The form Aaron’s Rod takes is that of a journey or progression: in time, in place, above all in ideas. Geographically, it moves from a small mining community in the English Midlands, via London, to Novara, Milan and Florence; its final action takes place, however, in the recesses of a soul. It moves from a conventional scene of settled married life to the brief amours of a smart metropolitan set; to upper-class living in gentility and wealth, and thence to the cosmopolitan life of an American Marchesa; but it ends with two men alone. It moves very deliberately from the old world of England just recovering itself after the war, through a bright metropolitan world attached to the old as if the war had never been, to a rootless world of expatriate living, finally through a world which is literally exploded to a ‘nowhere’ of mystic relationship. Aaron, the man who makes all these journeys, starts as a checkweighman and secretary of his local Union branch; but he finally accepts the role of follower in a relationship which seems to have no existence in society at all. All these progressions give Aaron’s Rod its structure; it is a novel concerned to move its hero (and us) through a sequence of ideas and significant experiences which get increasingly remote from conventional domesticity; and which finally sets us down outside our community, our culture, our expectations and our society, altogether.


Passionate Experience Walk Away Individual Soul Continual Acid English Life 
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    John Alcorn, The Nature Novel from Hardy to Lawrence (London: Macmillan, 1977), p. 100.Google Scholar
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    Eliseo Vivas, D. H. Lawrence: The Failure and the Triumph of Art (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1960), p. 22.Google Scholar
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    D. H. Lawrence, Sea and Sardinia (1921; rpt. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1968), p. 207.Google Scholar
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    D. H. Lawrence, Apocalypse (1931; rpt. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1974), p. 126.Google Scholar

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© John Worthen 1979

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  • John Worthen

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