Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence

6138 Words25 Pages
Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence

THE PLOT

In the rolling hills and coal-pitted fields of central England, known

as the British Midlands, live the Morels, a poor mining family. The

family has just moved down in the world from the nearby village of

Bestwood to the Bottoms, a complex of working-class row houses.

Gertrude Morel is a small, stern woman, pregnant with her third child,

Paul, the protagonist of this novel. The Morels' other children are

William and Annie. But unlike his siblings, Paul is not wanted by his

mother. The poverty-stricken household cannot easily handle another

hungry mouth to feed. Walter Morel, Paul's father, is a hard-working

coal miner with a lively spirit and a severe drinking problem.

Mr. and Mrs. Morel were initially attracted to each other because they

were so different. He is working-class, sensual, nonintellectual, and

fairly irresponsible. His wife is middle-class, pious, intellectual,

and eminently reliable. The passion that held them together in the

first glowing months of their marriage cannot survive their social and

moral differences.

When Paul is born, Mrs. Morel is determined to make him feel loved, to

compensate for his unwanted conception. Paul is a feeble,

oversensitive child, who seems to be living proof of the shattered

love of his mismatched parents.

William, the eldest son, is the favorite of the family. He's a great

athlete, student, worker, and companion. He lands a good job in London

and gets caught up in the exciting urban life. He becomes engaged to

Louisa Lily Denys Western ("Gyp"), a young woman who is beautiful but

not bright.

Meanwhile, Paul gets an office job at Jordan's artificial limb factory

in Nottingham. The shop girls, particular...

... middle of paper ...

...these relationships take forever to resolve and

that when they do, the result is quite unsatisfactory. Other readers

believe that the monotonous repetition of the failed Miriam/Paul

relationship theme is deliberate. They feel that Sons and Lovers is

structured like ocean waves. There's a rhythmic return pattern to

various themes, such as the decay of Mr. and Mrs. Morel's love after

it has reached its climax. This serves to show that there are no

clear-cut resolutions in life. People make the same mistakes again and

again. Part Two can be considered a journey from the known, realistic

world of Part One into the realm of the unknown, where there are no

definitive solutions. Part Two explores the subconscious and

mysterious forces that motivate people. Lawrence saw this sort of

exploration as far more important than providing his audience with

resolutions.

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