The Prussian Officer
by D. H. Lawrence
(about 9000 words)
This story follows a Prussian captain and his orderly as they march with their company through the woods. Everything is going just fine until the Captain happens to get a bit turned on by his younger assistant. Frustrated beyond reason, the Captain taunts, torments and abuses his poor underling until the young man snaps and kills him. Taking into account that this story is nearly 9000 words long, this is a paper thin summary, but this story is best absorbed in its original text. Full of the sort of homoerotic sexual tension one expects from Lawrence, the story is an easy metaphor for the sudden release of suppressed sexual frustration.
David Herbert Richards Lawrence was born on September 11, 1885 in Nottinghamshire, England. He was born to working class parents, and making good enough grades in primary school, earned a scholarship to attend high school in Nottingham. He worked as a teacher in his younger days, and when his mother died, he entered a period of depression he called his “sick year.” While he was teaching, his story “Odor of Chrysanthemums” caught the eye of a London publisher who asked for more of Larence’s work. He continued teaching for a while longer, but soon devoted most of his time to writing. He met and married Frieda Weekley during this time, and though she was married, they traveled throughout Europe together before finally returning to Brittan to marry when she got divorced. After WWI, Lawrence placed himself in voluntary exile and spent the rest of his life traveling with his wife. He died on March 2, 1930 of tuberculosis.