Detailed Summary of The Rainbow – Chapter I

THE RAINBOW by D.H. Lawrence


The Bragwens A family living in the Marsh Farm
Mrs. Hardy The Squire’s wife
Tom Bragwens A member of the Bragwens
vicar A member of the clergy in the Cossethay church
Lord William An important official of Derbyshire

Chapter I

Introduction to Will’s Childhood Life

The family of Brangwens is introduced.  They have been living on the Marsh Farm on the meadows near Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire for generations.  Two miles away from the Marsh Farm, the tower of a church is seen on the hill and houses are built on the slope up to the church.

The Brangwens have been working hard in their land but they do not become rich but they are not in want of anything, besides they are also pennywise in their living.  The men maintained corn fields and dairy and they are the sons of the soil.

The Brangwen women also work hard in the farm but they long for another form of life.  They long to enjoy city life where ‘secrets were made known and desires fulfilled’.  They want to enlarge their scope and experience freedom.

The Brangwen men look inwards whereas the Brangwen women look outwards.  They know that their husbands are strong but then the physically weak vicar has authority over their husbands.  Such facts raises their curiosity and they know that it is not money, nor power, nor position.  The women compare their well-fed children with that of the poor curate’s children and wonder the reason for them to have dominance over their children.  Finally the women come to the conclusion that education and experience make all the difference.

Lady Brangwen desires to give education to all her children.  Further like many other women, she also wants to further her status like that of the squire’s wife, Mrs. Hardy.  When she attends the church service at Cossethay, she is the cynosure of all eyes and the women talk high of not only Mrs. Hardy but also of all who are associated with her.    Tom Brangwen is attractive in the eyes of the women of the village nevertheless Mrs. Hardy, Lord William, and the vicar are considered important in the village.



1. Erewash – noun

Meaning : a canal in Derbyshire

Example – The Brangwens had lived for generations on the Marsh Farm, in the meadows where the Erewash twisted sluggishly through alder trees, separating Derbyshire from Nottinghamshire.

2. Assiduously – adverb

Meaning : diligently

Example – Two miles away, a church-tower stood on a hill, the houses of the little country town climbing assiduously up to it

3. Blond – noun

Meaning : fair hair and skin, usually light eyes

4. Irresolute – adjective

Meaning : indecisive

Example – They were fresh, blond, slow-speaking people, revealing themselves plainly, but slowly, so that one could watch the change in their eyes from laughter to anger, blue, lit-up laughter, to a hard blue-staring anger; through all the irresolute stages of the sky when the weather is changing.

5. Patrimony – noun

Meaning : inheritance from ancestors

Example – They had never become rich, because there were always children, and the patrimony was divided every time.

6. Inert – adjective

Meaning : sluggish, lethargic

Example – Then the men sat by the fire in the house where the women moved about with surety, and the limbs and the body of the men were impregnated with the day, cattle and earth and vegetation and the sky, the men sat by the fire and their brains were inert, as their blood flowed heavy with the accumulation from the living day.

7. Droves – noun

Meaning: a group of birds or animals

Example – On them too was the drowse of blood-intimacy, calves sucking and hens running together in droves, and young geese palpitating in the hand while the food was pushed down their throttle.

8. Ferretted – verb

Meaning : drove out

Example – …it was enough that they helped the cow in labour, or ferreted the rats from under the barn, or broke the back of a rabbit with a sharp knock of the hand.

About diarysketches (25 Articles)
I Teach English Language and Literature in a college.

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