KimN ~ The Rainbow

28 03 2009

The Rainbow ~ D.H. Lawrence

March 12 ~ My track record so far on this blog consists mostly of popular fiction, so I thought I’d better pick up a Literary Classic for my next read!  This book was actually recommended to me by my friend Kat, who read it for an English Lit course at UFV and thought I’d like it.

I had a thought, when compiling this intro post… there are often so many different covers for novels as they get older, its crazy!  I’m going to try to always post the novel cover that reflects the actual book I’m reading… it will probably be an indicator as to how old it is!


March 28 ~ Praise the Lord – I’m finally finished reading this book.  I have to be totally honest and admit that it was a tough 418 pages for me to get through and I’m very happy that it is finally over!  This book didn’t really follow in the footsteps of previous DH Lawrence books that I have read, and I was a little disappointed.  The book follows 3-generations of the Brangwen family, focusing roughly on the 3 generations of women – Lydia, Anna, & Ursula.  Lydia & Anna’s stories generally follow the highs and lows of each woman’s relationship with her husband.  The book goes on for 50+ pages of Anna considering reasons why she hates her husband, and then flips to reasons why she loves her husband in the same breath.  Most of this is written from an omniscient point of view, which means that there is little dialogue and ALOT of description.  The story picks up a little bit when Ursula (Anna’s eldest daughter) becomes the focus, as she deals more with the issues that face her as she tries to determine her direction in life – to become a wife or not, how to be recognized as an entity/person separate from the rest of the Brangwens, etc.

Interestingly though, this novel was actually banned or, to be more specific, impounded by police after it was published in 1915 because it was considered too obscene.  After reading this in the introduction I was expecting a few shocking or scandalous moments in the novel.  Lawrence goes about as far as saying that his characters laid together and were lovers… not so scandalous in today’s day and age.  It is really interesting to consider that this novel was thought of as SO obscene that it was taken away from public eyes, but today sexuality is broad-casted at an explicit level in a number of different mediums – books, television/movies, internet, and even billboards.  I find that really sad… and I don’t even want to think about where we will be in another 100 years.

Don’t read this book if you are looking for a quick, fun, or easy read.  Read this book if you want to dig in to the relationships, themes, and the world of the 18th century… I’m sure if I was still taking classes for my English Lit degree that I would have appreciated or pulled out more from this novel!