D. H. Lawrence’s Australia


Discusses Lawrence’s image of Australia as presented in his novel Kangaroo. Argues that Lawrence saw Australia essentially ‘as an alien, primeval, indifferent land, sombre and remote, yet beautiful, a land scarcely touched by civilization, the evidence of which was, where it existed at all, ephemeral, scrappy, and slovenly. The inhabitants were at bottom reckless, uncontrolled, genial animals, sunk in a torpid, mindless apathy, acknowledging no superior authority, and hence dangerously undisciplined. … Lawrence felt that Australia lacked and needed the hierarchical social structure of power and control which existed in England and Europe, despite its failures there. But in addition, Lawrence saw Australia as a possible arena for the spiritual regeneration he believed the whole world required - a possibility, however, which the careless recklessness of Australians would probably render futile” (332-333).

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Published 1 October 1970 in Volume 4 No. 4. Subjects: Australia, Australian people, Literary portrayal, D. H. Lawrence.

Cite as: Heuzenroeder, John. ‘D. H. Lawrence’s Australia.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 4, no. 4, 1970, doi: 10.20314/als.8c01d0fcfc.