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The sleeping beauty motif in the short stories of D. H. Lawrence

Backhouse, J. L. (1969) The sleeping beauty motif in the short stories of D. H. Lawrence. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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Abstract

In this thesis, ten tales covering almost the whole of D.H. Lawrence's writing career have been analysed in terms of the 'Sleeping Beauty' motif or "the myth of the awakened sleeper" - a motif which has been noted briefly in Lawrence's fiction by several critics. Chapter one begins with a discussion of the Sleeping Beauty legend, its origins and its variants, and leads on to a comparison and contrast of two early tales. The Mitch a la Mode and The Daughters of the Vicar; these are, respectively, examples of Lawrence's treatment of the motif in symbolic and realistic terms. There is a further contrast in that these stories introduce the two types of 'Sleeping Beauty’ women, respectively - i.e. those who reject the awakening which offers liberation, and those who accept "the lover's kiss that awakens the Sleeping Beauty.” In Chapter Two The Horse-Dealer’s Daughter, You Touched We and The Fox are examined; they possess marked similarities of character and setting, but are sufficiently-varied treatments of the motif to warrant individual analysis. Chapter Three is concerned with The Princess and None of That, both variants on the negative aspect of the theme, in that they deal with 'Sleeping Beauty' heroines who ultimately reject any awakening. The Princess is a mature and skilful treatment of this aspect of the theme, whereas None of That is shown to be technically and artistically a regression. With Sun, Glad Ghosts and The Virgin and the Gipsy, all written during the last period, there is a return to the Sleeping Beauty- women who are awakened to new states of being. Symbolism, particularly in Sun, plays an important role, and it is fully discussed. The thesis concludes with a general discussion of the motif as it appears elsewhere in Lawrence's fiction, and of its relevance to his own life; in this connection, evidence is adduced from the novels and the correspondence.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1969
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:39

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