Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Judith Lewin

Second Advisor

Harry Martin




lawrence, sexuality, women, novels, relationships


D.H. Lawrence was an author, a philosopher, an Englishman, an invalid, and a man. Why then, does he write novels that center around female sexuality and its development? Through critical readings of The Rainbow, Women in Love, in conjunction with Lawrence’s biography, I explore the role of women’s sexuality and the nature of relationships in the works of D.H. Lawrence. Living in an era that did not acknowledge individual sexuality, especially for women, Lawrence was often censored for his discussion of sexual relationships both within a marriage and without. By employing Lawrence’s biography as well as critical commentary, I discuss how Lawrence’s sexuality and his strained relationships with women are expressly communicated in his work. Much of Lawrence’s fiction contains explicit autobiographical references dependent on the period in which the work was written. The Rainbow and Women in Love are no exception, and ask the same questions which Lawrence was asking in his own life circa 1914. Both novels address issues such as the struggle for power in a relationship, sexual desire and development, as well as the ability to achieve a higher emotional consciousness. By better understanding the author and his intentions, I believe that the reader is able to better understand the novels themselves.