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libraries because of its references to sex and to an extramarital affair. Parents
cited as one of several objectionable scenes Rabbit s first sexual encounter
with Ruth, in which Updike first describes Rabbit caressing her breasts and
then provides a detailed description of them having sex:
He kneels in a kind of sickness between her spread legs. With her help their
blind loins fit. . . . [S]he reaches her hand down and touches their mixed fur
and her breathing snags on something sharp. Her thighs throw open wide
and clamp his sides and throw open again so wide it frightens him. . . . His
sea of seed buckles, and sobs into a still channel. At each shudder her mouth
smiles in his and her legs, locked at his back, bear down.
They also raised objections to Rabbit s constant fantasizing about sexual
experiences with most of the women he meets and the language in which he
expresses such desires. His two-month affair with Ruth, after he leaves Janice
for the first time, motivated further objections because the book  seems to
make his wife at fault for the affair.
The county school board established a review committee to consider the
complaints and recommended that the book be retained. In making the final
decision on the book, the school board voted 8 to 6 against banning the book
from the libraries but determined that some restriction was required. In a
vote of 7 to 6, with one abstention, the board decided that the novel should
be placed on the reserved shelf in each of the six county high school libraries
and only charged out to students who brought signed permission slips from
their parents.
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In 1986, the novel was removed from the required reading list for the
high school English classes in Medicine Bow, Wyoming, because of the sexual
descriptions and profanity in the book. In their complaint to the school board,
parents cited Rabbit s cursing, including  shit,  bastard, and  son of a bitch,
and Tothero s use of the word  cunt. They also identified the sexually explicit
passages between Ruth and Rabbit and his  sexually explicit fantasies.
FURTHER READING
Adams, Michael. Censorship: The Irish Experience. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama
Press, 1968.
Galloway, David D. The Absurd Hero in American Fiction: Updike, Styron, Bellow. Rev.
ed. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1970.
Hunt, George W. John Updike and the Three Great Secret Things: Sex, Religion, and Art.
Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1980.
Markle, Joyce. Fighters and Lovers: Theme in the Novels of John Updike. New York: New
York University Press, 1973.
Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom (March 1977): 36; (March 1987): 55.
Updike, John.  The Plight of the American Writer. Change 9 (April 1978): 36 41.
Wright, Derek.  Mapless Motion: Form and Space in Updike s Rabbit, Run. Modern
Fiction Studies 37 (Spring 1991): 35 44.
THE RAINBOW
Author: D. H. Lawrence
Original dates and places of publication: 1915, England; 1915, United
States
Original publishers: Methuen and Company (England); B. W. Huebsch
(United States)
Literary form: Novel
SUMMARY
The Rainbow spans three generations of the Brangwen family, moving from
the beginning of the English industrial revolution in 1840 through the first
decade of the 20th century. Lawrence shows the destruction of the traditional
way of life and the ways in which the Brangwen family must accommodate
themselves to their changing lives. The early Brangwens farm the land and
live in harmony with their surroundings, but the second generation of Bran-
gwens move into the industrial town of Beldover, where the seasonal cycle
is replaced by a man-made calendar. Will and Anna no longer participate in
the rhythms of nature, and their relationship suffers. They fall into a fixed
domestic routine, and Anna begins to live through her children.
Ursula, daughter of Will and Anna, represents the modern woman, becom-
ing the first Brangwen female to support herself and to enter a profession. She
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THE RAINBOW
also rejects the traditional expectations of her family, such as religion, marriage,
and love, becoming involved in unsatisfying relationships with fellow teacher
Winifred Inger and shallow aristocrat Anton Skrebensky. She becomes preg-
nant by Skrebensky but takes ill with pneumonia and miscarries. The novel
ends on a hopeful note as Ursula awakens one morning and sees a rainbow,  as
if a new day had come on the earth.
CENSORSHIP HISTORY
The Rainbow contains several passages that have aroused challenges. Law-
rence believed that the passage in the book that prosecutors found most
offensive was likely the one in which the pregnant Anna dances naked in her
bedroom:
She would not have had any one know. She danced in secret, and her soul
rose in bliss. She danced in secret before the Creator, she took off her clothes
and danced in the pride of her bigness. . . . She stood with the firelight on her
ankles and feet, naked in the shadowy, late afternoon, fastening up her hair.
Other passages that generated numerous complaints by editors at Methuen
were scenes that were characterized in editorial notes as  lesbian incidents.
In one beach scene, Winifred suggests that she carry Ursula into the water,
and in another the two are caught in the rain and  after a while the rain came
down on their flushed, hot limbs, startling, delicious. B. W. Huebsch, the
publisher of the first American edition of the The Rainbow, deleted these two
passages and a third that had  generated the most complaints from reviewers
about the Methuen edition:
Ursula lay still in her mistress s arms, her forehead against the beloved, mad-
dening breast.
 I shall put you in, said Winifred.
 But Ursula twined her body about her mistress.
The Rainbow was censored by Lawrence before publication after editors
at Methuen and Company sent the manuscript back to the author s agent, J.
B. Pinker,  for alteration. Lawrence made cuts, but the altered manuscript
was still unacceptable, and the editor again returned the work with portions
marked for cutting. Lawrence refused to make further cuts, writing in a letter
to Pinker,  I have cut out as I said I would, all the phrases objected to. The
passages and paragraphs marked I cannot alter. The publisher recognized
that the 13 passages the author refused to cut were likely to cause trouble. As
soon as the novel was published, book reviewers alerted circulating libraries
and legal authorities, calling it  an orgy of sexiness,  windy, tedious, boring
and nauseating, and  a monstrous wilderness of phallicism.
The novel was condemned in 1915 after a private citizen complained to
the London police. They, in turn, acquired a copy of the novel and took it to
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THE RAINBOW
Sir John Dickinson, a Bow Street magistrate who issued a warrant under the
Obscene Publications Act of 1857. The warrant called for the seizure of the [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]