2007 Volume 2007 Issue 17 Pages 30-42
In Women in Love, two couples reach contrasting ends. The goal of this paper is to clarify, using René Girard's victim theory, what makes the ends of the two couples different in terms of the aggressive action both couples must endure.
The key is how to confront the outside world, which for any person consists of other people and things not human. Birkin and Ursula have been confronting the outside world directly. Hence, they often struggle, once even to the extent of aggression, but they come to see they love one another. Evidently, aggression has a function in building their relationship.
However, Gerald and Gudrun have not been confronting the outside world. They avoid showing their aggression directly to anyone and bond by aiming it at a common target, for they fear that they may become victims of the community. They too have a desire for a direct relationship, but can only satisfy it through a sadomasochistic relation. Finally, Gerald's desire to be fulfilled in a more direct relationship can no longer be contained, transforming into an infantile aggression crucial for his relationship with Gudrun.