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Work with the texts: Class tasks

Lawrence’s Deletions

Task 1: Why do you think that Lawrence removed the following sections from his final draft?

  1. The old mother was hushed in awe… As the passion of Elizabeth’s grief grew more, the old woman shrank and tried to avoid it.
  2. He had come from the discipleship of youth, through the Pentecost of adolescence, pledged to keep with honour his own individuality, to be steadily and unquenchingly himself, electing his own masters and serving them till the wages were won.
  3. He betrayed himself in his search for amusement; destroying the clamours for activity, because he knew not what form the activities might take. The miner turned miscreant to himself.
  4. [T]he touch of the man’s body gave them strange thrills, different in each of the women; secret thrills that made them turn one from the other, and left them with a keen sadness.

The Final Line/s

Task 2: Which of the following final lines do you think is the most effective and why?

  1. For in death she would have no life, for she had never loved. She had life on earth with her children, that was all.
  2. She knew she submitted to life, which was her immediate master. But from death, her ultimate master, she winced with fear and shame
  3. Yet he was restored to her fair, unblemished, fresh as for the splendour of a fight.
  4. He was so heavy, and helpless, more helpless than a baby, poor dear! -and so beautiful.

Task 3: The above are taken from the following sources, take an educated guess to see if you can determine which is which? Why?

  1. The 1910 Early version
  2. The 1911 English Review version
  3. The 1914 ‘Hopkin’ version
  4. The 1914 Prussian Officer version

Lawrence’s Revisions

Task 4: What do the following statements suggest about Lawrence, literature or adaptation/revision? Do you agree?

  1. [Lawrence] “discovered the meaning that had always been waiting to be found in the story” (Littlewood, 1966, p. 123).
  2. Elizabeth is based on Lawrence’s “Aunt Polly, who, some years after the children’s uncle, James Lawrence, had been killed in a mining accident, married James Allum (Moore, 1974, p. 1893). Elizabeth is “based on Lawrence’s Aunt Emma of New Brinsley” (Moore, 1974, p. 193).
  3. Writing of the 1914 Prussian Officer version, “[Lawrence] always built on the foundation of the earlier draft. The final product became a sort of palimpsest as each successive layer of composition modified the layers that had come before.” (Cushman, 1978, p. 5)


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