the individual, especially the personal man, is bourgeois

longxianchen

Senior Member
chinese
Hi,
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover(
para.60) by Lawrence (the University of Adelaide,here):
“Then the individual, especially the
personal man, is bourgeois: so he must be suppressed. You must submerge yourselves in the greater thing, the Soviet-social thing. Even an organism is bourgeois: so the ideal must be mechanical. ……”

What is "personal man" please? I guess it refers to people who have the thought to own his/her own private possessions( or, the awareness of private property). Is it right?

Thank you in advance
 
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  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Personal man = the basic human being; the raw character of the individual; the primal individual; the individual without any instruction; the individual who has not been taught the ways of society;
     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Thank you a lot. But how can a primal individual be regarded as bourgeois and then be suppressed? And there is not such an entry like primal, or uneducated.

    By the way, your explanation conforms to the theme of this novel very much.
     
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    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I don't see what you are basing your interpretation on, Paul. :cool: I'm not saying it isn't correct, but I'd like to see your evidence.

    I got the idea (possibly quite wrong) that "personal man" is a sub-division of the "individual". The individual is seen as the opposite of the Soviet-style collective, "greater thing" Lawrence mentions. So I was thinking the "personal" is the individual seen in this sense, plus a personality with feelings and emotions - personal idiosyncracies in other words, as opposed to one of the faceless masses.
     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Also plausible for me. Now I tend to think velisarius' is more possible,because this can explain why a personal man must be suppressed
     
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    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I don't see what you are basing your interpretation on, Paul. :cool:
    Lawrence makes the distinction between the individual and the personal man “Then the individual, especially the personal man,": here Lawrence is digging deeper. We see this in “Even an organism is bourgeois: ...” Lawrence (or the character) is saying that the basic nature of mankind (as an animal) is "being bourgeois" (acting with base self-interest) is the natural state of affairs
     
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    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I think that the character Charlie is looking at the "individual" here as a sort of continuum: at one extreme is the "personal man" and at the other extreme is the "organism". From one extreme to the other, from the individual personality right down to the basic organism, the individual is bourgeois. Man submerged into the machine - this is Bolshevism.
     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    I feel both of you sound possible.
    But now I have a new understanding(based on my experience in our socialist country as a boy):
    1.The individual refers to individualism, which I remember was critised and objected by China government.
    2.personal man refers to males and females, who had romantic affairs in private. When I was young, boys and girls didn't dare hold the hand of his/her lover, didn't dare kiss or hug openly, and didn't dare date. What's worse, the goverment prohibited people to wear fashionable clothes. I feel all these things are personal.
    3.organism refers to body with mind/wisdom, which was both intelligent/reasonable/spiritual and sensual/sexual/physical. I remember people were not allowed to be goodlooking. So girls ofen made themselves have a workingclass appearance. All in all, they were only asked to be spiritually high, but lack primitive/natural elements.
    There are some words from a previous paragraph:
    But, mind you, it’s like this: while you live your life, you are in some way an Organic whole with all life. But once you start the mental life you pluck the apple. You’ve severed the connexion between, the apple and the tree: the organic connexion. And if you’ve got nothing in your life but the mental life, then you yourself are a plucked apple . . . you’ve fallen off the tree.
     
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