By Aidan Burns
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Extra info for Nature and Culture in D. H. Lawrence
Lawrence be to note the similarities and any modifications which the new treatment might imply for the nature of the self. Gertrude Coppard is a more clearly defined character than Lettie and so we can understand better the sources of her actions and therefore the structure of the self they reveal. She is not a culture-Philistine to the same degree as Lettie, though neither is she without pretensions. But the chief source of her dualism is religious. She is a puritan; the daughter of a parson, 'who drew near in sympathy only to one man, the Apostle Paul'.
Anable claims that it is the nature of woman to be vain, to dirty the heads of angels and to insult the life of the body. But a study of Lettie's conflict does not really support this view. In Studies Lawrence had noted that the self was partly a product of Nature and partly a product of society. Now, the social self to which Lettie aspires is unable to encompass the whole richness of her nature. Hence, in attaining it, she is forced to kill some of the best things in herself. She does respond to George, does desire the The Rejection of Idealism 35 physical relationship he offers.
In Studies, then, we have Lawrence's most sustained attempt outside his fiction to express his concept of the self. His most consistently held view, of course, is that the best expression of the self is in the novel; no direct, non-fictional expression is ever adequate. So when h~ does attempt to discuss the self outside the novels and stories, he leans heavily on metaphor and analogy. Furthermore, in Studies he establishes his priorities through his criticism of other novels. This method is also used by Sartre.