Anti-Censorship Essays

Indeed, Lawrence’s contradictory opinions regarding race and class are an expression of the confusion and ambiguity prevalent in western culture in the early twentieth readers might consider them unpalatable.

It was an ongoing battle between Lawrence and the publishers, who forced him to make repeated changes in the text so that it would become more acceptable to his readers.

A contemporary review of the novel had claimed: “The wind of war is sweeping over our life.

[...] A thing like The pregnant silence by the authority when the matter was raised in the House of Commons endorses the view that the suppression was related to more powerful political reasons rather than any literary obscenity.

Thus it is not difficult to understand why Lawrence continued to vent his anger against the censor-morons for acting in accordance with the heavy hand of law.

In a letter as late as 1928, he had complained to Morris Ernest on reading his book, Myself, I believe censorship helps nobody; and hurts many.To arrest or circumscribe the vital consciousness is to produce morons, and nothing but a moron would wish to do prosecuted and banned under DORA—the Defence of the Realm Act for its anti-militarism rather than on account of his treatment of explicit sexual relationships.In the novel, Lawrence was expressing views opposed to the public sentiments aroused at the time by the First World War.But the book has brought it home to me much more grimly than before.Our Civilization cannot afford to let the censor-moron loose.Moreover, his novels not only reflected the class and social conflicts of his age but also his bitter opposition to the major conservative notions of the Victorians regarding sex and sexuality.His lifelong endeavour was to sanctify sex and to remove the opposition between the sacred and the profane that had been introduced by Christianity.Anti-war sentiments are clearly expressed by Lawrence in Ursula’s response to the Boer War: the feeling of “unease,” “[W] hen men began organised fighting with each other it seemed to her […] poles of the universe were cracking, and the whole might go tumbling into the bottomless pit.” Ursula’s rejection of Skrebensky, apart from sexual mal-adjustment, is based on the very nature of his conception of society and his role as an individual.He believed in the Malthusian theory of the greatest good for the greatest number, “the whole mattered […] his life lay in the established order of things.” Ursula on the other hand represented a greater freedom of spirit and individuality, more dominant than the accepted role assigned to the women of the age.His works, like all literature, reflect the social, religious and cultural issues of the period he was writing in, but they also establish his effort to go against the conventional ideas of that age.Thus he tried to reverse the popular notions connected with sex by writing about the subject in frank, honest and candid terms.


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