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This essay examines the composition of narrative in Ultimate Reality and how Lawrence uses this structure to convey

his belief that people should accomplish all that they possibly can in life. As Rieff writes: Ultimately, Lawrence believed, each self in its distinctiveness has one purpose only: to come into the fullness of being.1 The revelation of the young man glancing at his own fascinating shadow is indicative of Rieffs claim. This climax causes a jarring effect for the reader. The versification of the poem is laid out using rhyming couplets. This structural arrangement forms the first stanza into a doggerel. This creates expectations which are punctured on the last line. This juxtaposition emphasises the importance and allows for a resonance the final revelation in the readers mind. A young man said to me:2 The first line in contrast starts akin to a limerick. The iambic form provides a light rhythm. Lawrence writes from the perspective of a first person narrator. This is a persuasive technique which he employs to establish emotional connection to the audience. The poet befriends the audience in the same way a person tells an anecdote. The objective pronoun me on the first line is evidence of this, immediately followed by the singular subjective I: Lawrences use of pronouns and reflexives at times suggests a quarrel with the whole idea of antecedence, continuity and identity in a subjective flux, his deployment of singular and plural verbs caution against crippling limitations on our ideas of unity and oneness.3

1 2

Harold Bloom, D.H Lawrence, (Chelsea House Publishers, 1986), Phillip Rieff, The Therapeutic, p.49 Vivian de Sola Pinto (Ed) and Warren Roberts (Ed), D.H Lawrence, The Complete Poems of D.H. Lawrence Volume Two, (William Heinemann, 1972), p.604 3 Harold Bloom, D.H Lawrence, (Chelsea House Publishers, 1986), Garrett Stewart, Lawrence, Being, and the Allotropic Style, p.169

The verb said is a functional word which lacks description. This is to not embellish the character of the young man with any physical attributes. In man y ways the young man is an archetype, an everyman figure. Lawrence is stressing that the young mans problems are universal in nature. This narrator tells his listeners that a young man spoke to him. This indicates that the person narrating is most likely of an older generation, possibly even elderly and therefore a figure of authority. This relationship provides the context and thereby the boundaries for Lawrences opinion of the fullness of being. The fact that this person is young also suggests he is naive and innocent. The narrator is the one who is wise. Lawrences implied narrator is playing the role of a sage. The reader sees the story through his view. The person writing is effectively looking at his younger self. The absence of speech marks when the words of the young man are being spoke informs the reader that the narrator is speaking, relaying what the young man said. This correlates to the poets own experience, as Pollnitz comments on Lawrences remarks from the Note to his Collected Poems (1928): ...tying it to his own personal development, and describing it as a fight to free his demon from a self-censoring young man has received general acceptance.4 The selection of the word surreptitiously is notable. This transitive verb is significant because the audience learns the clandestine nature of the realisation from the young man. In this way this character is self-censoring in the manner Pollnitz suggests. The young man has is only just beginning to realise his potential when he examines his fascinating shadow after questioning the nature of reality.

Keith Brown, Rethinking Lawrence (Open University Press, 1990), Chistopher Pollnitz, Craftsman before demon: the development of Lawrences verse technique, p.133

As I have demonstrated Lawrence has crafted the narrative structure to convey his ideas surrounding his expectations of people pushing the limits of themselves.