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Essay on Color Symbolism in Sons and Lovers

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Color Symbolism in Sons and Lovers


Throughout Sons and Lovers, D.H. Lawrence uses colors to suggest the underlying implications of the events taking place. Three colors in particular - red, black, and white - seem to carry some sort of subtle connotation which reveals more about the characters, their actions, and their motives for those actions, than the plot or the setting alone. Tied to the color images are material images which carry the same connotative meaning: the color red is associated with fire, black with darkness and dirt, and white with cold. Also, Lawrence tends to use such color images at times when an emotional response arises from one of the characters or from the reader. Especially in the first chapter, Lawrence tends to associate certain people and actions with colors. In the two instances when Walter and Gertrude Morel begin fighting, conflicts arise in colors, which echo the conflicts confronting the characters. The thr...


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...seared with passion, shivered to find herself out there in a great white light, that fell cold on her, and gave a shock to her inflamed soul" (22). The brightness and cold of reason shock the burning passion of her "inflamed soul". Such contrasts continue throughout the novel. Lawrence's use of color enhances the reader's understanding of the characters and of the progress of their interactions.

Works Cited:

Lawrence, DH Sons and Lovers. 1913. New York: Bantam, 1985.


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