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Fanny And Annie
IntroductionIn this essay I will be discussing whether it is class or not which keeps the two lovers apart or whether it is Fanny’s subconscious. There is a strong possibility that the story is developed around the idea of the conscious and subconscious, as many of D H Lawrence’s short stories develop from Freudian concepts. His wife taught him about Sigmund Freud and since then he was hooked on writing short stories that made you think about your conscious and subconscious, Fanny and Annie is definitely one of them.

ClassHowever there is no doubt that class does play some part in keeping them apart, as it seems to be connected to her conscious and subconscious minds, with subconscious linking with the working class and her conscious linking with the middle class.

There, on the sordid little station under the furnaces, she stood, tall and distinguished, in her well-made coat and skirt and her broad velour hat. She held her umbrella, her bead chatelaine, and a little leather case in her grey-gloved hands, while Harry staggered out of the ugly little train with her bags. -page 97, lines 2-6

This paragraph clearly links Fanny with the middle class with her extravagant accessories, and Harry with the working class with the him carrying her bags out of the ugly little train. Harry is perceived as being like a servant, having to carry the more sophisticated Fanny’s bags.

Although this paragraph does show that class does have a part in keeping the couple apart, I think this is only because her subconscious mind links with the working class and her conscious mind links with the middle class. This is clear as we can see Fanny has chosen her image carefully in order to say, “I’m better than you Mr. Working Class”. But we can also see that something has brought her back to Nottinghamshire. This I believe is her subconscious, which is telling her that she is working class and that she loves Harry and belongs in Nottinghamshire.

She had come home - for good! Her heart nearly stopped beating as she trudged up and down that hideous interminable hill, beside the laden figure. What a come-down! What a come-down! She could not take it with her usual bright cheerfulness. She knew it all too well. It is easy to bear up against the unusual, but the deadly familiarity of an old stale past! - page 98, lines 15-20

This paragraph shows us that Fanny is mortified with having to return to Nottinghamshire and sink back into the lower working class, with her conscious mind. Her conscious mind is telling her that she is middle class and that what is happening to her will eventually be the break of her, she is denying what she is, a working class lass.

Working ClassD H Lawrence depicts working class as being quite proud of being working class.

She fairly hated the sound of correct English. She thee’d and tha’d her prospective daughter-in-law, and said: -page 102, lines 24-26

This extract shows that Mrs Goodall is so proud of being part of working class Nottinghamshire she refuses to speak proper English. This adds to Fanny’s views from her conscious mind, that she doesn’t want to be working class and separates the couple. A lady's maid, as Fanny was, worked for people who spoke correct and proper English, and she too also speaks proper English so the fact that the working class refuse to is yet another reminder to Fanny about not only how Harry is not ambitious to climb the class ladder as Fanny did, but also how the entire working class refuses to.

D H Lawrence also depicts the working class to be quite religious, as they go to chapel and decorate the chapel wonderfully and hold special services for the harvest celebrations. This added to Fanny’s views from her subconscious mind, that she loved Harry and therefore wanted to be with him as part of working class as she should be. It is not the fact that the working class are religious, but the fact that Harry sings luridly that helps her realisation of her love for him, which brings the couple closer together.

And again the little old chapel was a bower, with its famous sheaves of corn and corn-plaited pillars, its great bunches of grapes, dangling like tassels from the pulpit corners, its marrows and potatoes and apples and pears and damsons, its purple asters and yellow Japanese sunflowers . -page 104, lines 18-23

Chapel is also shown to be important to the working class as it is where Mrs Nixon chooses to disgrace Harry, as she believes this is where everyone will be gathered together and will have greatest effect. Mrs Nixon’s outburst is a major turning point in Fanny and Harry’s relationship, or at least the one that has developed in he mind. It effects her conscious mind, the mind which despises Harry for being working class. This makes her dislike him further as she finds out he is even more like the other working class men than she previously knew, working class men who go down to the pub and chat up women and possibly get them pregnant, which separates Harry and Fanny. On the other hand it effects her subconscious mind as she becomes jealous that he has been with another woman, and probably other women. She wants to have all of Harry’s affection as a working class wife, therefore bringing Harry and Fanny together.

‘You look well, don’t you, standing singing solos in god’s holy house, you, Goodall. But I said I’d shame you. -page 107, lines 10-12

D H Lawrence also depicts them as being very shallow. So shallow that the conversations they hold as a family is mere boring gossip. Fanny’s conscious mind is sparked with this issue, because is she was to become Harry’s wife and therefore a working class lass, she would have to endure, and take part in this dull conversation day-in day-out. This separates the couple further.

The chatter was general. It concerned the Nixon family and the scandal. -page 112, lines 4-5

Overall, D H Lawrence depicts the working class as a group of people a middle class person of the 19th century would not like to associate with. This is mainly because most of the description about the working class and how they live is perceived through Fanny’s conscious mind, the mind which thinks it is middle class and despises the thought of moving back into working class.

HarryThere are two side of Harry that are perceived in the story. One which portrays her conscious mind’s view, this is the one that despises Harry. The other is he subconscious mind’s view, the one that desires Harry.

A) Despicable HarryFanny hates the thought of being with Harry simply for him being working class. Fanny has many perceptions of him that make him despicable, which clearly have been imagined just because he is working class. In this extract Fanny despises him because of the way he eats pork pie, surely the way you eat pork pie cannot portray someone as being a doom to you. This pushes the couple apart.

As he sat there eating his pork-pie, bulging his cheek out, she felt he was like a doom to her. -page 101, lines 22-24

There is a major characteristic of Harry that she hasn’t imagined, which pushes them apart, but which is a result of him being working class. Harry’s ambition, or rather the lack of it. I think it is not that Harry is particularly under-ambitious but the fact that Harry is happy as he is. I also think that Fanny is comparing him more to her cousin Luther, who we know was very ambitious and wanted the same as Fanny’s conscious mind does, to be middle class, and eventually higher class. This, subsequently, separated Harry and Fanny.

What she rebelled against so bitterly was that he had no sort of ambition. He was a moulder, but of a very commonplace skill. He was thirty-two years old, and hadn’t saved twenty pounds. She would have to provide all the money for the home. He didn’t care. He jus didn’t care. He had no initiative at all. -page 101, lines 14-19

B) Desirable HarryThere are many things about Harry that Fanny finds loveable. The main issue being that Harry is attractive. Both Fanny’s minds (the conscious, which despises Harry, and the subconscious, which desires Harry) agree on this, but Fanny’s conscious mind rebels against it as she doesn’t want to marry him and become working class again. Harry’s attractiveness brings the two lovers together.

A certain winsomeness also about him. A certain physical winsomeness, and as if his flesh were new and lovely to touch. The thorn of desire rankled bitterly in her heart. -page 106, lines 5-8

One thing that Fanny finds very attractive about him is his lacerating voice. It is when Harry sings that Fanny finds him most desirable, therefore bringing Harry and Fanny closer together.

He had a good voice and he sang with a certain lacerating fire... -page 103, lines 29-30

Fanny also loved him because he made her feel higher, which Fanny wanted. If she can’t be middle class, which she isn’t, Fanny wants most of all to feel middle class and be treated like a higher being. She would hate for him to treat her as an equal, and therefore a working class woman. This brings them together.

He had a charm, too, particularly for women, with his blondness and his sensitiveness and his way of making a woman feel that she was a higher being. -page 101, lines 28-30

She also found his kisses unforgettable, ever since the day she first kissed him they have seemed to have buried themselves down into the root of her soul. Fanny is drawn back to him and his kisses, bringing the lovers together.

He was the first man who had ever kissed her. And his kisses, even while she rebelled from them, had lived in her blood and sent roots down into her soul. After all this time she had come back to them. -page 105, lines 20-23

Accepting her DoomThere are a few points leading up to Fanny accepting her doom. All of which bring her and Harry together. The first point is when Fanny is deciding which road to take, the road which leads to her Aunt’s, if she had chose this root it would have meant leaving Harry for good. The other road leads to The Goodall’s by choosing this she has chosen to stay with Harry. Or has she? I think she chose this root, not as a way of deciding to marry Harry, but to keep her options open, after all she can always leave the Goodall’s but she can’t return to Harry once choosing to go to her Aunt’s.

And they went without another word, for the long mile or so, till they came to the corner of the street where Harry lived. Fanny hesitated. Should she go on to her aunt’s? Should she? It would mean leaving all this for ever. Harry stood silent. -pages 110-111, lines 34 and 1-3

The second point is where Fanny is preparing for lunch, she gets ready similarly to an important woman going to an important dinner, rather than a working class woman joining her future family for some Sunday lunch. She does this to keep Mrs Nixon guessing whether or not she is going to marry Harry as is again rejecting the working class.

She tied up her hair, washed her hands, and put the tiniest bit of powder on her face, for coolness, there in front of Mrs Goodall’s indignant gaze. -page 111, lines 32-34

The final point, is of course, the point where she does eventually accept her doom. The acceptance is quite sudden, although we have been told that she does love him and chose to go on to Harry’s house.

“I’m not going tonight,” said Fanny abruptly. And there was a sudden halt in the family. “I’ll stop with you tonight, mother,” she added. -page 113, lines 13-15

ConclusionI believe the statement is true. It isn’t class which separates Fanny and Harry, but Fanny’s conscious and subconscious. Although I wouldn’t go as far as saying that class plays no part at all, because it does, as it links in with Fanny’s conscious and subconscious. Fanny and Harry are finally joined at the end, not because she overcomes her hatred of him being working class, but because her unconscious is ultimately stronger than her conscious.
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