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Last Updated on March 5, 2020, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 310

Recovery from Trauma

Maurice is recovering from his traumatic experiences in World War I, in which an injury to his eyes left him blind. Lawrence shows how the process of learning to adapt and navigate his everyday experiences includes, but also goes beyond, his individual physical adjustments. For both Maurice and Isabel, major adjustments are required: she must take a greater role in caring for him and for their farm, and he must allow himself to accept his dependent status. By the time the story’s action occurs, the couple has made significant progress with these adjustments and may be closer, in some ways, than they had previously felt. This suggests that although trauma is never desirable, working through it can bring people closer together. By overcoming trauma, people learn new things about themselves and the world, giving them a new perspective on the people and places around them.

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Maurice and Isabel enjoy a special intimacy that goes beyond their sexual relationship and their affection for each other. They are a united team, set apart from other people. Lawrence believed strongly in this type of unity, especially between men and women. In contrast, Isabel’s relationship with Bertie is primarily intellectual and almost transcends gender. Maurice tries to draw Bertie into a related type of intimacy, through physical contact with his damaged face, but the dominance of intellect over senses blocks Bertie’s appreciation of the gesture.

Connection with the Land

Isabel’s and Maurice’s occupation as farmers is more than just a job. In joining Maurice in this kind of work, Isabel has connected herself to the earthly, an influential aspect of Maurice's character. Even more important, she has gained a fundamental understanding of being literally grounded, by working the soil, and figuratively stabilized through this connection with the earth and with a man for whom that identification is central.

Themes and Meanings

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 524

Although D. H. Lawrence was an intelligent man with a solid grasp of European cultural history, he admired the instinctual wisdom of unlettered men who lived unreflective and untroubled lives in close contact with the natural world. “The Blind Man” is an exploration of two forms of male behavior, which represented for Lawrence the extreme tendencies of masculine identity. The essential difference between the men is in their response to the woman they both cherish. Without directly supporting either man’s position completely, it is obvious that Lawrence is much more sympathetic to Maurice but that he does not consider Maurice a complete or fully formed individual, or condemn Reid as one without any estimable qualities.

Maurice is the embodiment of Lawrence’s lifelong love for the features of the English countryside, of his belief in the possibilities of illumination through sexual intimacy, and of his fascination with a special kind of brotherhood among men. Maurice’s strong contact with the earth gives him an elemental strength anchored in something fundamental, and his intelligence and oversensitive demeanor are part of his blood prescience, a form of insight not readily appreciated by conventional society. His loss of vision, however, is indicative of Lawrence’s concern about a total reliance on “blood contact with the substantial world” and the devastating term “cancelled”...

(The entire section contains 834 words.)

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