Sons and Lovers

analytical Essay
1545 words
1545 words

Sons and Lovers

The Parallels Between Two Families

“It is morning again, and she is still here...” These are the words D.H. Lawrence wrote to a friend describing his terminally ill mother in 1913. “I look at my mother and think ‘O Heaven-is this what life brings us to?’ You see mother has had a devilish married life, for nearly forty years- and this is the conclusion- no relief.” (Baron’s Educational Series, 1993). At the time this letter was written Lawrence was fictionalizing his relationship with his mother, as well as the rest of his family, in the novel Sons and Lovers .

In the novel the Lawrences would be named the Morels, but though the names are different there are many parallels between Sons and Lovers and Lawrence’s own life. These parallels are what make the novel truly autobiographical. However, the strongest evidence of the autobiographical nature of this novel exists in the comparisons between Lawrence and his parents with their fictional counterparts in the book.

David Herbert Lawrence was born in 1885, in Eastwood, England. Eastwood is an industrial town, the main industry being coal mining. In the novel, Eastwood becomes the town of Bestwood. As in the novel, Lawrence’s family was poor and working class. Lawrence was a sickly child (Croom, 1996). He had bronchitis a mere two weeks after he was born, and lung problems would plague him all his life, eventually developing into repeated bouts of pneumonia which permanently weakened his lungs (Meyers, p. 248). Eventually, it was tuberculosis, which attacked his weakened lungs, that killed him (Moynahan, p. xiii).

At that time, one of the few ways for a poor person to better himself was through education. Lawrence’s mother Lydia recognized this, and encouraged it in young Lawrence. Lawrence started school at the early age of four, but it proved too much for the child. He was withdrawn from school and did not return until he was seven years old. The fact that he was older than the other children when he reentered school set him apart socially. He had few friends, and instead sought out the company of his younger sister, Ada. Despite Lawrence’s late start, he did well in school, and became the first pupil in his school to win a scholarship to Nottingham High School (Croom, p.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how d.h. lawrence wrote to a friend describing his terminally ill mother in 1913. he fictionalized his relationship with his mother and the rest of his family in sons and lovers.
  • Analyzes how the lawrences would be named the morels, but there are many parallels between sons and lovers and lawrence’s own life. the strongest evidence of the autobiographical nature of this novel exists in the comparisons
  • Explains that david herbert lawrence was born in 1885 in eastwood, england. he had bronchitis, pneumonia, and tuberculosis.
  • Describes how lawrence's mother lydia encouraged him to improve himself through education. he started school at the age of four, but it proved too much for him.
  • Explains that lawrence's family was financially burdened since he couldn't work while attending school, but his family allowed him to enroll, and lawrence began attending high school in 1898.
  • Analyzes how the teenage lawrence had to contend with the bigotry of his peers.
  • Analyzes how lawrence excelled in high school and earned a scholarship to nottingham university college. however, he felt cheated by the lack of enthusiasm of the lecturers.
  • Explains that lawrence's father arthur was a coal miner. he was uneducated, illiterate, and drank to excess.
  • Analyzes how lydia lawrence (nee beardsall) was attracted to arthur lawrence's good looks, and this led to their marriage. she came from a middle class family that had experienced financial strife.
  • Analyzes how lydia and arthur lawrence had a relationship similar to that of gertrude and walter morel. their differences led to constant unhappiness.
  • Analyzes how the heavy drinking of arthur/walter had a profound effect on the lawrences/morels. gertrude morel's love for her husband could not withstand the strain of his drinking.
  • Analyzes how lawrence's relationship with his parents is portrayed through his character paul morel, who seems to hate his father and idolize his mother.
  • Analyzes how lawrence's novel sons and lovers brings into question the type of relationship he had with his mother. gertrude morel used emotional blackmail to prevent her son from developing romantic attachments.
  • Analyzes how paul morel, like d.h. lawrence, escaped the mines through education. both excelled in school and received scholarships which enabled them to continue their education beyond what was expected of people of their class.
  • Analyzes how d.h. lawrence's parents serve as models for gertrude and walter morel, and he himself is a model for paul
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