Within the frame of the novel, we are not supposed to read that Rosamond and Lydgate engage in any illicit sexual act before their marriage a bit later in the novel.But we are supposed to perceive the sexual attraction that undergirds that eventual marriage.I want to make a slightly different point: that the respectable novel’s insistence on both the centrality of the marriage plot and on the worthwhileness of acquisitiveness of all kinds necessarily enforces the mystifying puzzle of metaphorical sex.More, that it is not until metaphor releases its hold on sexual description that the novel makes good on sex’s self-shattering power.For most of its short generic life, the novel has depended on marriage and childbirth as signs of sexual relationship, and has had a difficulty representing sexual life beyond marriage and childbirth without the assistance of figurative language. Lawrence and argue for the peculiarity of his particular representational strategies in the history of the novel.In this paper, I want to discuss a few ways that novels can represent sex. One way Lawrence shifts the novel’s terms comes from the adjustments he makes to what I see as the capitalist regime of the marriage plot.Instead, sexual action gives knowledge that mere desire cannot reveal.
For instance, when Emma Bovary’s blood turns into milk, when she hears a call from somewhere in the forest, we are meant to read that her encounter with Rodolphe produces sexual climax.
The referential seams that bind Rosamond’s chain to the narrator’s figurative chain are the same seams that bind the Forget-me-nots that stand in in Lydgate’s vision for Rosamond’s eyes.