Lady Chatterley's Lover

Lady Chatterley's Lover Symbols, Allegory and Motifs


At the beginning of Chapter 8, Constance's walks into the woods are depicted as a kind of communion between her and nature. It is as if she is learning sexuality from nature -- re-orienting herself to her own natural instincts by looking at flowers, seeing the world as if through flowers. These flowers symbolize the blossoming of her sexuality. This imagery of yellow buds, primroses, daffodils, etc. is juxtaposed with Constance leaning against a pine tree. The pine tree is described as "erect" -- this is no accident. It is intentionally phallic imagery, foreshadowing her eventual copulation with the gamekeeper.

Industrial landscape

The landscape surrounding Wragby Hall has been ripped apart and denuded. For example, in Mellors' surveyal of the scene in Chapter 10, the actual landscape is full of the remnants of industry and manmade constructs. This is the symbolic significance of the clearing at the top of the hill in the wood that Constance and Clifford come across on their first walk around Wragby Estate: man has destroyed the natural beauty of nature.


Both Clifford and Michaelis are described as being after the "bitch-goddess Success." This means they are after something that is given value by the society around them. They care what other people think of them. Why is it a bitch-goddess? This allows us to envision that it is itself a dog, and not actually worthy of humans. It also is empty as an ideal, even though it makes men slaves to it, because it will refuse men satisfaction even if they worship it.


Constance and Mellors share their first moment of intimacy over a chicken which has hatched. The chickens are bred at the hut where they initially copulate. The chickens allow Constance to show her instinct towards motherhood. It also allows her to see how nature functions in a primitive state, and lets her connect to her own primitive self. Thus chickens are representative of the natural, instinctual urges of mankind, which should not be suppressed.

Clifford's wheelchair

Clifford's wheelchair is a symbol of the kind of formal structure that man builds in society, which is supposed to operate autonomously. In the scene in which Clifford's wheelchair breaks down on a hill, Lawrence is hinting at the fact that such a mechanism does not function autonomously -- rather, it exploits the very people who created it in the first place. It uses their energy and pretends to function on its own, much as Clifford momentarily believes that the motor is working and Mellors is not at all putting effort into the machine. This is a commentary on the working classes' situation at the time. He is showing how society saps the energy from the working class.