Lady Chatterley's Lover
Analysis: Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis
Christopher Booker is a scholar who wrote that every story falls into one of seven basic plot structures: Overcoming the Monster, Rags to Riches, the Quest, Voyage and Return, Comedy, Tragedy, and Rebirth. Shmoop explores which of these structures fits this story like Cinderella’s slipper.
Plot Type : Rebirth
If Lady Chatterley's Lover were a fairy tale, it would start out with an evil beast imprisoning a beautiful maiden in his dark castle. Because it's modernist literature, Connie comes to live at Wragby in the "utter, soulless ugliness of the coal-and-iron Midlands" (2.3) with a "sulky and stupid" (7.72) man who looks like a "huge, boiled crayfish" (7.88), at least when he loses his temper.
Laissez les bons temps rouler, indeed.
Life goes on at Wragby, and Clifford makes a name for himself writing painfully modern and pretentious short stories. Connie decides to have sex with one of his equally pretentious friends and enjoys it as much as she can, considering she has to do all the work herself.
After she and Michaelis break off their affair, Connie almost gives up, thinking cheerful things like, "Nothingness! To accept the great nothingness of life seemed to be the one end of living. All the many busy and important little things that make up the grand sum-total of nothingness!" (5.148). She's kind of a downer at parties.
Things get so bad at home that Connie takes long walks into the woods every day to sit in a freezing cold house and watch some chickens sit on pheasant eggs. (You know things are at a low point when watching chickens brood is the high point of the day.) One day she's so moved by the miracle of life that she bursts into tears. Mellors, the keeper who tends the chickens, is so turned on by her tears that he has sex with her right there.
"Tell me you want a child, in hope!" (15.82), Connie begs her lover. Yeah, we get it. Children are the future. Sex with Mellors restores Connie to life, hope, love, and all those nice things. It might be more convincing if we actually got to see the baby and the couple living together, but, you know, it's modernism. We'll take what we can get.