Analyse of the D.H.Lawrence Short Story "Second Best"
Second Best is a prose work, a short, fiction story which tells about one episode in a young woman’s life. It’s a work by D. H Lawrence, which he wrote the same year when he was working at his famous novel Sons and Lovers. Second Best is one of his earliest works and it may be a little connected with author’s personal life because in 1912 –the same year he wrote this story- he met Frieda von Richthofen, the Professor Ernest Weekly's wife and fell in love with her. Frieda left her husband and three children just to be with him.
D. H. Lawrence’s best known work is called Lady Chatterly's Lover (1928) which tells of the love affair between a wealthy, married woman, and a man who works on her husband's estate. The book was banned for a time in both UK and the US as pornographic. In this work his style differed fairly from the style in his earliest stories, for example, in his story Second Best.
In the exposition of this story D. H. Lawrence introduces readers with two girls; one is Frances- the main character- and the other is her sister Anne. He describes the both girls very visually: “Anne was a wise young body of fourteen, very buxom, brimming with common sense. Frances was much older, about twenty-three, and whimsical, spasmodic.” Their personalities and looks are very different, and even if Frances is the elder sister, she seems more unsteady and fragile than the younger one. This truth is strengthened with the sentence: “It was a joke to Frances that Anne should play elder, almost a mother to her.” That shows that the relationship between the two sisters is more one-sided and that the younger sister cares and protects the elder one more than she receives back for her love. In the exposition readers get to know that Frances has just returned from Liverpool to spend time on countryside and now is feeling tired, but there is the sense that something more than just tiredness is wrong with Frances.…
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