The laugh of achieved being : a comparative study of The white peacock and Women in love

The White Peacock is D. H. Lawrence's first novel and as such has generally been ignored by critics. It contains, however, what is quintessential in Lawrence's work and, in fact, possesses a striking similarity to Lawrence's masterpiece, Women in Love. This paper argues for the recognition of The White Peacock's worth in the canon of Lawrence's work. The argument is presented in three chapters. The first chapter is an explication of The White Peacock which defines the novel's strengths and weaknesses. Strengths are found in Lawrence's originality, perception, intensity, and obvious love of language. Weaknesses include Lawrence's handling of point of view, characterization, plot, and symbolism. Chapter Two establishes the relationship between The White Peacock and Women in Love. Each novel presents Lawrence's major thematic preoccupations --reverence and compassion for the things of the natural world, the horror of industrialism, and the need to learn to love. In each novel Lawrence uses similar landscapes and characters. In each novel Lawrence also employs similar technical devices such as parallelism, foreshadowing, and imagery formulated from nature. Chapter Three critiques Women in Love in relation to the critical problems found in The White Peacock. Again, point of view, characterization, plot, and symbolism are considered. This time, however, Lawrence was successful with each of these. Indeed, Women in Love is the expression of an artistic genius in control of his craft.