Lawrence's The Prussian Officer is a tale from a military background dealing with the topic of sexual repression. The narrative tells the story of a Captain and his orderly, whose tense relationship escalates into their deaths. The Captain, born to a wealthy family, gambles all of his money away and is left with no other choice than to pursue a mediocre career in military. He does not get married, and even though he takes a mistress from time to time, it does not help him to get rid of the tension and irritability that he so often seems to experience. On the other hand, his orderly, Schoner, is a young handsome man, full of life, who is involved in a loving relationship.
The Captain feels sexual tension towards the young soldier and tries to keep him occupied, in order to prevent him from meeting with his ‘sweetheart’. He also relieves himself of this tension physically, by beating the orderly up. The beatings the young man has to take lead to various painful injuries. One day, blinded by pain, the physical and psychological torture, the orderly decides he cannot take it anymore, and murders the Captain in a violent manner. Afterwards, due to lack of liquid and the enormous pain, the young man collapses and dies in a hospital. Ultimately, “the bodies of the two men lay together, side by side, in the mortuary.”