Daughters of the Vicar

Overcoming Social and Economic Circumstances in 'Daughters of the Vicar'

Despite his left-of-centre, Fabian society background, D.H. Lawrence's early fiction displays little advocacy of political change. This is clearly not ignorance, but an opportunity to express concerns for the spirituality of man. If a man has a body, a mind and a spirit, then he may be naturally expected to satisfy his desires. But if he lives in a society, then his actions may be prevented or his desires repressed by economic restriction and/or social conditioning. Therefore, the process of emotional and spiritual emancipation must be facilitated by some sort of struggle against social and economic circumstances. Rather than improving these circumstances through revolution, Lawrence suggests in 'Daughters of the Vicar' that they can be overcome if individuals have the courage to rise above these conditions via internal determination. This forms a 'quiet' revolution that may bring about widespread change without the alienation or violence of political movements.

Lawrence's philosophy before the Great War, and around the time he wrote 'Daughters of the Vicar', is most apparent in the metaphysical contents of his 'Foreword to Sons and Lovers', which was expanded on in 'Study of Thomas...

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