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Marriage as Minefield

"It was a beautiful sunny day for the wedding,
a muddy earth but a bright sky" (131).
D. H. Lawrence's The Rainbow (1915)


Responses to Path 2 prompts should deliver a structured, narrow argument in only 400-500 words, one you publish on Blackboard by 11:59 p.m. on Friday. Arguments should evince creativity and organization, support their claims with detailed evidence ( incl. page citations), and show signs of careful revision. Remember too that whether I happen to agree or not with your thesis matters little, as long as it is sufficiently supported and logically, persuasively rendered.

Some of the strongest essays will incorporate ideas from path 2 essays written by your peers and/or pertinent path 1 discussions and topics, though neither is required.

Week Three:
The Rainbow (1915), chps 4-6 (96-194)

1. is the young, unmarried Anna Lensky Brangwen an extraordinary mess of contradictions, or is her disparate collection of impulses and desires characteristic of the human condition? Is Lawrence establishing Anna as a type or an individual?

2. how do Anna and Will differ in their approach to and conception of their beloved (one another) during their courting period?

3. who more commonly initiates intimacy during the courtship of Anna and Will?

4. have Tom and Lydia Brangwen found, in middle age, lasting satisfaction in their relationship?

5. what profound ideas undergird the deceptively simple speech Tom gives at Anna’s wedding celebration (135-37), and do these ideas describe the foundation on which Anna and Will build their marriage?

6. can the reader identify in Anna’s and Will’s happy honeymoon period the seeds of later conflict?

7. are Anna and Will equally selfish, or is one more self-absorbed than the other?

8. are Anna and Will seeking similar things through marriage, or do their goals differ?

9. does Anna's pregnancy draw her and Will closer together, as she hopes it will?

10. does one spouse appear more dominant than the other, when their marriage is examined holistically, across time?

11. what forms of artistic expression does Will pursue, and does his marriage inform this passion?

12. what is Will’s primary pathway to the divine, and does his wife facilitate or disrupt this spiritual connection?

13. what elements of church experience does Anna value, and what does she discard?

14. is Will’s love for Ursula more charitable than it is needy, and more healthy than it is destructive?

15. in the last sentence of chapter eight, does the work “darkened” carry positive or negative connotations? How does this compare to Lawrence's use of "darkness" elsewhere in the novel?

"Autumnal Cannibalism" (1936)
Salvador Dalí

Dr. Paul Marchbanks