Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Noor Islam

Second Advisor

Dr. Diana Dominguez

Third Advisor

Dr. Marty Lewis


The primary purpose of this study was to reassess the usefulness of D. H. Lawrence's book of poetry called Pansies, especially regarding his political philosophy. Often dismissed as an inferior work, the poems lead to a greater understanding of Lawrence's political thinking. Due to the application of a new historical critical perspective, any stylistic objections to these highly experimental poems could be avoided. In order to achieve the understanding sought with new historicism, it was necessary to look at Lawrence's biographies and letters, as well as his other works, before attempting to interpret his poetry. The poems show that Lawrence believed current models of government were not successful for everyone and could not be fixed. He pointed to the concepts of work and money as harming individuals. His greater philosophical goal was to teach people how to live. To get there, Lawrence wanted a more primitive society in which humans behaved naturally. While he wanted as little governmental interference as possible, he still wished for some sort of social safety net so people would not need to worry about food or shelter. Instead, they would be able to focus on doing as they were inclined to do. This thesis shows the depth of Lawrence's political thinking. It reveals that Pansies had a greater purpose than just being silly and shocking as some early reviewers seemed to suggest. The book indeed embodies his vision of a humane society.


Copyright 2010 Andrew Keese. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas at Brownsville