although it's probably not really necessary, since Connie and Mellors feel sorry enough for themselves.
- He takes this opportunity to pronounce his philosophy: "I believe in being warmhearted. I believe especially in being warmhearted in love, in fucking with a warm heart" (14.180).
- If people were just nice to each other, he says, all the problems of the modern world would disappear. Even Connie isn't tender enough to him.
- Naturally, she gets a little pissed off when he says this, and they fight. She almost walks out on him, but he gives her a nice hug and she decides to stay after all. This inaugurates a kind of touching scene, when they swear that they love each other "Heart an' belly an' cock" (14.209) and then fall asleep in each other's arms.
- In the early morning, they wake up and take off their clothes, standing naked in front of each other. Connie is fascinated by his penis.
- Mellors totally understands, because he's pretty fascinated with it, too. He's even got a name for it: John Thomas. He names Connie's bits, too, calling them Lady Jane. This talk turns them both on so much that they immediately have sex.
- And then they do it again.
- Finally, it's time for Connie to head out. Before she leaves, she freaks Mellors out a little by asking to move in with him.
- He non-answers, but she insists: "I would like to have all the rest of the world disappear […] and live with you here" (14.276). (Side genre note: this kind of talk, when two lovers wake up in the morning and complain about how they don't want to leave each other, is called an "aubade." Poets like to write them.)
- Everyone can relax now, because Connie makes it back to her room undiscovered.
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