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Gordon, R. (1978). Look! He has Come Through! D. H. Lawrence, women and individuation. J. Anal. Psychol., 23(3):258-274.

(1978). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 23(3):258-274

Look! He has Come Through! D. H. Lawrence, women and individuation

Rosemary Gordon, Ph.D.

I. Psychological Reflections

IN 1913 FREUD concluded a little-known yet exquisite, short paper ‘The three caskets’ with the following remark:

We might argue that what is represented here [he refers to the stories, myths, legends and plays of Cordelia, Aphrodite, Cinderella, Psyche, and the three Fates] are the three inevitable relations that a man has with a woman—the woman who bears him, the woman who is his mate and the woman who destroys him; or that they are the three forms taken by the figure of the mother in the course of a man's life—the mother herself, the beloved one who is chosen after her pattern, and lastly the Mother Earth who receives him once more. (FREUD 1)

There is little doubt that Lawrence was—and considered himself to have been—trapped and smothered by his mother, particularly after the death of his older brother, Ernest. And there is little doubt that she despised her miner-husband and did all she could to embroil her sons in these same hostile feelings towards their father. Indeed, she did all she could to direct their education, career, attitudes and manners into a direction different and superior to his.

Lawrence had no illusions about it. In fact, soon after her death he wrote about it with bitterness. In his synopsis of Sons and lovers in 1912 he said of his older brother that he had given ‘his sex to a fribble and his mother holds his soul. But the split kills him.’ (MOORE 18, p. 62). Nor was Lawrence unaware of the effects on him, on men in general, of such crushing love from the mother.

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