a bit delicate and a bit tender

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Senior Member
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover(page 410, chapter 18) by DH Lawrence (planetebook,here):
(background: Connie said what distinguished Mellors from other men was his courage of tenderness, he said she's right, then he continued..…)

‘……We’re only half-conscious, and half alive. We’ve got to come alive(opposite to dead) and aware. Especially the English have got to get into touch with one another, a bit delicate and a bit tender. It’s our crying(=urgent) need.’

My own about the context:
Mellors thinks physical awareness for human beings are important and necessary, even for his soliders in the trenches of the World War One. But Buddha avoids human natural desire, especially physical desire, even though physical intimacy and tenderness(mainly sex) is best for human beings, even between men.

I feel delicate here means considerate(careful not to hurt others). Is that right please?

Thank you in advance
  • Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    I don't think you are, no. I believe that he is referring to opening our emotional defences - becoming more sensitive and vulnerable in order to feel things more intensely.
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