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PHIL 2170 Lecture Notes - D. H. Lawrence, The Good Life, Storge

Course Code
PHIL 2170
Samantha Copeland

of 4
Friday, January 7, 2011
DH Lawrence – Lady Chatterley’s Lover's_Lover
Why is it illicit? Class issues, content, explicit sex scenes – claimed as
pornography (“You wouldn’t let so-and-so read this”)
The ‘norms’ become contested – goes against the status quo of the time
Tells the story of Lady Chatterley’s realization
Quotes (refer to ppt/Course Reader):
“And this is the real point of this book. I want men and women to think sex, fully,
completely, honestly and cleanly.” – DH Lawrence
Think sex – Grounding concept. Attitude towards sex, love, marriage, our bodies,
oMoral concept? Every time we say that there is a way to think sex
properly, is there a moral way? Natural vs. moral
Cleanly – Tagged on ironically, missing the point of ‘clean’, sarcasm? Open
Fully, completely, honestly – Think sex is different than thinking about sex
experiencing bodily thought. Think sex is thoughtfully experiencing our sexual
desires joining mind and body
“All this talk of young girls and virginity…” (refer to ppt)
We’re not born empty, blank slates, etc.
Harmony of sexual act and sexual thought achieves completion, maturity
“One does not interfere with the other” (reference to sexual act vs. sexual thought)
“Keep your perversions if you like them…”
Puritanism – abnormal sexual behaviour
Dirty mind – perverting that thought by thinking about it in a dirty mind. By
referring to a thought as dirty is labeling it, propagating the smut
Licentiousness – Not disrespect of God, but rather disrespecting yourself. Ex. To
wear a revealing shirt is to advertise that you’re a sexual being You’re
naturally sexual, don’t need to use fashion to show it. Fake sexuality, as opposed
to natural sexuality.
“The body of men and women today is just a trained dog…”
If we ignore the way we naturally feel, we eventually stop to feel that way. The
idea of teaching ourselves not what, but how we feel (purity, ideals, etc.)
eventually makes it so we can only act in certain ways.
“People wallow in emotion: counterfeit emotion.”
We’re all acting in the ways we think we ought to act – but the feelings aren’t
there. Where are they supposed to come from?
“Sex lashes out against counterfeit emotion…”
Could mean physical sex organs
Sex is the act of principle, an idea unique to Lawrence
Role of sex is to protect us against counterfeit love – rises up and takes over
“When a women’s sex is in itself dynamic and alive…”
Reason – leaves the realm of love and passion
“The is what the matter with us.”
Condemnation of marriage
Love is a union between people, and earthly, natural, rhythmic origins
Can’t have stable, constructed love It’s organic
Isn’t a static ideal – will cause relationships to stagnate
“Sex is the balance of male and female in the universe…”
Not the ability to define love – but to take a ride with love. Pay attention to
thoughts as they change. Not generic
Sex vs. Love?
Sex is the protector of love – protects real love from counterfeit love
Love is a relationship between two people
Love – higher emotion, thoughtful experience in tune with bodily acts. Can’t
experience because we’re trapped
“In the blood…”
Union: union with the earth (love in a relationship, in the world) constant
Not talking about exchange of fluid – the individual doesn’t lose oneself in a
Concept of love is not eternal – it’s about yourself in that relationship
“The church is established upon the element of union in mankind…”
Union here is not a natural concept, but a social concept
A way of keeping human relationships in tune
Church likes marriage because if it keeps giving a way of staying together, it
keeps dominance over the prevalent ideology
Lawrence argues we need to be in tune with body and mind
January 10, 2011
Can we reason about intimacy? Should we?
Lawrence: We can’t reason about desire. In order to have real intimacy, this requires
active involvement of both body and mind. It’s not planning, analysis, etc. – we ought to
‘think sex’. Follow our desires – but not get involved with anyone who crosses our paths.
Are our feelings natural or conventional? What are they and how should they be
expressed? What about our relationships?
Lawrence: Our feelings are conventional, not natural. Union is still an inspiring
tendency. Contemporary expressions of emotion and relationships such as marriage are
perverted by convention, we suppress our natural tendencies and experience counterfeit
feelings instead of real ones when we train our bodies and minds to accept (to see) only
appropriate feelings and expressions. Lady Chatterley gives us a way to get out of the
bounds of convention – relationship breaks the bound of convention. Lawrence wants
people to feel troubled about their complacency.
Philosophical concepts of intimacy: Union
Lawrence: Union is a natural tendency for humans who seek completion by uniting with
others in a physical and/or emotional way; natural union is an organic experience, it
allows for change as the seasons do, and natural intimate human relationships are
modeled both after the experience of union between humans and the natural world and
the internal union between body and mind. Image of the blood: builds the physical
bodily aspect, blood represents holistic image of a united human being, state of mind
humans need to follow their desires rationally.
What role does intimacy play in ‘the good life’?
Lawrence: The good life is a natural life, one in which we experience harmony between
each other, between ourselves and the world we live in and between our body and our
Halwani: 3 Kinds of Love
Eros: sexual, erotic, passionate, romantic love
Philia: friendship platonic, familial love – ‘love of community’
Agape: caritas, altruistic (doing something for no return, completely unselfish),
Christian love – ideally a mother will love a child unconditionally and vice versa,
because they’re family members
oWhat’s the goal of concern? Welfare of being, relationship, your welfare,