1997 Volume 1997 Issue 7 Pages 15-28
What Kate Leslie has recognized in the final part of The Plumed Serpent is that she is more Irish than anything and that Celtic mysticism lies at the bottom of her soul. This reminds us that Lawrence once declared he was interested in what a woman is rather than what she feels, and that he was fascinated by Celtic people in Cornwall.‘Softness, ’which Lawrence found especially attractive in Cornish people, is given to Kate and it proves to be the medium between her and Mexican people.
The repetition of the word‘soft’at the end of The Plumed Serpent suggests that it is not so much the consciousness as the‘softness’in Cipriano that makes Kate feel;‘You won't let me go!’This open ending, where Kate is indecisive about her returning to England (not Ireland), reflects Lawrence's wish that his home country would recollect the Celtic softness. It also has the effect of‘foregrounding’the author's interest in the relationship between individuals rather than that between races. The softness here leads to the tenderness in Lady Chatterley's Lover.