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D.H. Lawrence – The Rainbow – Essay

D.H. Lawrence uses varied ways to express Ursula’s feelings and experience through the passage. Each of the techniques he uses, create a different impact on the reader, all expressing Ursula’s thought and feelings. One of the most obvious things about the writing in this passage is the overwhelming use of military language. Lawrence repeats the ideas that he establishes at the beginning of the passage many times throughout the main body of the writing. The first is describing the children filing into their desks. “Filling the ranks of desks” Lawrence uses the imagery of the desks being in ranks, to begin the repetition of military language. The next and one of the most repeated ideas is of the children being an enemy.

“Block of children” Lawrence repeats this idea, to enforce the idea of the children being the enemy, a wall and an impenetrable force. The term ‘block’ creates very strong imagery of the children being a large faceless meaningless mass, which she cannot and does not want to be part of. Ursula feels threatened by the children and Lawrence calling them a block makes them seem even more intimidating. Lawrence also uses military language when talking about the first appearance of Mr. Brunt. “Rapid firing” Lawrence uses this to describe Mr. Brunt asking questions as he approaches Ursula. This expression makes him sound very intimidating, and gives the image of his questions being as ruthless and harsh as gunfire.

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Other words Lawrence uses to describe the children, their actions towards Ursula and the way they make her feel are: “Hostile” “Torture” “Blades” “Suffering” “Squadron” “Ghastly” All these words enhance the feeling of despair, and pain, they are all uncomfortable words, and create powerful images of pain. Some of these words are also linked to military ideas, and again create the image of the children being an enemy. The majority of Lawrence’s sentences within this passage are short and abrupt. This increases the tension and therefore creates and sense of urgency, and makes the reader want to read on. This also helps the reader feel what Ursula is feeling, it makes the reader feel, tense and it also makes them feel uncertainty of what is to come, this is the way that Ursula is feeling.

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D.H Lawrence in this extract uses many different techniques to show the feelings or characters or convey ideas. One of the most obvious of these techniques is the use of repetition. The first thing he repeats is the idea of the children being a block, and he often refers to them as faceless, and he doesn’t talk about them as individuals but says that they are one. This makes them more feared, as they seem like a wall or a faceless enemy. He uses phrases such as: “They were a collective” “block of children” “they were her masters” These phrases all make the children seem very intimidating, and put Ursula in a very unsafe, threatening environment. This makes us feel sympathy towards her.

Lawrence also uses the word “monotonous” to describe Ursula’s situation twice in two consecutive sentences. Doing this really makes an impact, as it forces the reader to feel the same monotony as Ursula is feeling, this creates a stronger bond between character and reader, as they share a similar feeling. The biggest repetition in the passage is the word “inhumane”. Lawrence uses it four times in one paragraph, to describe Mr. Brunt’s voice, the number of children, the way she was feeling and finally, again the number of children. Using this same word to describe all these things adds to the feeling of monotony and despair. Lawrence also talks about Mr. Brunt being a machine, this fits well with the idea of him being inhuman. “Mr. Brunt. Like a machine” “the man has become a mechanism”.

The first quote above is also a simile, it shows that his way of teaching and his personality has dissolved and he has become this machine, which is unafraid and ready to teach. D.H Lawrence’s writing is also very impersonal to his main character. Ursula is only mentioned by name once in the passage, the rest of the time she is referred to as ‘she’. This also gives her a sense of isolation; she is made to seem unworthy of mentioning compared to the children and Mr. Brunt who are referred to the same throughout the passage. This gives a reader a sense that although the passage is about her and she is key to the story, that she is not as important, or significant as the other characters we meet on her journey.

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D.H. Lawrence - The Rainbow - Essay. (2021, Jun 15). Retrieved October 4, 2022, from