Lady Chatterley's Lover Theme of Youth
You know what's really wrong with the world today? Young people. Yeah, Lawrence doesn't think much of the kids these days. In that sense, he's swimming against the tide in Lady Chatterley's Lover. As a decade, the 1920s loved youth. Women cut their hair like little boys and bound their breasts so they could wear skimpy dresses; guys rejected bougie things like marriage and kids; everyone was really into fast cars and jazz; college boys were the height of cool.
In other words, we can blame the 1920s for youth culture. Lawrence is not on board that train. In fact, he thinks that youth culture is everything that's wrong with the world: loud music, meaningless sex, and unfeminine women. We can think of a few fringe religious groups that would agree with him.
Questions About Youth
- Lawrence spends a lot of time criticizing the young. Does he criticize old people, too? Is there any such thing as middle age? What is the right age to be?
- Why does Lady Chatterley's Lover seem to think that the youth of today are so misguided? Is the problem the kids specifically, or the culture that allows them to act irresponsibly?
- What are the different kinds of youth that the novel represents—childhood, adolescence? Youth as fearless and stoic, and youth as irresponsible and neglectful? Is there a way to salvage the concept of youth?
Chew on This
Lady Chatterley's Lover blames youth for the problems of modernity. It suggests that World War I has stunted the world's growth.
If young people were properly youthful, they could restore the world to happiness and wholeness.