Abstract

This essay tracks the evolution of the Brangwen family in D. H. Lawrence's The Rainbow from a Christian-humanist tradition sanctioned by a benevolent deity to a modernist culture, where new processes of individuation precipitate the breakup of communal values. In this transition, sacrificial activity undergoes dramatic transformations. From its source in direct contact with a God who rewards suffering with transcendent revelation for the first generation, it becomes secularized, sexualized, and increasingly violent. In the second and third generations, the animal-body that resists transfiguration is repeatedly subjected to symbolic disfiguration and death.

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