Both St. Mawr (1925) and The Woman Who Rode Away (1928) were written at the height of Lawrence’s fascination with New Mexico and demonstrate a continuum of thought about the position of the European and the Indian, but what is most interesting about these stories when read in conjunction is their attitude towards difference. Lou Carrington, the protagonist of St. Mawr, holds herself separate from other women of her class, from other men, from her mother and her Indian groom, finally finding a temporary peace in seeking affinity in a landscape; the woman who rides away from home and hearth shares Lou’s conviction that she is not quite like any of the other people around her. Lawrence’s characters show the exhilaration and danger of two cultures meeting—not only the European who wants to ride away into the imagined purity of Indian lives, but also the Indian who is intimately affected by the alien presences in his land. This is not the uneasiness of the coloniser facing an ancient civilisation he cannot comprehend; rather, Lawrence’s uneasiness is that the non-Eurocentric world has already been tainted by the colonizing presence. The Indian way of thought and consciousness is so different from the western European that it is useless to pretend they are different parts of the same one “stream”. Essential humanism cannot bridge the gap between the two ways of being, and Lawrence finds it absurd to pretend a similarity where there is none. This paper seeks to understand this otherness in noting the dynamics of interaction and interchange between the Europeans and Indians, and tries to explicate Lawrence’s vision in connection with Deleuze’s meditation on the forms of difference. Ultimately the two share the urge to conceive of difference in dramatically altered terms, to leave behind the binary of ‘us and them’; they parts ways, perhaps, in the material consciousness of whether this can be achieved.
Banerjee, Ria, "The Search for Pan: Difference and Morality in D. H. Lawrence’s St. Mawr and The Woman Who Rode Away" (2012). CUNY Academic Works.