The Shadow in the Rose Garden By D.H Lawrence | Short Story

The Shadow in the Rose Garden by D.H.Lawrence

The Shadow in the Rose Garden

D.H.Lawrence a.k.a David Herbert Lawrence (1885-1930) enjoys a respectable place among the naturalist writers of the 20th century. He is a well-known British short story writer, poet, critic, painter, and novelist of the pre and post-WW1 era.
He completed his degree from the University College, Nothingam. He also taught for 4 years at a local school. Lawrence was a productive writer of poetry, novels, short stories, plays, essays, and criticism.
His works are basically autobiographical and the experiences of his early years in Nottinghamshire continued to impart a profound and deep influence throughout his life. Lawrence loved to travel around.
He visited Australia, Europe, Asia, and North America during his lifetime. He had seen both life and death from the very close quarters. His literary masterpieces still inspire great zeal among the readers.
Snake and How Beastly the Bourgeoisie is, are probably his most anthologized poems His literary writings used to focus on the themes of the futility of human life, uncertainty, the question of faith, the inevitability of death, spring of life, and optimism, etc.

Summary | The Shadow in the Rose Garden

D.H.Lawrence is a famous British poet, critic, novelist, and short-story writer. In this story The Shadow in the Rose garden, he has very skillfully combined the strong emotional tension and a deep sense of reality.
It is a story of a young married couple. They were not emotionally attached to each other. They lived at Bridlington. They arranged for an outing. The wife had chosen a seaside village as a resort. 
She had lived there once before her marriage for two years. She said to her husband I came to see the place, not people. Her husband did not understand why she came to a place which she had seen before and where she had no relatives and friends.
As they ate breakfast, she told her husband to go alone for a walk. Her husband did not like that but went outside silently. A little later she came out wearing a hat with roses. She looked a little nervous.
But as soon as the husband left, she went to the rose garden on the seashore. It was the place where she used to meet Archie, her lover, who lived in the adjacent house. He was the son of the rector. They loved each other but could not marry.
He joined the army and was sent to Africa where he was heard to be killed. The gardener told her that it was not open for the public on that day. Still, he allowed her to stay for a while. 
Actually, she wanted to visit certain places alone to revive the memories of her past. Then she looked at the blue sea beyond the garden and her face shone with a curious blend of pain and pain. She wandered through the garden, looking at the roses around her.
Reading a seat among the white roses, she sat down, quite still and thoughtful. Soon a shadow crossed her and a figure moved into her sight. He was a young man with black hair and a waxed mustache. He came and sat beside her.
He had a military appearance. She recognized him because he was Archie, her ex-lover. He did not recognize her. He joined the army and was sent to Africa where he was heard to be killed. 
Actually, he was not killed in the war but had become lunatic and mad as a result of sunstroke. There was a strange glitter in his eyes but it was the glitter of madness. She was shocked and frightened about him.
He could not recognize her. Then the gardener came and took the man away. She remained in his company for some time and then came back with hurtful memories of her past. When her husband came back, he found her sitting sadly on the bed.
He asked her the cause of her sorrow. She spoke to him very harshly and wanted to be left alone. She did not love her husband. On his insistence, she told him about her relationship with her lover. I hate your not straightforward questions. 
She cried We loved each other, and we were lovers we were. I don’t care what you think. He stood silently and looked at her. She told him that her former lover is mad, and did not recognize her.
They were shocked so much they were impersonal and no longer hated each other. It was hoped that they would turn over a new leaf in life and would live happily ever afterward. The writer has tried to give us this message of tolerance and reconciliation.

Important Questions and Answers

Question 1

What is the theme of the short story The Shadow in the Rose Garden by D.H.Lawrence? 
Write a note on the basic theme of the story The Shadow in the Rose Garden.


In this story, D.H.Lawrence had described the basic requirements of a successful married couple. In this story, he narrated that in marriage there must be complete understanding, love, and cooperation between husband and wife.
They should be free from every kind of doubt. The story is a psychological conflict in all the characters. The writer gives the message through this story that married life should base on understanding.
 So, both husband and wife should tell their first secrets frankly to each other. They should create flexibility in their personalities. In this way, they can live a peaceful and happy life. 
He also tells us that we should handle our misunderstandings without quarreling. Otherwise, the emotional strain and stresses are so powerful and strong that they may drive us mad.
The theme of the story is based upon a woman’s love relationship before her marriage and its results. I n the story, Frank the mining engineer, and his wife could not live to enjoy the fruits of marriage.
Soon after the marriage, the wife was very tensed in her attitude. She admitted to Frank that she had a love affair with Archie, a military officer, before her marriage. Firstly, her husband did not tolerate it but soon his anger cooled down when he realized the reality of life.
His wife also realized that though her lover was alive, yet he was completely mad. He did not recognize her anyway. Soon they were relieved of the mental tension. They made a compromise to live to gather. They decide to live together with better understanding and love

Question 2

Explain the basis of the conflict between Frank and his wife and how did the conflict get resolved.
We were both shocked so much; they were impersonal and no longer hated each other. Discuss the statement in light of the story.
What were the causes of conflict between husband and wife?
Does the story point out the psychological implications of the husband-wife relationship or their mental conflict?


In the story, The Shadow in the Rose Graden D.H. Lawrence has given many causes of conflict between Frank and his wife. Both were different according to their temperament and behavior.
First, there was no emotional attachment between Frank and his wife. Frank did like his wife physically as she looked older than him. Secondly, the wife was very lazy and stubborn. Mostly she replied negatively.
Even she did not tell her husband her household problems. Thirdly, Frank was suspicious that why did his wife not like him. He thought that there might be another man which she liked. Later he came to know that he was correct in his doubt.
Moreover, the wife always wanted to remain in solitude. She did not like that her husband should disturb her. One day Frank asked his wife about the reason for her grief and then she told her about her past love affair.
First, he became angry at her later he consoled her. After that incident both started to live with harmony and understanding. She came to know the reality of life and her position as a wife. 
The conflict or tension between Frank and his wife got reduced in their long discussion. Frank finally made her express her innermost thoughts and feelings about her first lover. She told him that a young army officer Archie had spent a year in lovemaking with her.
He angrily shouted at her and expressed his hatred for her. Frank was rightly upset because his wife had not told him about her dirty past love relationship before marriage However, two facts brought relief and comfort to Frank.
when Frank and his wife expressed themselves fully in each other’s presence, they were mentally satisfied. But emotionally they were dissatisfied. A compromise between them depended on his and his wife’s inner nature, thinking and behavior. 

Question 3

Explain The Shadow in the Rose Garden as a love story.
The wife in The Shadow in Rose Garden cannot digging her past. Discuss.
Describe the visit of Frank’s wife to the garden


It is a love story turned into a hate tale. Frank and his wife were unhappy after marriage. It is a story of unfulfilled love between a young man and a beautiful lady. The woman loved her lover passionately. Unfortunately, she was forced to marry an engineer younger than her.
She was dejected and frustrated about her marriage. Once they visited the sea town for enjoyment. The girl had already visited there with her lover. She asked Frank not to tell others about their stay in the town. It made him suspicious.
She had made love to a young military officer, Archie here earlier. There she managed to escape alone in the garden after getting the permission of gardner.  When she visited the rose park alone, she saw a shadow of a man. 
He was a young man, military in appearance. He gazed at her and sat down beside her. He talked to her in a military voice I don’t disturb you, do I? She was surprised to see him because he was her ex-lover. She sat motionlessly and could not speak.
She guessed him that he had become mad. She was mentally disturbed by his appearance and came back to her home hurriedly. The wife confessed to Frank about seeing her old lover Archie and her active love affair with him. This broke Frank’s heart.
The broken-hearted Frank found it difficult to get away from his corrupt wife. He could turn her out. But she could only get into evil ways or commit suicide. Frank’s silent love turned into pity or sympathy.
He stayed with her against his will. This was the rotten burden that he had to carry until he left her. It was a marriage of inconvenience not of love. He could never accept her when she had hidden her secret sexual experience before marriage.

About the Author

Anila Ibrahim

An educationist, web content writer, equipped with an LLB and a Master’s degree in English Literature, as well as a Master of Philosophy in Entrepreneurship. I have a comprehensive understanding of both the English language and the educational landscape. This academic background empowers Anila to deliver content that is not only informative but also thoroughly researched.

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