Women in Love is a book by David H. Lawrence. The book was first published in 1920 and has been republished several times since then. The Women in Love novel is a sequel of the The Rainbow also written by the same author. The book talks about the lives and love live of the Brangwen sisters, Ursula and Gudrun. It further talks of the relationship between Gudrun Brangwen an artist with Gerald Crich who is an industrialist and compares and contrasts it with the love that was between Ursula Brangwen and Rupert Birkin a teacher and a school inspector respectively. In the novel, Ursula and Birkin are associated with the author. It is a book that contrasts the love life between two sisters and finally gives the reader the outcome of the relationships.
The love relationship between Ursula and Birkin was very different from that of Gerald and Gudrun’s. Ursula and Birkin built their love basing on mutual respect and equality and this led to their marriage through a wedding. The two worked on satisfying each others needs in their relationship. Comparably, the love between Gudrun and Gerald was an empathetic love, they never valued each other and that led to their separation and the end of the novel. In addition, their relationship was quite different because, Birkin had a deep interest in Ursula and she responded to the love and affection from Birkin by devoting herself to him which led to the success of their relationship. Comparably, Gudrun had only the lust for power and dominance thus she did not reciprocate the love and affection offered to her by Gerald. She was never devoted to her relationship but only desired power and this is the main reason for the failure of their relationship making it destructive. Even though Gerald had interest in Gudrun, he also had the desire for power and dominance.
Ursula and Birkin’s relationship was a success and fruitful since they ended up together in marriage. In contrast, Gerald and Gudrun’s relationship was destructive because, they never ended up together rather ended up dead with Gerald committing suicide to avoid suffering from the cruel rejection of his love and affection he received from Gudrun
When one reads through the pages of the novel, Ursula and Birkin’s relationship progresses successfully. They balance out and work out their issues in their relationship but compared to Gerald and Gudrun, Gudrun is not ready to make things work but only thirsts for dominance and does not care much about her relationship with Gerald and the love and affection he offers her. Moreover, Birkin and Ursula longed for a better life together in the future in their relationship. In contrast, Gerald and Gudrun’s relationship was based on a struggle for dominance and Gudrun never believed in the possibility of the future. This can be clearly seen where she discourages her sister and tells her bad things about Birkin so that they can separate. She never even believed in marriage in the future.
Ursula and Birkin’s relationship is positive and creative while Gerald and Gudrun’s is negative and finally becomes destructive. This is clearly shown where Birkin and Ursula reconcile after and argument by giving each other a present so as to forget their issues and move on successfully with their relationship. This is seen when after arguing, they still spend the night together intimately forgetting the days arguments (Lawrence 114). They exercised their love.
While Ursula and Birkin’s relationship grew stronger everyday, Gerald and Gudrun’s moved towards breakup and destruction. The relative success of Birkin and Ursula was the failure of Gerald and Gudrun because, Gerald and Gudrun were two different people full of conflicts in their relationship while Ursula and Birkin worked on their relationship despite the challenges they encountered.
Gerald and Gudrun were self destructive in their relationship. They were both obsessed with power and control. They maintained their self will and this lead to their ultimate destruction. Conversely, Ursula and Birkin got rid of their self will and met intimately with love which helped build their relationship. Additionally, Gerald and Gudrun’s conflicts were solved temporarily and this led to more arguments in their relationship while Ursula and Birkin solved their issues completely and that is why they were able to get married in the end. Gerald and Gudrun’s relationship was full of anger and rage this is seen where Gudrun strikes Gerald in the face during the water party. She never feels remorseful after what she has done but she feels a lot of rage towards him (Lawrence 172). Gerald was so bitter about the incident and this increased the hatred and anger between them and when Gudrun flirted with Loerke, Gerald committed suicide. Ursula is depicted as a positive character that is looking for love and affection in a relationship but Gudrun does not care about love but only sex by reason.
The Women in Love novel is a comparison of the love life between two sisters whereby one ended up successfully while the other destructive. The relationship between Ursula and Birkin was the most successful in the novel even though they started with violent opposition for each other.
Lawrence, David H. Women in Love. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1978. Print.