Japan D.H. Lawrence Studies
Online ISSN : 1884-0493
Print ISSN : 1342-2405
ISSN-L : 1342-2405
“The Way of the Soul”in The Rainbow
The Significance of D.H. Lawrence's Reference to Alfred Tennyson
Yumiko Sumitani
Author information

2007 Volume 2007 Issue 17 Pages 55-67


It is not unusual that D.H. Lawrence refers to Alfred Tennyson in his novels and letters because Lawrence liked reading his poems in his early life. However, there is a letter which should be noted: To E.M. Forster, 28 January 1915, just before he finished writing The Rainbow. In this letter, he explains his ideal world to Forster with the words, “the infant crying in the night, ”which is a quotation from In Memoriam by Tennyson. The point of this letter is that Lawrence, once again, quotes the same phrase in The Rainbow. The aim of this paper is to analyze why he chooses Tennyson and to outline“the ideal world”he tries to describe in The Rainbow when referring to Tennyson.
First, the effect of the reference to Tennyson in The Rainbow is examined. Not only the appropriateness of the reference, but also the historical gap between Lawrence and Tennyson is shown. Secondly, the paper points out, as a reason for the occasional reference to him, that they share a common literary attitude. Finally, in order to find the significance of Lawrence's reference to Tennyson in The Rainbow, “the ideal world”Lawrence and Tennyson consider is revealed by comparing“the ways of the soul”which are differently expressed in their works.

Content from these authors
© D. H. Lawrence Society of Japan
Previous article Next article