Lady Chatterley's Lover
Society and Class Theme
Now we get to the nasty stuff. Lawrence is—there's no way to say this nicely—a prick. He hates the aristocracy and the intellectuals, but he hates the working classes even more. Sure, Mellors is from a coal-mining background, but he rises above his circumstances. Connie and the narrator of Lady Chatterley's Lover both insist that he's really, awfully nice, not at all like those other coal miners. Clifford says a lot of mean things about the working classes, but Mellors is right there with him, condemning them as stupid, ugly, and frivolous. You get the sense that what Lawrence really wants is a feudal society with a noble overlord and happy, dumb peasants. Yeah, good luck with that.
Questions About Society and Class
- What would Lawrence say is the ideal relationship between the aristocracy and the working-class? Is there any middle class in Lawrence's world?
- What is so terrible about the working classes? And what does the aristocracy get wrong?
- What might Lawrence say about democracy as a system of government? Can you get a sense of the kind of government that he would prefer?
Chew on This
Lady Chatterley's Lover believes that certain people are born to be working class and certain people are born to be upper class. Like hair color and eye color, class status is genetic.
By directing nostalgia toward a lost world in which peasants and aristocrats lived in a mutually symbiotic relationship, Lawrence suggests that a feudal system offers the best approach to government.