Sea and Sardinia, though written quickly, contains several motifs which lend it coherence. The first of these, which appears at its very beginning and which readers of Lawrence’s Fantasia of the Unconscious (1922) will probably recognize, is the antithesis of movement and inertia. Lawrence is determined that the time has come to go somewhere and he questions only what the destination will be. He enumerates various possibilities (Girgenti in southern Sicily, Syracuse on the southeastern coast, Tunis in North Africa) but eliminates them all. The surrounding scenery is exquisite, but Lawrence feels impelled to go—anywhere, but obviously not anywhere, since he eliminates all possibilities save for the comparatively primitive and difficult-to-reach island of Sardinia. Movement, so Lawrence contends in Fantasia of the Unconscious, is identifiable with the male and that which is masculine. Conversely, immutability, permanence, and inertia are feminine. Lawrence believes that since the Renaissance, man has largely entered the female mode; thus, Sea and Sardinia, in its first pages at least, is filled with an almost manic passion for movement.
Paradoxically, on the morning scheduled for their journey to begin, it is Frieda, referred to only as the queen-bee and subsequently as the q-b, who provides all the impetus and enthusiasm the trip requires. It is she who prepares the tea, sandwiches, and apples to pack in the satchel...
(The entire section is 1699 words.)
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