So, I finally finished Lady Chatterley's Lover. I actually finished it a few days ago, but I've been letting it fester in my brain. I now have to write a paper about it and being me, I going to ignore the most obvious topic and go for one that is much more obscure.
I can say a lot about this book. Mainly, it's just a very strange book. The plot isn't that bizarre really. The lady of the house falls for the gamekeeper. If it was set in 2012 I think it would probably make up one of the most common porn scenarios ever. Bored housewife with huge boobs and absent husband does the pool boy/gardener in the shed/pool house.
Three things I found weird:
The last line is about the gamekeeper's penis. I've never seen a book end with the personification of a penis before. That may be because I generally have very little use for penises and thus avoid literature in which they figure prominently. And feature prominently it does. I cannot for the life of me remember the gamekeeper's first name, but I know his penis is named John Thomas. I wonder why his penis has a first name... it's O-S-C-A-R. I'll stop there...
The paraplegic, egghead husband has a very weird relationship with his nurse. The whole novel he's pretty much non-sexual. But when he does have any sexual feelings at all, it's when his nurse is taking care of him and he's acting like a child or, when he thinks of coal factories. Unlike his wife's scenario, I don't think there would ever be a porn movie made about a coal mining nurse and the profits she brought in. So... sexy? Literally... dirty? By the way, I don't need to know if that porno has been made.
And my third weird thing is the language. I think I mentioned before that I'm used to Victorian triple deckers. The Brontes, Dickens, Austen. What that means is that if there's handholding there are questions about propriety and the world implodes. So I was pretty surprised when Connie and Mellors (of no first name) started "f***ing" and playfully using the infamous "C" word. The "C" word here is not "Christian". I was also kind of surprised when John Thomas' visits to Lady Jane (the name given to Lady Chatterley's vagina) were described. I suppose the amount of detail is minimal by today's standards, but this book was published in 1928. So yeah... hands don't hold hands so much in this novel... they have other things to hold.
I feel like some juvenile rhyme should be made up about John and Jane. Perhaps set to Jack and Jill?
In any case, I have to write a paper on this crazy sexcapade. Everything is described using sexual terms from pheasants to factories so the whole thing is one giant sexcapade. My idea is to talk about class. Because no one cares about Lady Chatterley having an affair. They care that it's with the gamekeeper. And no one cares that Clifford is a weirdo. His nurse is just doing her job. Oh, she's workin' it alright. I just have to history-fy this idea and all will be well.
To the historification machine!