Short Fiction of D.H. Lawrence Summary

Short Fiction of D.H. Lawrence Summary

The Rocking-Horse Winner

One of Lawrence’s most famous stories is about a young boy named Paul who wants to help out with the financial difficulties facing his mother. He rides a rocking-horse in a frenzy until the names of the winning horses at the racetrack magically come to him. The family grows dependent on the boy who one day decides to ride himself right into a fatal brain frenzy.

Odour of Chrysanthemums

The wife of a miner waits with anxiety to find out if her husband survived an accident. Upon the discovery that he did not, she is ready to face the fact that her marriage was a failure.

Monkey Nuts

A bizarre love triangle involving two soldiers and a girl who sets her sights on one of them. This causes a strain in the relationship between the two men which is so close that they even share a bed. The woman enters and exists their lives with the same sense of ambiguous mystery and the story’s subtext suggests strongly that the real sexual attraction is between the two men.

The Princess

An aristocratic European woman decides to deal with the grief of her father’s death at a dude ranch in the American southwest. She finds herself drawn to a guide and when they find themselves alone during a trip by horse to animals in the wild, she submits to him an effort to be taken away from herself only to reject him in the morning. Claiming her action have given him the right to marry her, he rapes her. When help arrives, they kill the guide and the woman goes slightly mad.

Tickets, Please

A good looking station agent at the railroad where men with deformities usually work is a charming flirt who enjoys the company of many women. One night they set upon him and force him to choose one of them to walk home but he refuses whereupon they all attack him and beat him mercilessly. When he finally chooses one of the women, she rejects him.

The Fly in the Ointment

A lodger receives a letter and flowers from his girlfriend. This gooey feeling toward his girlfriend as he is writing a reply is intruded upon by the sudden appearance of a dirty young man attempting to steel some boots. After a scuffle, he lets the boy go, but the whole experience has taken away the gooey feeling engendered by the letter and flowers and leaves him in a state of wretched loneliness.

The Prussian Officer

In which the titular character sublimates his forbidden homosexual desire for his younger orderly into sadistic assaults both physical and mental. Eventually, the younger man responds with murderous revenge.

The Miner at Home

When the miner comes home to his long-suffering wife and children, he announces that his fellow workers are planning a strike in support of a minimum wage. His wife is against the strike as it will be the third such loss of income since they were married. The husband grows weary of listening to her mocking replies to all his arguments in favor of striking and eventually decides to take a break, leaving her alone with the children once again.

The Horse-Dealer’s Daughter

Ruined financially, the Pervin family are to be evicted from their house and the only daughter, Mabel, fears a life as an old maid. A suicide attempt is thwarted by the arrival of young country doctor Jack Fergusson who becomes something a deux ex machina saving Mable from her greatest fear.

The Man Who Died

Lawrence’s final major work of short fiction is a reworking of the resurrection of Christ that is situated within the significant alteration evidenced by the title. In this highly symbolic and densely metaphorical reworking, Christ returns in human form to the world of the body of earth rather than the spiritual realm of Paradise.

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