sensuality—anarchy—conservative anarchy—radical anarchy


Senior Member
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover(page 376, chapter 17) by Lawrence (planetebook,here):
(background: Connie was in Paris. She still felt a bit of sensuality in Paris and people there were weary, worn-out and mechanical. And she thought that the human world was just getting worn out. ……)

Perhaps it would turn fiercely destructive. A sort of anarchy, Clifford and his conservative anarchy! Perhaps it wouldn’t be conservative much longer. Perhaps it would develop into a very radical anarchy.

The quotation is from a long paragraph, which 's mainly talking about sensuality, but at the end of it, the topic suddenly turns to anarchy(belongings in politics). I can't find any relationship between sensuality and anarchy.

Could you please tell me how to make sense the part(i.e, the logic)?
Thank you in advance

  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    Hi. Perhaps Lawrence is using "sensuality" and "anarchy" as two examples of ideas that were contrary to the popular social values of that time. Order and restraint are values that were (and are) often considered admirable by people in western cultures. The free expression of sensuality or the anarchist's disdain for authority are subversive if you hold those values.
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    Senior Member
    English - USA
    It might help to look at the other places in the text where the author uses the word "anarchy" metaphorically.

    "Everything went on in pretty good order, strict
    cleanliness, and strict punctuality; even pretty strict honesty.
    And yet, to Connie, it was a methodical anarchy. No
    warmth of feeling united it organically. The house seemed
    as dreary as a disused street."

    In this passage "anarchy" means a lack of warmth of feeling, dreariness, disunity. Maybe it means the same in Paris?


    Senior Member
    Thank you very much.
    It might help to look at the other places in the text where the author uses the word "anarchy" metaphorically.
    Yes, I have found some words from paragraph 16, chapter 13, which are used by Clifford to explain so-called conservative anarchist:
    He thought people could be what they liked and felt what they liked and did what they liked, strictly privately, so long as they kept the form of life intact, and the apparatus.(I reported it)

    I think, Clifford wanted Connie to have a baby with another man(anarchy). But he still wanted to keep the intact form of marriage(conservative)

    As for anarchy, I have searched out the following sentences from all the previous paragraphs:
    1.And yet, to Connie, it(Wragby) was a methodical anarchy.
    2.I like Proust’s subtlety and his well-bred anarchy
    3.For the rest the place(of Wragby) seemed run by mechanical anarchy.

    4.mixed with the young Cambridge group, the group that stood for "freedom" and flannel trousers, and flannel shirts open at the neck, and a well-bred sort of emotional anarchy

    Seems to me that Lawrence thought the society was in anarchy in natural human nature(mainly in sex), even thought it's methodical in the industrial society.

    And I now rephrase A sort of anarchy! Clifford and his conservative anarchy as:
    (it's) a sort of anarchy! And Clifford and his conservative anarchy?!
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