Essay on Authentically Portrayed Women in Literature

Essay on Authentically Portrayed Women in Literature

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Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina; Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind; Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire. Upon first glance, these classics of literary legend appear to have nothing in common. However, looking closer, one concept unites these three works of art. At the center of each story stands a woman--an authentically portrayed woman. A woman with strengths, flaws, desires, memories, hopes, and dreams. Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, Mitchell’s Scarlett O’Hara, and Williams’ Blanche DuBois are beautiful, intelligent, sophisticated women: strong yet fragile, brazen yet subtle, carnal yet pure. Surviving literature that depicts women in such a realistic and moving fashion is still very rare today, and each piece of that unique genre must be treasured. But unlike those singular works, there lived one man who built a career of writing novels that explored the complex psyches of women. Somehow, with each novel, this author’s mind and heart act as a telescope gazing into an unforgettable portrait of a lady. Through the central female characters in his novels Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Sons and Lovers, D.H. Lawrence illuminates dimensions of a woman’s soul not often explored in literature.
In Lady Chatterley’s Lover, the title character, Lady Constance Chatterley, known as Connie, is the driving force of the novel’s plot. She is a woman seeking sexual fulfillment, and in so doing she becomes an emblem of one of the novel’s major themes: attaining completeness (Squires in Lawrence, Lady 1994 xxi). Lawrence directs Connie’s actions toward this goal, thus initiating her affair with the lower-class groundskeeper, Oliver Mellors--the major storyline throughout the novel. In the first chapter of the novel, Lawrence describes the sex...


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...s blunt yet lyrical writing style unveils the authentic faces of love and sexuality. As Lawrence himself once said, “My sex is me as my mind is me, and nobody will make me feel shame about it” (Tynan).

Works Cited
Bloom, Harold ed. Bloom’s Major Novelists: D.H. Lawrence. Broomall: Chelsea House Publishers, 2002.
Lawrence, D.H. Lady Chatterley’s Lover. New York: The Modern Library, 1957.
Lawrence, D.H. Lady Chatterley’s Lover. New York: Penguin Books, 1994.
Lawrence, D.H. Sons and Lovers: Text, Background, and Criticism. New York: Penguin Books, 1977.
Lawrence, D.H. Sons and Lovers. New York: Penguin Books, 1994.
Murfin, Ross C. Sons and Lovers: A Student’s Companion to the Novel. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1987.
Tynan, Kenneth. “Chatterley: When Sex Was Put on Trial.” 6 Nov. 1960. 5 Dec. 2009. .

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