Clifford theorizes that it is environment that makes people noble or common, that unstoppable and systematic forces are what shape aristocrats and workers; "the individual hardly matters." Clifford's motorized wheelchair becomes stuck on a sharp incline, and he calls Mellors to come fix it.There is a tense scene in which Clifford insists on getting the chair up the incline on its own power, while Mellors and Connie realize that only pushing will get it up.She sees that he still has a picture of his wife, Bertha Coutts, and convinces him to burn it and to initiate divorce proceedings.
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Taking a more manly job as a blacksmith, he married Bertha because he saw a deep sensuality in her.
As it turns out, he was right: they had deep sexual desire for each other.
One Sunday morning, Clifford and Connie go into the woods, which are beautiful in early summer.
They discuss the plight of the coal-miners, with Connie complaining about the hideousness and hopelessness of the miners' lives, and Clifford taking the position that he, as a capitalist, is doing his responsibility to provide work for the common people.
He began his professional career as a clerk, and during his clerkship he had two lovers before Bertha, both women who loved him deeply but who were uninterested in sex.
He felt that they were robbing him of his masculinity (they had "nearly taken all the balls out of me").
But she began to assert herself too aggressively, holding out when he wanted sex, refusing to have orgasms with him, seizing sexual control.
Connie inwardly scoffs at the powerlessness of Clifford, the man who so recently bragged about the strength and responsibility of the aristocracy.
The chair slips, and Mellors--already weakened by pneumonia--lunges to catch it, in the process exhausting himself.