42 pages 1 hour read

D. H. Lawrence

The Rainbow

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1915

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Chapters 10-12Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 10 Summary: “The Widening Circle”

Ursula, Gudrun, Theresa, and Catherine begin feuding with the sons of the neighboring Phillips family after one of the boys pulls Theresa’s hair. The Brangwen girls physically fight the Phillips boys one day. Anna is more upset with the boys for being ungentlemanly than she is with the girls for being unladylike. Even the vicar calls the boys cowards for beating up girls. Sometime after the brawl, the Brangwen girls and Phillips boys become each other’s “sweethearts,” much to Anna’s dissatisfaction. When they all “break up,” the Phillips boys mock Ursula, calling her “Urtler” and “Ugly-Mug.”

Ursula and Gudrun attend the Grammar School in Nottingham, and Ursula is relieved to be away from the Phillips boys’ teasing. However, she soon grows tired of her sister’s presence and craves solitary time to read. Ursula leaves fairy tales behind for “the Idylls of the King and romantic love-stories” (247). She contends with her spirituality and privately questions church doctrine. Ursula sneaks into the church’s office to be alone, but her younger siblings find her hiding place and make a mess of the room. When Will finds out, he scolds the children in a rage and slaps Ursula across the face with a dusting cloth.