Explain the following lines from The Rainbow: "They felt the rush of the sap in spring, they knew the wave which cannot halt, but every year throws forward the seed in begetting, and, falling back,...
Explain the following lines from The Rainbow:
"They felt the rush of the sap in spring, they knew the wave which cannot halt, but every year throws forward the seed in begetting, and, falling back, leaves the young-born on the earth. They knew the intercourse between heaven and earth, sunshine drawn into the breast and bowels, the rain sucked up in the day-time, nakedness that comes under the wind in autumn, showing the birds’ nests no longer worth hiding."
What is key to focus on in this quote that comes from the beginning of this novel and describes the Brangwen males, is that it talks of the deep, visceral connection that lies between man and nature. The wording of this quote speaks very clearly of a tremendously profound understanding of nature and a recognition of how it operates. The way the quote begins with "They felt" strongly indicates that this is more than just an academic knowledge but one that is based on experiences and feelings. Likewise they were fully aware of "the intercourse between heaven and earth," which indicates a deep understanding of the relationship between nature and man and how the two coexist. The quote continues by developing this sense of deep interrelatedness between the Brangwen males and the countryside where they live and work:
So much warmth and generating and pain and death did they know in their blood, earth and sky and beast and green plants, so much exchange and interchange they had with these, that they lived full and surcharged, their senses full fed, their faces always turned to the heat of the blood, staring into the sun, dazed with looking towards the source of generation, unable to turn around.
The overwhelming sense is one of coexistence and deep respect and understanding for nature. Taken in the context of the novel as a whole, this is highly significant because the novel charts the onset of industrial society, which Lawrence viewed as breaking this deep connection between man and land. The quote then is therefore very important firstly in understanding the deep tradition that lies within the Brangwen family of living off the land and the strong connection between man and nature. Secondly it thematically introduces one of the key themes of the novel, which is the impact of industrialisation on this Brangwen family and how it disrupts this age-old understanding.