Lady Chatterley's Lover Study Guide

Lady Chatterley's Lover

Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence

Lady Chatterley's Lover is the story of Constance, the titular Lady Chatterley, and her affair with the gamekeeper Oliver Mellors. Emotionally neglected by her paralyzed husband, Constance turns to Oliver for physical comfort and realizes that she has physical needs as a woman. The novel was considered obscene and scandalous at the time of its publication in 1928, containing as it did explicit depictions of sex and many instances of words unprintable in the United Kingdom and United States.

Lady Chatterley's Lover Book Summary

The story concerns a young married woman, Constance (Lady Chatterley), whose upper class husband, Clifford Chatterley, described as a handsome, well-built man, has been paralysed from the waist down due to a Great War injury. In addition to Clifford's physical limitations, his emotional neglect of Constance forces distance between the couple.

Her sexual frustration leads her into an affair with the gamekeeper, Oliver Mellors. The class difference between the couple highlights a major motif of the novel which is the unfair dominance of intellectuals over the working class.

The novel is about Constance's realization that she cannot live with the mind alone; she must also be alive physically. This realization stems from a heightened sexual experience Constance has only felt with Mellors, suggesting that love can only happen with the element of the body, not the mind.

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