Since its posthumous publication, The Virgin and the Gipsy has drawn much critical attention to its non-realistic formal elements such as romance, fairy tale, myth or symbolism. But why Lawrence deployed them so conspicuously in this novella unlike in his other realistic novels, and what is their relation to its theme of desire have yet to be clarified. Aiming to address these problems, this paper examines the nature of the virginal desire of Yvette, the heroine of the novella, and then how effectively the formal devices work to develop this theme. One of the most salient features of Yvette`s virginity is her vagueness. It is not only a kind of defence strategy to protect her subversive desire in the covertly repressive milieu of the Rectory, but also symptomatic of her self-delusion or false consciousness of denial for the sake of the comforts of the rectory life. As the constrictions of the Rectory are not easy to shake off, her desire for the gipsy, who belongs to the outermost fringe of the English society, is to a certain extent imbued with romantic ideas or sentiments. The non-realistic formal elements are introduced to expose and undermine this romantic aspect of her desire. These include, among others, the allusion to `the Lady of Shalott,` the dramatization of a brief pseudo-romance scene between Yvette and the gipsy, the insertion of the romance figures of Eastwoods, and the parody of romance and the ostentatious use of symbolism at the climactic flood scene in which she confronts and recognizes her own desire. Returning to Lawrence`s typical realistic style, the novella`s concluding part subtly captures the small, though significant, signs of Yvette`s transformation after the flood scene and leaves her open to an ongoing new readjustment to reality, with her desire divested of its romantic tinge.