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How Beastly The Bourgeois Is Analysis

Author: poem of D.H. Lawrence Type: poem Views: 10

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How beastly the bourgeois is
especially the male of the species--

Presentable, eminently presentable--
shall I make you a present of him?

Isn't he handsome?  Isn't he healthy?  Isn't he a fine specimen?
Doesn't he look the fresh clean Englishman, outside?
Isn't it God's own image? tramping his thirty miles a day
after partridges, or a little rubber ball?
wouldn't you like to be like that, well off, and quite the

Oh, but wait!
Let him meet a new emotion, let him be faced with another
   man's need,
let him come home to a bit of moral difficulty, let life
  face him with a new demand on his understanding
and then watch him go soggy, like a wet meringue.
Watch him turn into a mess, either a fool or a bully.
Just watch the display of him, confronted with a new
   demand on his intelligence,
a new life-demand.

How beastly the bourgeois is
especially the male of the species--

Nicely groomed, like a mushroom
standing there so sleek and erect and eyeable--
and like a fungus, living on the remains of a bygone life
sucking his life out of the dead leaves of greater life
   than his own.

And even so, he's stale, he's been there too long.
Touch him, and you'll find he's all gone inside
just like an old mushroom, all wormy inside, and hollow
under a smooth skin and an upright appearance.

Full of seething, wormy, hollow feelings
rather nasty--
How beastly the bourgeois is!

Standing in their thousands, these appearances, in damp
what a pity they can't all be kicked over
like sickening toadstools, and left to melt back, swiftly
into the soil of England.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

The poem starts with several questions, obviously they all require the answer "YES". He is treating the bourgeois as animals "Beastly". he is asking them if they want to be like those bourgeois but before answering he says " oh, but wait " showing reality and that everything is reversed.
englishman is written with a small "e" because this englishman is one of many others he is not unique, he's despised.
D.H uses the technique of difamiliarization, he uses the word partridges instead of hunting and rubber wall instead of golf, he is doing this to show that these two hobbies are exclusive to the upper class, not anyone has the ability to play them.

| Posted on 2010-01-12 | by a guest

.: :.

I believe this poem is another of D.H. Lawrence criticism of societal conventions. I think men were singled out in this piece since 19th century England (even 20th century) was mostly a male dominant society. The poet describes England as a "damp" nation badly in need of heat. And that coldness seems to have rub on the regular middle class who is now averse to change and content with living in a glory that's at best nostalgia. The poet challenges the foundation upon which societal principles are based and hints out a call on men to challenge the very values and stereotypes that have defined their lives..

| Posted on 2009-10-17 | by a guest

.: :.

The original text spelt Englishman and God with Lower case: englishman, god's.
This adds a sense of further degradation to powerful titles.

| Posted on 2008-11-12 | by a guest

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