Women In Love: The Chair by D.H. Lawrence

Essay by pely_erinUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, June 2005

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In the twenty-sixth chapter of D.H. Lawrence's Women in Love, much is shown about the relationship between not only Ursula and Birkin, but also between men and women as a whole. The chapter begins with Ursula and Birkin on an outing, shopping for a piece of furniture. While the novel is usually very descriptive when it comes to facial expressions and personal appearances, it does not usually describe in any detail places visited in the novel unless they are somewhat filthy or poor. The chapter begins with a very vivid description of the market place in which they visit. It is small, poor, dirty, and meager, and both Ursula and Birkin seem almost embarrassed to be there. This shows that they are conscious of their class standing. They are not married, and do not even have a house to furnish. Nevertheless, they both seem fairly intent on making some sort of purchase, as any proper young couple would do.

They have a high social status and are evidently fairly well off, yet they travel to this poor part of town to purchase furniture they don't really want or need. This shows their inherent, yet subconscious desire for the domestic. Both claim frequently to be free from the world and the need for belongings, yet they still find themselves here.

After having purchased a chair, they immediately become angry with each other for no apparent reason, and decide that life with a house and a chair is most definitely not for them. It is Birkin that is overly concerned with the need to be free, yet Ursula is the one who first decides that she doesn't want the chair. The chair is not only a symbol of the domestic lifestyle, but also of a tie to the world.