Lawrence’s stories do not focus on actions and events. His central interest, and therefore the central subject-matter of his novels, is in emotional sensations, and concepts. Lawrence vitalises this non-concrete material with as much physical reality, energy and life as he can attach to it: his subject-matter naturally generates an enormous amount of imagery. At the same time, it is ideas and states of emotion that Lawrence conveys, so his images are driven by ideas. This dual process, where imagery both physicalises concepts and carries the weight of ideas, produces the interpretative richness of Lawrence’s writing. Almost every image grows to a symbolic stature, and much of the description carries interpretable significance as well. The most intense experiences in each novel are expressed by means of metaphors: it is as if Lawrence thinks in metaphors, not in material or literal terms. In this chapter, we will use some of the images we have already met as starting places for an exploration of recurring and related imagery in the text. In the second half of the chapter, we briefly discuss the structure of Lawrence’s novels, with a particular focus on.
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