In early 20th century. Despite the fact that it

In The Rainbow, Lawrence uses new views of female sexuality and atypical gender dynamics to subvert gender norms. Lawrence unleashes a new wave of gender and sexuality politics in his writing to an audience that still held Victorian Puritanism as a intrinsic moral value in their contemporary lives. When his novel was first published, it was met with widespread criticism from the british public, with the novel being confiscated from those who bought it, 1011 of which were burned thereafter. The novel was banned for a total of 11 years in the UK, despite editions of the book being sold in the United States. The predominant reason for banning of the book was it’s sexually explicit material as Lawrence’s character of Ursula was one of the most subversive and controversial characters of the time. ‘A Victorian woman’s highest virtue seems to have been nervously, if frequently, equated with genteel passivity’ (Walters. 2005.), qualities that Ursula consciously rejects throughout the novel. She experiences a same-sex relationship with a teacher while searching for her spiritual awakening against the tide of materialism and capitalism in modern society. This depiction of a same-sex relationship was one of the first of its kind to released into the world of popular fiction, as Lawrence depicts the most intimate wants and needs of Ursula. In the chapter entitled ‘Shame’, Ursula describes how her teacher, Winifred Inger,  ‘moved her limbs, voluptuously, and swam by herself , deliciously. She wanted to touch…to touch her, to feel her’. Lawrence’s inspiration for such an explicitly homoerotic relationship between two women could be due to the rise in the acceptance of LGBT people in the early 20th century. Despite the fact that it was frowned upon by many, there were sects of society that welcomed both LGBT people into society. Lawrence himself has been quoted discussing his own complex sexuality, saying that “I should like to know why nearly every man that approaches greatness tends to homosexuality, whether he admits it or not” as well as that “I believe the nearest I’ve come to perfect love was with a young coal-miner when I was about 16”. Thus, as well as the societal influences on his works, Lawrence could also be drawing from aspect of his personal life as it has been speculated that he had several homosexual relationships before his death in 1930. As well as this, Lawrence discusses female sexuality, perhaps as a result of the gender politics discussion that the Suffrage movement is demanding from society. Lawrence describes how Ursula’s ‘sexual life flamed into a kind of disease within her…she was so overwrought and sensitive’. By aligning female sexuality with ‘disease’, Lawrence echoes the puritanism of his British society who were repulsed by any indication of sexual promiscuity or desire. Yet, this depiction of female sexuality was revolutionary of the time. He depicts sexual desire as something involuntary and intense; as something out of the control. Lawrence later goes on to discuss the price of ‘female-ness’ and notes that Ursula ‘was always a woman, and what she could not get because she was a human being, she would get because she was female…in her femalness she felt a secret riches’. Furthermore, by depicting ‘female-ness’ as ‘secret riches’, Lawrence suggests that women are ‘rich’ in their sexuality, and are thus deserving of more profit in modern society. Therefore, Lawrence’s uses the contemporary social influence of the gender and sexuality politics to influence the character of Ursula; creating a discussion and social commentary within his text.