Each individual, then, seeks another to join with in order to achieve its own further fulfilment as part of a ‘Two-in-One’. In this chapter we examine the experiences of Lawrence’s characters as they strive to establish positive sexual relationships, which complete them as individuals and do not destroy them. We can start by remembering the axioms we deduced in the last chapter. Lawrence’s characters are hampered and driven in a number of ways as they try to find a mate. First, they are held back from knowing or expressing their true selves by the many deceptions, limitations and distractions of background, economics and environment. They are imprisoned by the influences of family and childhood, social class, work – or more generally the influence of the great capitalist-industrial ‘machine’ which may dominate their lives – or they are prisoners of reproductive cycles (see Tom Brangwen at the Marsh Farm, or Anna Brangwen in her cycle of motherhood). Lawrence also depicts numerous other deceptive conventions which entice them into submitting their essential selves to something inferior. Among these are courtly/romantic conventions, loyalty, duty, obligation, religion and other forms of individuality-killing ‘service’.
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