Sons and Lovers

Sons and Lovers from Psychoanalytic and Feminist Points of View

April 13, 2021 by Essay Writer

Introduction

Sons and Lovers is one of the best-known works of the most influential, yet controversial writer of the Modern tradition of English literature, D. H. Lawrence. Published in 1913, the novel was banned for a number of years because of the complex and complicated issues portrayed in it. I will firstly analyze it from a psychoanalytic point of view.

Psychoanalysis

Psychoanalytic criticism implements the methods of ‘reading’ employed by Sigmund Freud in the early 20th century. He argues that literary texts, like dreams, express “the secret unconscious desires and anxieties of the author, that a literary work is a manifestation of the author’s own neuroses.” (Delahoyde, web) One may psychoanalyze a particular character within a literary work as if it is a real person, discussing the unconscious forces that makes it act the way it does, but it is usually assumed that all such characters are projections of the author’s psyche. We can also analyze an author as if he were a patient.

One of Freud’s most famous theories is the Oedipus complex, which deals with the unconscious wish of a child to posses the mother and take the father’s place. The beginning of the Oedipus complex appearing in William and Paul is exemplified in the relationship between the parents. The boys see that Walter Morel often comes home drunk after squandering the family’s income. All of this causes the boys to hate their father and be compassionate and protective towards their poor mother. Mrs. Morel takes pride in her sons. She wants to see her life’s fulfilment in them: “Now she had two sons in the world. She could think of two places, great centres of industry, and feel that she had put a man into each of them, that these men would work out what she wanted: they were derived from her they were of her and their works also would be hers.” (Lawrence, 101) At the beginning William, as the oldest son, is the mother’s favorite. He does everything he can to please her. After William dies, Paul takes his place as his mother’s favorite. The relations between mother and child are special.

Paul’s admiration for his mother knows no boundaries, her presence is always absorbing. Frequently, when he sees his mother, “his heart contracted with love.” (Lawrence, 92) Everything he does is for her, the flowers he picks as well as the prizes he wins at school. His mother is his intimate and his close friend, he has no other intimate. When Morel, the father, is at the hospital after an accident in the mine, Paul happily plays the role of the husband, “I’m the man in the house now.” (Lawrence, 88)

When his sister Annie marries he tries to console his mother saying : “But I shan’t marry, mother. Shall live with you, and we’ll have a servant.” (Lawrence, 245) If she hesitates then he proceeds to figure it out. “I’ll give you till seventy-five. There you are, I’m fat and forty-four. Then I’ll marry a staid body (…) And we’ll have a pretty house, you and me, and a servant, and it’ll be just all right.” (Lawrence, 246) His plans for the future have not changed, at twenty-two he thinks as he thought at fourteen, like a child that goes on living a fairytale.

In fact, according to Freud, “the evolution of the mature love instinct begins as soon as the child has sufficiently developed a sense of the otherness of its surroundings to single out its mother as the object of its affections. At first this is entirely instinctive and unconscious and comes as the natural result of the child’s dependence upon its mother for food, warmth and comfort.” (Bloom, 204) The mother is the overpowering presence of those earliest days of childhood and the source from which all good things come.

Feminism

The novel also deals with Feminism. Feminist critics of the feminist movement promoted a struggle against the male-dominated society which mistreats women. The suffragette movement of the early 19th century made heard the feminist voices of Virginia Woolf and Simone de Beauvoir who fought against the social degradation of females by the domineering males. “In The second sex French Simone de Beauvoir focuses on how the society as a whole creates females.” (Mahbuba, web)

Society does not provide equal rights for men and women. There is a gender unfairness in the world and Mrs. Morel becomes a victim of the patriarchal society which promotes the man-centered family. Lawrence also believed in male supremacy. Simone de Beauvoir terms this attitude “bourgeois conception”. Turning to women as mothers, Beauvoir examines that women always “takes the title of their husbands”. (Mahbuba, web). The name of Gertrude Morel appears only twice in this novel and she is always called Mrs. Morel in rest. She also states that Lawrence rediscovers this conception that woman should subordinate her whole existence to that of her man. Her children become somehow tools for making her dreams come true. She is teaching them to change their social position. She encourages Paul’s art, his education and social advancement. (Monjur, web)

Clara can be seen at a first sight as a portrait of the modern early 20th century woman. She combines a number of significant characteristics: she is intensely attractive, fiercely independent, considering herself as a woman apart from her class, and a woman of passion. Hower, the roles of the wife and the mother have been invested with some power or influence as against the role of the feminists. “Women like Clara cannot gain a respectable social identity outside of the institution of marriage. Clara comes across merely as an instrument, a vehicle for Paul’s passion. She is a caricature of the ‘new,’ liberated woman.” (Portrayal of Women, web)

Conclusion

In conclusion, Sons and Lovers is a complex novel which can be analyzed from multiple points of view, even if I analyzed it only through psychoanalytic and feminist theories.

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Women in Sons and Lovers

April 13, 2021 by Essay Writer

Introduction

‘Sons and Lovers’ is the most popular novel of D.H. Lawrence. First published in 1913, it was the first English Psychological novel, which established Lawrence among the front ranks of the English novelists. The book is highly autobiographical, and according to Graham Hough, presenting the “Freudian Oedipus imbroglio in almost classic completeness”. ‘Sons and Lovers’ is developed in three stages and is influenced by a woman in each stage: Mrs. Lawrence, Jessie Chambers and Frieda Weekley.

The Life of Women in That Time

The novel was written in the Edwardian era, at a time when women had minimal decision in the path their lives would take. It was not seen reasonable for a woman from the center or privileged societies to be in paid work. They were viewed as a family’s ownership, to be prepped for marriage, the more extravagant the better, have and bring up kids, run a family, very little transformed from the Medieval impression of women. These suppositions of what a lady could or would do depended on the rule that a lady would wed. However, things started to change during the final decades of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth century. As Carol Dix mentions in her novel ‘D.H. Lawrence and Women’, “Women’s education had expanded faster than anything else in the society around them, so women knew what was available to them but were frustrated in their attempts to take advantage- either in the professions or a way of life that would be financially independent of marriage”. These were the circumstances that led to the rise of the suffragette movement in England, and even though Lawrence lived in Croydon, he couldn’t help but be exposed and influenced by this intellectual outcry. Cornelia Nixon demonstrated how Lawrence’s response started in 1915, during the wartime tranquility of the Feminist agitation, not long after his visit to Cambridge, when the Lawrences isolated for a brief span, and it developed in the most troublesome long stretches of their marriage.

The Invective against Women

According to Ashok Celly, “Sons and Lovers has also been critiqued from a feminist point of view”. In the true fashion of the position of women during the Edwardian era, much of Lawrence’s work is an actual “explicit invective against women” which is direct hatred and anger, roused by fear of their emasculating power. Such comments have been picked up by some female critics as the mainstream of his writing. Kate Millett, for instance, “obviously saw Lawrence as a man who hated women, and whose literary output was devoted to castigating women”. Simone de Beauvoir criticizes Lawrence, saying that “his only concern was to show women how to be mastered”. Kate Millet in her well known book ‘Sexual Politics’ has denounced Lawrence as a “male chauvinist pig and Paul Morel as a cynical manipulator of women”. Millet in her polemical essay points out that, “Miriam is Paul’s spiritual mistress, Clara his sexual one- the whole arrangement is carefully planned so that neither is strong enough to offset his mother’s control. Yet the mother too is finally dispensable…. So that he may venture forth and inherit the great masculine world…”. In fact, Clara is seen by numerous individuals as a mother-surrogate. A lot more established and wedded, she satisfies the stifled inclinations of Paul in his association with his mother. Faith Pulin saw Lawrence as a merciless user of females and contended that his primary motive was consistently to look at the male mind and utilize his female characters with that in mind.

Revolving Around Men

The lives of the women in the Edwardian era very much revolved around men, even if the modern women ventured into jobs and politics, they did so as subordinates to men, a fact well demonstrated in ‘Sons and Lovers’. According to Faith Pulin, Lawrence is a ruthless user of women, the mother, Miriam and Clara are all manipulated in Paul’s effort at self- identification, the effort to become himself. Faith Pulin also feels that “Lawrence isn’t concerned with women as themselves, but only as examples, he…. Undervalues individuality in women (clever women he distrusted and hated).” Undoubtedly, Mrs. Morel symbolizes a mother’s stifling hold on her son, a frustrated, strong- willed woman, determined to impose herself on the world through her son, which strongly demonstrates the nineteenth century women’s efforts at expanding their public roles. Mrs. Morel is a distinguished and formidable woman, but, as Aruna Sitesh points out, “the novel is about the tragic aftermath of her insistence to possess her husband and later her son and then control their lives in every possible sense”. Hilary Simpson summarized various stages of Lawrence’s thinking about women’s independence and concluded that he was sympathetic to the feminist goals as long as they were not achieved. Simpson saw Lawrence’s antifeminism of the 1920s as a reaction to the public changes in women’s status and behaviour.

Male Supremacy

Through the relationship of Paul and Miriam, Lawrence establishes a remarkable “example of sexual sadism disguised as masculine pedagogy and essentially male supremacy”. As pointed out by Kate Millett, “Miriam is a bright youngster restless within the narrow limitations of her class and anxious to escape it through the learning which has freed Paul”. Less fortunate than he, having no help from a home where she is tormented by her siblings and showed the most deadliest assortment of Christian acquiescence by her mother, she holds some rebellious expectations regardless of her conditions. Having nobody else to go to, she asks Paul, whom she respected as her senior and unrivaled, to assistance her in getting an education. And when she cannot measure up, cannot pass his demanding examination, he throws her away and takes up Clara. Virginia Woolf, Rebecca West, Katherine Ann Porter, Elaine Reuben and Carolyn Heilbum had very strongly felt that Lawrence’s heroines were normally given very limited choices and were without will and individuality. Men in later Lawrence books, men, for example, Aaron, always scorn female endeavors at working or thoughts. Given such perspectives, it isn’t extremely surprising that Paul should utilize females, Clara included, and when they have outlasted their helpfulness to him, dispose of them.

The New Woman

Further, one of the most prominent themes discussed in ‘Sons and Lovers’ is the idea of the ‘new woman’, which emerged in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century England- Edwardian era. The term was first used by Sarah Grand in 1894, to describe the growing number of the independent, educated, feminist and radical women of the Edwardian England. According to Aruna Sitesh, “Clara Dawes is the ‘new woman’ – intelligent, economically independent and socially emancipated with distinct capacity for independent judgement”. She is a suffragette, she is honest and straight. There is nothing underhanded about her. She refuses to indulge in any sentimental admiration and critically analyses Paul’s art, “You are affected in that piece”. She would shrug her shoulders in scorn of his work which would infuriate him. Then he abused her, and went into passionate exposition of his stuff. This amuses and stimulated her. Gertrude, Miriam and Clara are all bold women with distinct individuality and strong will power. They defy social customs and norms, fight against odds of all kinds and try to live life on their own terms. The otherwise meek and reserved Miriam has always wanted a chance to know, learn, to do something in life, like anybody else.

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The Summary of D. H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers: a Psychological Study

April 13, 2021 by Essay Writer

Walter Morel, a Collier, had been a nice looking, dashing young fellow when Gertrude had hitched him. Yet, following a couple of years of marriage, he ended up being an unreliable provider and a boozer, and his better half detested him for what he had once intended to her and for what he now was. Her lone comfort lay in her kids, William, Annie, Paul, and Arthur, for she inclined vigorously upon them for camaraderie, lived in their joy. She was a decent parent; her kids adored her. The most established child, William, was fruitful in his work yet he ached to go to London, where he had a guarantee of a superior occupation. After he had gone, Mrs. Morel swung to Paul for the fellowship and love she had found in William.

Paul jumped at the chance to paint. More delicate than his siblings and sister, he was nearer to Mrs. Morel than any of the others. William conveyed a young woman named Lily home to visit, however, it was obvious that she was not the correct sort of young woman for him; she was excessively shallow and conceited. A little while later, William himself ended up plainly mindful of that reality, however, he surrendered himself to keeping the guarantee he had made to his life partner.

At the point when William turned out to be sick, Mrs. Morel went to London to nurture her child and was with him there when he did. After she had covered her first child, Mrs. Morel couldn’t bring herself out of her distress. Not until the point that Paul wound up plainly debilitated did she understand that her obligation lay with the living as opposed to with the dead. From that point forward, she focused all her consideration upon Paul. The two other youngsters were fit for carrying on their undertakings without the consistent consideration that Paul requested.

At sixteen Paul went to visit a few companions of Mrs. Morel. The Leivers were a thoughtful family, and Paul effectively picked up the kinship of the Leivers youngsters. Fifteen-year-old Miriam Leivers was an abnormal young lady, yet her internal appeal pulled in Paul. Mrs. Morel, in the same way as other others, couldn’t have cared less for Miriam. Paul went to work at a stocking plant, where he was fruitful in his social connections and in his work. He kept on drawing. Miriam viewed over his work and with calm understanding offered judgment concerning his prosperity or disappointment. Mrs. Morel detected that some time or her child would wind up plainly well known for his craft.

When Miriam and Paul had developed into their twenties Paul understood that Miriam cherished him profoundly and that he adored her. Be that as it may, for reasons unknown, he couldn’t force himself to touch her. At that point through Miriam, he met Clara Dawes. For quite a while Mrs. Morel had been asking him to surrender Miriam, and now Paul endeavored to disclose to Miriam that it was all finished between them. He would not like to wed her, yet he felt that he belonged to her. He couldn’t make up his own particular personality.

Clara Dawes was isolated from her significant other, Baxter Dawes. She was five years Paul’s senior, yet a wonderful woman whose flawlessness enchanted him. In spite of the fact that Clara turned into his escort, she declined to separate her significant other and wed Paul. In some cases, Paul pondered whether he could force himself to wed Clara in the event that she was free. She was not what he needed. His mom was the main woman to whom he could turn for finish comprehension and love, for Miriam had attempted to have him and Clara kept up a hindrance against him. Paul kept on dedicating quite a bit of his opportunity and regard for fulfilling his mom. Annie had hitched and gone to live with her significant other close to the Morel home, and Arthur had hitched a beloved companion who bore him a child a half year after the wedding.

Baxter Dawes hated Paul’s association with his better half. When he greeted Paul in a bar and undermined him. Paul realized that he couldn’t battle with Baxter, yet he kept on observing Clara.

Paul had entered pictures in nearby displays and had won four prizes. With consolation from Mrs. Morel, he kept on painting. He needed to travel to another country, yet he couldn’t leave his mom. He started to see Miriam once more. When she yielded herself to him, his energy was heartless and savage. Be that as it may, their relationship was as yet unacceptable.

Miriam thought about his relationship with Clara, yet the young woman felt that Paul would feel sick of his escort and returned to her. Paul remained with Clara, in any case, since he found in her an outlet for his obscure wants. His life was an extraordinary clash. In the interim, Paul was acquiring enough cash to give his mom the things her significant other had neglected to give. Mr. Morel remained on with his significant other and child, yet he was never again acknowledged as a father or a spouse.

One day it was uncovered that Mrs. Morel had growth and was past any assistance aside from that of morphine and afterward demise. Amid the next months, Mrs.Morel declined quickly. Paul was tormented by his mom’s agony. Annie and Paul wondered about her protection from death, longing that it would arrive at the end her torment. Paul feared such a calamity in his life, despite the fact that he knew it must come in the end. He swung to Clara for comfort, yet she neglected to influence him to overlook his hopelessness. At that point, going to his mom at the doctor’s facility, Paul discovered Baxter Dawes recouping from an assault of typhoid fever. For quite a while Paul had detected that Clara needed to come back to Dawes, and now, out of pity for Dawes, he achieved the compromise between the couple.

Whenever Mrs. Morel’s affliction had mounted to a tormenting degree, Annie and Paul concluded that anything would be superior to give her a chance to live in distress. One night Paul gave her an overdose of morphine, and Mrs. Morel kicked the bucket the following day.

Taken off alone, Paul was lost. He felt that his own life had finished with the passing of his mom. Clara, to whom he had turned before was currently back with Dawes. Since they couldn’t stand to remain in the house without Mrs. Morel, Paul and his dad separated, each taking diverse lodgings.

For some time, Paul meandered weakly endeavoring to discover some reason in his life. At that point, he thought of Miriam, to whom he had once had a place. He came back to her, yet with the recharged affiliation he understood like never before that she was not what he needed, when he had thought of traveling to another country. Presently he needed to join his mom in death. Leaving Miriam for the last time, he felt caught and lost in his hesitation. Yet, he additionally felt that he was free from Miriam after numerous times of energy and lament.

His mom’s demise was excessively extraordinary a distress for Paul, making it impossible to push off instantly. At last, after a long internal battle, he could see that she would dependably be with him and that he didn’t have to kick the bucket to join her. With his new fearlessness, he set out to make his own particular life once more.

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Various Aspects of Man-woman Relationship in the Selected Novels of D. H Lawrence

April 13, 2021 by Essay Writer

The Views of Lawrence

D.H Lawrence was born in 1885; is regarded one of the most influential writers of the 20th century; his upbringing was in the tense atmosphere due to the conflict among his parents. His novels were dominant with the theme of relationships in his major novels like Sons &Lovers; his characters are not easy to explain but are always real and have existed. He portrayed his real life experiences through his characters, Lawrence stated on the condition of England, on social issues, and also on relationships. In the novels Sons and Lovers, Women in Love, Lawrence shows different aspects of a relationship. When it comes to intellectual, spiritual and sexual acquaintances, Lawrence makes it clear that all of these elements must be present in order for a relationship to be successful; it’s either all or none. The relationships in human life are most important, which did not bring harmony in Lawrence’s life but was the source of conflict. His novels are ought to be very defective, which also showed his best in his short stories, his novels showed. Normally, his novels showed the complex reality of the world where he was very outspoken about his characters and depicted his own personality through them. The subject matter of his novels was anti materialistic, increasingly vocal about a relationship which brings out the intensity of his novels. From childhood he was part of the difference between his parents, that was why sex conflict was a gigantic part in his novels. His mother’s possessive behavior did not allow him to be in any relationship. He came up with relations with different women but it was confined with doubts about his manhood. He discusses the nature of women, his experiences and knowing himself in his novels. Some feminists insist upon the primacy of biological sex, that is the distinction between female and male, as the explanation for the oppression of women – that the fundamentally different understandings of women and men in breeding the species has been used as the main aim for continuing inequalities between the sexes; on this part, these experiences are converted, due to which women will continue to be subordinate to men. Other feminists focus not upon biological sex but rather upon the ways in which societies are gendered, i.e. male and female, which explains the differences in the life roles on the basis of gender, men and women. Here the focus is on the cultural meanings attached to the rules learned by children of either sex or which society considers appropriate for women and men. This difference between the political significance of sex and gender informs much of the debate among feminists. (Political Ideology: An Introduction)

The concept of love in Kamala Das’s writing connotes the visualization of a man and a woman through which the partners involved and attain the ultimate goal of their being. For the poet, love is often considered on the one hand an end in itself whereas on the other it is treated as a means to attain greater meaning and significance in life.

On the other hand, as it has been put by Nambiar (2000), that Das also has a sensitive soul which cannot remain content unless the truth is vented out. It is very interesting to note that even the poet could not complete higher educational studies; she knows the fundamental quality of a writer and every writing of the poet brings out that one should be honest to one’s own self. The female self of a poet distinctly takes different roles; one is the ultimate self in poet that cries out honestly which automatically turns out to be a collective cry, and this cry is a cry for freedom. Here the quest for freedom is a predominant theme in the female writers like her. With love, warmth and care from the partner makes a difference, in the reality of present mode and modalities of living when such love is denied, the poems of Kamala Das become the story of her selves, itinerary in search of love and life even outside the home. In fact, in her case it is love as an end which maintains the balance. As the genesis of love is our being in the world, Das’s concept of love does not reject the seat of love the body. In this context, Sunanda Chavan has summarized that Das believes love to be fulfillment of soul realized through body that is experience of sex, beyond sex which is elucidated in the poem like ‘unity’. Relationships for Lawrence do not mean a mere mingling together of two individuals. He insists on a union that is committed, one to one, and intense and in a creative partnership that is akin to manage. A true moralist Lawrence finely declares that the union between a man ruled a woman should be permanent and sacred. This union to him should be based on a dynamic relatedness which is pure, free and spontaneous and not based on promiscuous sex and free love which the modern society unknowingly advocate this fundamental relationship and no man can exist completely unless he enters into a dynamic and spontaneous relatedness with a woman and vice versa. His strong convictions regarding this union are primarily based on the achievement of a complete balance between love and individuality, and between the sensual and the spiritual. The Platonic or romantic type of love which extols the spiritual condemning the physical is unrealistic for Lawrence, as he believes in the blending of the two for achieving wholeness. His views on love, sex, and marriage are so interconnected that they form one whole and cannot be considered in isolation. No other writer could have so explicitly presented this concept as Lawrence.

Sons and Lovers

Sons and Lovers were mainly written in an autobiographical style, which was a masterpiece where e Lawrence distinguished the relationships in all forms. The novel was full of intensity where the feeling of love and hatred is shown, the mother and son relationship became a powerful and intense bond, which gave rise to the hatred for the young man in the society. Lawrence blending the feeling of love and hatred with the bitterness and sensitivity, which presents the fine picture of deep sincerity and a malice towards the human psychology. The upbringing of Lawrence played a significant role in making the novelist of future, Lawrence’s environment as a child and as a young man played an important part in the constructing of future novelist. The novel Sons and Lovers portrays the family where the spiritual woman Gertrude Morel married an illiterate miner Walter Morel. His charm, no – intellectual humor and liveliness captivated her. They were very much happy with each other, but the happiness was short lived till the time she discovered that her husband lied her in order to marry her. Mrs. Lawrence cannot forgive about the lies which Mr. Lawrence told her in order to marry her. Her fixated behavior almost tortures him and he comes home often drunk which puts the burden on their budget. Mr. Morel was treated as an outsider in his family; children didn’t have any respect for their father which was flamed by Mrs. Morel. She turns to her children for emotional satisfaction and stability in life. This reveals the saga of false relationships between husband and wife, man and woman as lovers and parents and children.

In the book “The Novel and the Modern world” by Davis Daiches where he argues: ‘Lawrence’s novels are always about basic human relationships, he is never content to present case history of oddities, everything he presents to us is intended to bear directly and centrally on marriage and true friendship in modern society’. (Daiches 1960:162)

Rainbow

D.H Lawrence wanted to help man to overcome his weakness; he wanted to save man to be the victim of tension in the society but desired a man to regain the spirit and the value. The novel “Rainbow’ brought up the conflict between culture and society where the self -realization of individuals which is one of the important factors for the relationship. The Lawrence characters consciously or unconsciously are on a pursuit to connect the various dimensions of their lives in a period of great social upheaval, themes are strongly related to social concerns. The thirst of characters to achieve fulfilling relationships satisfying work and be connected to the life which is often religious. The characters like Anna at times, and Ursula’s lover, Skrebensky, are seen as failing in life because they deny their spiritual dimension. Anna attacks Will’s exaggerated religious sensibility; Ursula soon sees that Skrebensky’s narrow-mindedness leads him to be a puppet of colonialism, though she does not pinpoint it as a religious lack. The central theme of the novel is marriage, where three generations.

Women in Love

Women in Love again portray the relationship between sexes which is one of the major themes. The novel depicts the theme where the structure and development of its characters connect with the theme and expresses the thinking of modern man by explaining the theory of the relationship between man and woman. The several relationships in Women in Love where Lawrence seeks to differentiate between the true conflicts which leave only scars and damage. According to him men and women are so determined towards each other mentally and emotionally that the conflict between them is more than physical.
‘The man has his pure freedom, the woman hers’, he writes in Women in Love.

Yet the author believes that the sexes can live ideally in balanced harmony with each other, neither claiming possession of the other. Tom and Lydia, perhaps most positively Ursula and Birkin, but also Will and Anna show moments of perfected union, though none of these relationships survive without conflict.

The Lady Chatterley’s Lover

The Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Lawrence in this novel is mainly concerned with human relationships, it is a quest for perfect male –female relationship. It defines the various aspects of human relationships man and woman relationship, the relationship of man, God, and nature, the relationship between parent and the child, the relationship between man and environment, the relationship between instinct and intellect between a man and women, the relationship between instinct and intellect. According to him, the most important relationship is between man and woman; he always wanted a balanced relationship. Physical intimacy is completely absent between Connie and her husband. Lady Chatterley’s Lover is, undoubtedly, one of the most famous of Lawrence’s books. One finds Connie’s growing awareness of dissatisfaction with her way of life.

“Connie and Clifford had now been nearly two years at Wragby, living their vague life of absorption in Clifford and his work. They talked and wrestled in the throes of composition and felt as if something were happening, really happening, really in the void. “And thus far it was life: in a void.” (Lawrence: 1928)

It is a simple and perfect affirmation of life according to Lawrentian principles. The main subject of the novel is not just the evident sensual content but it is the search for integrity and wholeness. It focuses on the incoherence of living a life that is ‘all mind’, which Lawrence saw as particularly true among the members the aristocratic classes. The contrast between mind and body can be seen in the dissatisfaction each has with their previous relationships. Constance’s lack of intimacy with her husband who is‘ all mind’ and Mellor’s choice to live apart from his wife because of her ‘brutish’ sexual nature They are portrayed as two people who communicate on an intellectual level. He is paralyzed and sexually impotent, causing the marriage to be sterile. The theme of passion overlapping classes, modeled on Lawrence’s childhood situation, is found in several of his works.

Conclusion

As early as in his first novel The White Peacock there is the example of Lettie and George, the lady of higher rank feeling drawn to a farmer’s son. Passion and desire do not stop at class barriers, as Mellor’s and Connie show us in Wragby wood. Set between the lifeless Wragby mansion and the squalid mining village, its unspoiled nature is the breeding place of young life and romance. Whereas Clifford is a man of words and abstract relations Oliver Mellor’s is the symbol of sensuousness and the physical, the natural man who is at one with nature and at home in his hut in the woods where he looks after the pheasants and hens. In ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’, the relationship between men and women seems to resemble the relationship between men and machines. Not only do men and women require an appreciating the sexual and sensual in order to relate to each other properly, they require it even to live happily in the world, as being able to maintain human dignity and individuality in the dehumanizing atmosphere created by modern greed. Lawrence’s characters are not always easy to explain. But they always have a real existence. Sexloomed large in the novels of Lawrence in all its biological, psychological and metaphysical relations. He was most modern in his treatment of sex; there was nothing in him of the Victorian prudery and inhibitions. In “The Rainbow” and its sequel the „Women in Love‟, Lawrence dealt with conflicts, and sons-storms of sex, on an almost epic scale. Each one of his novels is remarkable for its free and frank treatment of sex, so much so that his „The Rainbow‟ and „Lady Chatterley’s Lover‟ were prescribed on grounds of obscenity. In Lawrence’s view, the conflict between man and woman arises from the civilized woman’s having become the desperate antagonist of man, drawing from him his greatest possession, his method or his masculinity and feminizing him and bringing him under the control of her will. In “Aaron’s Road”, he makes one of the characters say, speaking of women in general.

Lawrence wanted to redeem mankind through readjustment of relationship, so that he could live to the full. He believed that fundamental relationship is man–woman relationship. It can help mankind in attaining normalcy, he disapproved the traditional celibacy, an essential pre-requisite to redeem oneself from conflict between nature and culture and to establish the living relationship between oneself and living universe.

References

  • Bruce Steele. Study of Thomas Hardy and other essays 1985, Cambridge University Press.Print.
  • Baron, Helen; Baron, Carl, eds. (1992) [1913]. Sons and Lovers. Cambridge University Press.
  • Lawrence, D. H. The White Peacock. Heinemann.1911.Print
  • Lawrence, D. H. Sons and Lovers. Gerald Duckworth and Company Ltd.1913.Print.
  • Lawrence, D. H. The Rainbow. Modern Library.1915.Print.
  • Lawrence, D. H. Women In Love. Thomas Seltzor.1920.Print(Hardcover and Paperback)
  • Lawrence, D. H. Lady Chatterley,s Lovers.Tipografia Giuntina.1928.Print
  • Carol Dix, D. H. Lawrence and Women, Macmillan.1980.Print
  • Richard Beynon, (ed.) D. H. Lawrence: The Rainbow and Women in Love (Cambridge: Icon Books.1997.Print.
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Thematic Study of Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence

April 13, 2021 by Essay Writer

Introduction

D. H. Lawrence’s much-loved third novel, Sons and Lovers (1913), is an intense study of family, class and early adulthood. It draws heavily on his own experiences, which he was trying hard to understand. Lawrence began working on the first four drafts of what was to become his third novel, Sons and Lovers, in the period of his mother’s final illness, before her death in December 1910. At this stage the spur for the novel was his sense of his mother’s wasted life. Lawrence’s view at this time of his parent’s marriage can be gained from a letter he wrote three days before his mother died. This was also at the point when writing on the first version halted after about a hundred pages: My mom was a cunning, amusing, gently formed lady, of good, old burgher plummet. She wedded beneath her. My dad was dim, rosy, with a fine chuckle. He was a coal excavator. He was one of the cheery dispositions, warm and generous, however insecure: he needed guideline, as my mom would have said. He swindled her and deceived her. She loathed him – he drank. Their marriage life has been one animalistic, grisly battle. I was conceived despising my dad: as ahead of schedule as ever I can recollect that, I shuddered with awfulness when he contacted me. He was awful before I was conceived. This has been a sort of bond among me and my mom. We have cherished one another, nearly with a spouse and a wife love, just as obedient and maternal. We knew each other by nature… We have been similar to one, so touchy to one another that we never required words. It has been somewhat horrendous, and has made me, in certain regards, strange. [Letters I, p 190]

Lawrence here accepts his mother’s view that she came down in the world, though, as John Worthen has shown, Lydia Lawrence was not in fact born into the middle class. After Lawrence describes the positive side of his father’s character – he is warm and hearty – the first note of criticism is heard. That he is unstable is given weight and a moral dimension through Mrs Lawrence’s opinion of him, which Lawrence simply repeats – he lacked principle, as my mother would have said.

The direct cause of Lawrence breaking off from writing this first version seems to have been grief at his mother’s death. He did not return to the novel for three months.

Lawrence showed parts of this second version to Jessie Chambers, his first lovers and the basis for Miriam. It was part of a strategy over the coming years to submit the work to people who had complete detachment from his early years, in order to gain their responses. This Lawrence did in the third, and penultimate, draft of the novel. The writing of this version, in late 1911 and early 1912, coincided with a remarkable change in course of his life. Still holding down a teaching job in Croydon, and a short way into the new draft, Lawrence fell seriously ill with pneumonia and nearly died.

Lawrence worked on the third version of the text while these life changing events were occurring. Only a number of small sections of this version of Paul Morel survive but by the end of this period Lawrence would have been moving away from the understanding of the events he had when starting the third version only months earlier. He sent the manuscript to the publishing house Heinemann. The response came back from William Heinemann himself who rejected the novel on the grounds that it would offend the circulating libraries. Thankfully, the final version is not a schematic interpretation of events after the new models- the strong bond with the mother is still depicted positively. Lawrence captures wonderfully, including the brilliant ear for the Nottinghamshire dialect, how Morel is a man at home with his friends and at one with his community. Happily drunk he still remembers his wife and children and he wants to pass on his pleasure to them. But Mrs. Morel, using Standard English, articulately probes and questions his actions and his drinking. The narrative voice supports Mrs. Morels position, with Walters speech described as ‘babble’. Sons and Lovers have been judged, rightly, as a marking an advance over Lawrence’s first two novels, The White Peacock (1911) and The Trespasser (1912). There are a number of developments beginning to show through in Sons and Lovers that were to contribute to the success of The Rainbow and Women in Love often held to be the most important texts by Lawrence. He was to guarantee in 1913 that he needed to toss over the style of Sons and Lovers which he held to have been brimming with distinctive scenes. Be that as it may, in spite of the disclaimer the representative scene used to demonstrate the more profound mien of emotions past the surface transition of occasions and sent with such power and aptitude in the later composing is in reality a method Lawrence was creating in Sons and Lovers. It is a method for contributing normal individuals’ lives and the occasions in them with extraordinary power. For many years after it was published Sons and Lovers spoke to young working class people, in particular with considerable force. Given Lawrence’s ability to capture the intensity and the complexity of that experience in the novel form, Sons and Lovers will long retain its special place among texts that address maturation.

Oedipus Complex

Sigmund Freud’s most praised hypothesis of sexuality, the Oedipus complex takes its name from the title character of the Greek play Oedipus Rex. In the story, Oedipus is determined to execute his father and take part in sexual relations with his mother (and he does, anyway inadvertently). Freud battled that these curbed needs are accessible in most young fellows. (The female interpretation is known as the Electra complex.) D.H. Lawrence knew about Freud’s hypothesis, and Sons and Lovers broadly utilizes the Oedipus complex as its base for investigating Paul’s association with his mom. Paul is miserably committed to his demanding and off track mother (as we can see that the mother was earlier so connected to William but he ended up dead so her level of connection with Paul increased to a certain level that she compared each and every lover of Paul to herself and showed Paul that how she is better than them), and that adoration regularly verges on sentimental want, as Miriam and Clara can be seen as more independent and less vulnerable Paul keeps on falling for her mother’s vulnerability and tears. Lawrence composes numerous scenes between the two that go past the breaking points of traditional mother-child love For example : the scene when they both have to travel through the forest alone or when they looked in each others eyes and felt a kind of warmth or when he fixed her dress or when he gift’s flowers to her. From the start we can see a bond of hatred between Paul and his Father as from a very early age he has seen his father manipulate and violate the decisions and certain choices made by his mother. Relating to this hatred Lawrence shows that Paul frequently imagines about his father’s death and, he’s the only one to take care of his mother and save her from this terrible destiny.

Paul soothes his blameworthy, forbidden emotions by exchanging them somewhere else, and the best recipients are Miriam and Clara, both the women with different personalities, Miriam being all traditional, shy and respectable towards her family where Clara is strong willed and a woman with high self esteem and this shows that how confuse Paul was (note that transference is another Freudian expression). In any case, Paul can’t love either lady so much as he does his mom, however he doesn’t generally understand this is a hindrance to his sentimental life. The more seasoned, free Clara, particularly, is a fizzled maternal substitute for Paul. In this setup, Baxter Dawes can be viewed as a monumental dad figure; his savage beating of Paul, at that point, can be seen as Paul’s unwittingly wanted discipline for his blame. Paul’s excitement to become a close acquaintence with Dawes once he is sick (which makes him portray his own father’s death and fulfillment of his desire indirectly, giving him certain amount of pleasure for some time) further uncovers his blame over the circumstance.

Be that as it may, Lawrence adds a turn to the Oedipus complex: Mrs. Morel is saddled with it too. She wants both William and Paul in close sentimental ways, and she scorns every one of their lady friends. She, as well, participates in transference, anticipating her disappointment with her marriage onto her covering love for her children. Toward the finish of the novel, Paul makes a noteworthy stride in discharging himself from his Oedipus complex. He deliberately overdoses his withering mother with morphine as he realizes that his mother is going to die due to cancer and it may seem that Paul is relieving his mother of that pain but in Paul’s mind he is saving himself from the path of taking care of a ill woman and to plan his own family someday ; a demonstration that decreases her affliction yet in addition subverts his oedipal pain and suffering, since he doesn’t slaughter his dad, yet his mom. Bondage Lawrence discusses oppression, or subjugation, in two important ways: social and wistful. Socially, Mrs. Morel feels bound by her status as a woman and by industrialism. She problem of inclination ”secured alive,” a clever grieve for someone married to an excavator, and even the adolescents feel they are in a ‘predicament of apprehension.’ Anyway she joins a women’s social occasion, she ought to remain a housewife always, and thus is jealous of Miriam, who can utilize her cleverness in more shots. Amusingly, Paul feels free in his situation at the creation line, getting a charge out of the work and the association of the regular workers women; anyway one gets the inclination that he would regardless rather be painting. Wistful bondage is given irrefutably more highlight in the novel. Paul (and William, to a genuinely lesser degree) feels bound to his mother, and can’t imagine consistently surrendering her or despite wedding some other person. He is fascinated with the possibility of sweethearts ‘having a spot’ to each other, and his genuine need, revealed close to the end, is for a woman to promise him unequivocally as her own. He feels the propitiatory Miriam slumps in such way and that Clara constantly had a spot with Baxter Dawes. Indisputably no woman could ever organize the power and dependability of his mother’s case. Enhancing the theme of subjugation is the novel’s treatment of jealousy. Mrs. Morel is consistently covetous of her youngsters’ sweethearts, and she covers this jealousy in all respects pitifully. Morel, too, is covetous over his loved one’s closer relationship with his youngsters and over their triumphs. Paul as regularly as conceivable rouses envy in Miriam with his prods with Agatha Leiver and Beatrice, and Dawes is viciously desirous of Paul’s opinion with Clara.

Logical Inconsistencies and Resistance

Lawrence demonstrates how irregularities grow so successfully in human sense, especially with reverence and severely dislike. Paul influences among disdain and love for all of the women for an amazing duration, including his mother now and again. Routinely he loves and hates meanwhile, especially with Miriam. Mrs. Morel, too, has some hold of friendship for her significant other despite when she detests him, in spite of the way that this love scatters after some time. Lawrence in like manner uses the obstruction of the body and cerebrum to reveal the restricting thought of need; a great part of the time, characters pair up with someone who is extremely not typical for them. Mrs. Morel at first likes the liberal, lively Morel since he is so far ousted from her dainty, refined, academic nature. Paul’s interest in Miriam, his significant flawless accomplice, is less remarkable than his yearning for the colorful, physical Clara. The decay of the body in like manner impacts the powerful associations. At whatever point Mrs. Morel passes on, Morel grows progressively fragile, anyway notwithstanding he decays to see her body. Dawes’ illness, too, removes his hazard to Paul, who becomes acquainted with his weak rival.

Nature and Blossoms

Sons and Lovers have a lot of portrayal of the indigenous habitat. Frequently, the climate and condition mirror the characters’ feelings through the abstract system of wretched false notion. The portrayal is much of the time eroticized; both to demonstrate sexual vitality and to slip pass the blue pencils in Lawrence’s severe time.

Lawrence’s characters likewise experience snapshots of amazing quality while alone in nature, much as the Sentimental people did. All the more every now and again, characters bond profoundly while in nature. Lawrence utilizes blooms all through the novel to symbolize these profound associations. Nonetheless, blossoms are in some cases operators of division, as when Paul is rebuffed by Miriam’s groveling conduct towards the daffodil.

Conclusion

This tale is Lawrence’s semi-self-portraying gem in which he investigates enthusiastic clashes through the protagonist, Paul Morel, and his stifling associations with a self absorbed demanding mother and two altogether different Lovers. Lawrence’s books are maybe the most dominant investigation in the class in English of family, class, sexuality and connections in youth and early adulthood. Richard Aldington explains the semi-autobiographical nature of D.H Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers as; When you have experienced Sons and Lovers you have lived through the agonies of young Lawrence striving to win free from his old life Now, as the novel revolves around the main theme of Oedipus complex, it is very well portrayed some may think that, Paul shouldn’t have given morphine to his mother and taken care of her till the end but in reality his mother was a demanding person, questioning every women he met and stopping him from living the life to the fullest but even after that Paul continued to fall for her mother’s vulnerable nature so, by giving her morphine he eventually or say indirectly helped himself.

Critics have been worried about the ramifications of Paul Morel’s swinging to the city in the last passage of Sons and Lovers. Some think that Paul is pushing toward another life and that such a turn is totally reliable with his improvement all through the novel, while others hold that his turn toward the end is conflicting with his advancement and along these lines an imaginative defect in the work. An investigation of Paul’s character and his exceptional mental variations recommends that he will proceed in the float toward death. As his activity in the closing section does not, in any case, speak to a masterful blemish in the work because he considers himself guilty for killing his mother and he starts drinking and many other activities which could lead to his demise. The passage, rather than proposing another life for Paul, gives an unexpected remark upon his endeavor to part from the mental lattice in which he exists. The substance of the incongruity emerges from both the difference between Paul’s goals and his past encounters in the towns, and the differentiation between the expression and symbolism of the last section and that of the passage portraying the intensity of the obscurity which goes before it. Lawrence has intentionally made these incongruities so as to pressure the certainty of Paul’s thrashing.

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Analysis of Relations in “Sons and Lovers”

January 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud theorized that as a manifestation of the Oedipus Complex, people tend to choose partners who share physical features and personality traits with their opposite-sex parent. The bond between lovers can only be rivaled by the bond between parent and child; therefore, these two types of relationships are inherently connected. In his novel, Sons and Lovers, D.H. Lawrence explores the link between parental and romantic relationships. His characters pick significant others who are different from their parents, challenging Freud’s theory. However, each of these characters eventually loses interest in his/her partner, conveying the idea that successful romantic relationships must be modeled after maternal and paternal relationships.

First and foremost, Gertrude’s marriage to Walter Morel is a result of her resentment towards her father. Because her father treats her mother poorly, Gertrude believes that she needs a partner whose personality contrasts with his. Lawrence describes the differences between Gertrude’s father and husband, stating, “And George Coppard, proud in his bearing, handsome, and rather bitter; who preferred theology in reading. . . who ignored all sensuous pleasure:– he was very different from the miner” (12). Unlike Gertrude’s father, Walter disregards religion and embraces “sensuous pleasure.” These characteristics are the root of Walter’s drinking problem and thus the source of Gertrude’s unhappiness. As time goes on, more and more of Walter’s traits manifest into problems, as shown by the statement, “. . . for three months she was perfectly happy: for six months she was very happy” (14). Gertrude’s relationship with Walter does not resemble the relationship between her and her father, and as a result, her marriage becomes unfulfilling.

While Mrs. Morel does not lose interest in Mr. Morel until after they are married, their son William loses interest while he is engaged to Gipsy. At first, William is captivated with Gipsy’s beauty and class, and he is sure his mother will like her. However, Lawrence foreshadows William’s change of heart when his mother disapproves of Gipsy’s photo. William’s romantic relationship is the polar opposite of his maternal relationship because while his mother has always taken care of him to the fullest extent, Gipsy is so high maintenance that William must now take care of her. Lawrence highlights further differences between Gipsy and Mrs. Morel through William’s statement, “You know, she’s not like you, mother. She’s not serious, and she can’t think” (131). While Mrs. Morel values logic and reason, Gipsy is fixated on her outward appearance. Eventually, Gipsy’s beauty and class become annoyances to William because she always takes too long to get ready, and she treats his siblings like her servants. He later admits to his mother, “. . . when I’m away from her I don’t care for her a bit. I shouldn’t even care if I never saw her again” (133). By then, it is too late to break off the engagement, and in a way, William’s death saves him from a miserable marriage that parallels that of his parents.

Learning from his mother’s and brother’s mistakes, Paul never makes a commitment to Miriam. Because Paul values his mother above all else, Mrs. Morel’s disapproval of Miriam prevents Paul from marrying her. Additionally, Paul knows he is incompatible with Miriam because she is too different from his mother. Miriam is wild and passionate– she spontaneously bursts into song and always walks intensely. However, this type of behavior makes Paul uncomfortable, and he is “thankful in his heart and soul that he had his mother, so sane and wholesome” (171). Meanwhile, Miriam’s religious faith contrasts with Mrs. Morel’s rejection of religion and love of reasoning. When Paul tells Miriam, “You can’t learn algebra with your blessed soul. Can’t you look at it with you clear simple wits?” it is evident that her lack of reasoning is infuriating to him (174). Although Miriam loves Paul as much as his mother does, Paul knows that their relationship will never live up to his relationship with his mother.

Freud’s theory of the Oedipus Complex focuses on a child’s fixation with their parent, but Lawrence thoroughly discusses Gertrude Morel’s fixation with her sons. Because she feels distant from Walter, Gertrude seeks fulfillment in her relationships with William and Paul. As a result, her feelings toward her sons are no longer purely maternal. Gertrude often has characteristically romantic thoughts– she is more devastated than proud when William gets a job in London, and she becomes jealous of Miriam for taking Paul away from her. Thus, Lawrence implies that the Oedipus Complex can be reciprocated by the parent.

Work Cited

Lawrence, D.H. Sons and Lovers. New York: Barnes & Noble Classics, 2003.

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Walter Morel Character Analysis

January 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

The Five Stages of Walter Morel

Sometimes, it is difficult to understand how important a certain problem is unless it is examined on a microscopic level. A broadly stated dilemma is abstract and thus difficult to relate to; on a micro level, it becomes easier to see exactly how the predicament harms people. The phrase “world hunger” is detached; a picture of a starving child is startling. In Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence, Walter Morel is used as a microcosm for the stages of domestic abuse; he is the living embodiment of the cycles of abuse exacerbated by alcoholism.

Although Walter is a terrible father and an even worse husband, he was not always that man; once upon a time, he was charming and good natured. When Gertrude first meets him, he is described as someone with a “sensuous flame of life” (Lawrence 20); he sings, he dances, and although he is the opposite of her, he makes her feel like “a warmth radiated through her as if she had drunk wine” (21). In fact, she is so love with him they make the rash decision to get married. This phase of the Morel’s marriage can be considered the setup for domestic abuse. Often times, a couple becomes blindsided by the “honeymoon effect” and thus ignores anything that puts their significant other in a negative light. The rushed nature of their marriage indicates that both Walter and Gertrude can be impulsive and easily bend to strong emotion, key traits in any unstable relationship. Furthermore, Walter is not yet an alcoholic; in fact, he is someone who “had signed the pledge, and wore the blue ribbon of a tee-totaler” (23), indicating his status as a nondrinker. This is the calm before the storm; Gertrude does not see the flaws of Walter, and he is not yet an alcoholic. However, once both these factors change, the storm begins to whip up.

Six months into their rushed marriage, Walter turns out to be the opposite of who Gertrude thought he was. She finds out that the house is rented, and he flirted with women he helped dance: “ ‘An’ it was thronged every Tuesday, and Thursday, an’ Sat’day—an’ there WAS carryin’s-on, accordin’ to all accounts” (27). Although her opinion of Walter rapidly changes as she learns more about the man he is, she is only bitter about it. Up to that point, she still has love for him. Once the drinking starts, however, it escalates into an even tenser scenario. She begins to “despise” her husband, and the later he comes home, the angrier she becomes. This symbolizes a key aspect of the increasing tension; as he is out of the house longer, their communication decreases and as a result, verbal compromises become harder to make. Meanwhile, the drinking causes Walter to become more irritable. The “honeymoon phase” is no more; both sides see all the negative traits of one another, and the complaints about how one behave increase in size. Thus, without alcoholism as a catalyst, the tensions would not have skyrocketed, and the violence would have never erupted.

As the Morels’ tension reaches a peak, the violence begins, marking the true domestic abuse incident. Due to one side being unable to reconcile with the other, Gertrude’s frustration explodes, and as a result, Walter lashes out at her: “He came up to her, his red face, with its bloodshot eyes, thrust forward, and gripped her arms. She cried in fear of him, struggled to be free” (45). This grip he employs symbolizes his control; abusers want to have control over the victims, and thus employ violence to keep them in check. His grabbing her arms is the literal embodiment of his need for power over her, and as a result, she can only escape by throwing herself into passion for her son. Violence is not beneath Walter, and he uses it in his drunken stupor when he cannot coherently speak. However, as many abusers tend to eventually do, Walter feels the need to make reparations. He feels the consequences of the actions when he is not drunk and conversing with his wife: “He was shy, rather scared, and humble. Yet again he felt his old glow. And then immediately he felt the ruin he had made during these years” (379). The cycle of abuse that is spun in the Morel’s household is driven by liquor, and this is proven. When Walter is not drunk, he knows that physically harming his wife is wrong. However, as much as he wants to, he cannot stop drinking. It becomes ironic; abusers tend to seek power, but in Walter’s case he is powerless against the drink.

Due to this lack of defense against addiction, he slowly becomes irrelevant to the Morel household. This is made clear when “conversation was impossible between the father and any other member of the family. He was an outsider” (123). This expresses the typical solution many people go to: they try their best to decrease the influence of the abuser in their lives. By making Walter like the ghost of the Morel family, his influence is decreased. Nobody cares about him, and so he can no longer do any damage. Although he is not a truly wicked character, his drinking problem becomes his identity, and as a result, he loses any respect that he could have reaped.

Although Walter is mostly irrelevant by the second half of the novel, Lawrence uses him to deliver a powerful message about domestic abuse and alcoholism. Although the audience knows that he is a well-intentioned person at heart, his good traits are concealed by the undesirable ones. People tend to remember more negative experiences than positive; for example, when a couple breaks up, their happy times are forgotten and only the separation is remembered. If one wants to have respect, one must be able to stay good consistently, for if there is an alternation between good and bad, only the bad will be remembered.

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The Five Stages of Walter Morel

August 22, 2019 by Essay Writer

The Five Stages of Walter Morel

Sometimes, it is difficult to understand how important a certain problem is unless it is examined on a microscopic level. A broadly stated dilemma is abstract and thus difficult to relate to; on a micro level, it becomes easier to see exactly how the predicament harms people. The phrase “world hunger” is detached; a picture of a starving child is startling. In Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence, Walter Morel is used as a microcosm for the stages of domestic abuse; he is the living embodiment of the cycles of abuse exacerbated by alcoholism.

Although Walter is a terrible father and an even worse husband, he was not always that man; once upon a time, he was charming and good natured. When Gertrude first meets him, he is described as someone with a “sensuous flame of life” (Lawrence 20); he sings, he dances, and although he is the opposite of her, he makes her feel like “a warmth radiated through her as if she had drunk wine” (21). In fact, she is so love with him they make the rash decision to get married. This phase of the Morel’s marriage can be considered the setup for domestic abuse. Often times, a couple becomes blindsided by the “honeymoon effect” and thus ignores anything that puts their significant other in a negative light. The rushed nature of their marriage indicates that both Walter and Gertrude can be impulsive and easily bend to strong emotion, key traits in any unstable relationship. Furthermore, Walter is not yet an alcoholic; in fact, he is someone who “had signed the pledge, and wore the blue ribbon of a tee-totaler” (23), indicating his status as a nondrinker. This is the calm before the storm; Gertrude does not see the flaws of Walter, and he is not yet an alcoholic. However, once both these factors change, the storm begins to whip up.

Six months into their rushed marriage, Walter turns out to be the opposite of who Gertrude thought he was. She finds out that the house is rented, and he flirted with women he helped dance: “ ‘An’ it was thronged every Tuesday, and Thursday, an’ Sat’day—an’ there WAS carryin’s-on, accordin’ to all accounts” (27). Although her opinion of Walter rapidly changes as she learns more about the man he is, she is only bitter about it. Up to that point, she still has love for him. Once the drinking starts, however, it escalates into an even tenser scenario. She begins to “despise” her husband, and the later he comes home, the angrier she becomes. This symbolizes a key aspect of the increasing tension; as he is out of the house longer, their communication decreases and as a result, verbal compromises become harder to make. Meanwhile, the drinking causes Walter to become more irritable. The “honeymoon phase” is no more; both sides see all the negative traits of one another, and the complaints about how one behave increase in size. Thus, without alcoholism as a catalyst, the tensions would not have skyrocketed, and the violence would have never erupted.

As the Morels’ tension reaches a peak, the violence begins, marking the true domestic abuse incident. Due to one side being unable to reconcile with the other, Gertrude’s frustration explodes, and as a result, Walter lashes out at her: “He came up to her, his red face, with its bloodshot eyes, thrust forward, and gripped her arms. She cried in fear of him, struggled to be free” (45). This grip he employs symbolizes his control; abusers want to have control over the victims, and thus employ violence to keep them in check. His grabbing her arms is the literal embodiment of his need for power over her, and as a result, she can only escape by throwing herself into passion for her son. Violence is not beneath Walter, and he uses it in his drunken stupor when he cannot coherently speak. However, as many abusers tend to eventually do, Walter feels the need to make reparations. He feels the consequences of the actions when he is not drunk and conversing with his wife: “He was shy, rather scared, and humble. Yet again he felt his old glow. And then immediately he felt the ruin he had made during these years” (379). The cycle of abuse that is spun in the Morel’s household is driven by liquor, and this is proven. When Walter is not drunk, he knows that physically harming his wife is wrong. However, as much as he wants to, he cannot stop drinking. It becomes ironic; abusers tend to seek power, but in Walter’s case he is powerless against the drink.

Due to this lack of defense against addiction, he slowly becomes irrelevant to the Morel household. This is made clear when “conversation was impossible between the father and any other member of the family. He was an outsider” (123). This expresses the typical solution many people go to: they try their best to decrease the influence of the abuser in their lives. By making Walter like the ghost of the Morel family, his influence is decreased. Nobody cares about him, and so he can no longer do any damage. Although he is not a truly wicked character, his drinking problem becomes his identity, and as a result, he loses any respect that he could have reaped.

Although Walter is mostly irrelevant by the second half of the novel, Lawrence uses him to deliver a powerful message about domestic abuse and alcoholism. Although the audience knows that he is a well-intentioned person at heart, his good traits are concealed by the undesirable ones. People tend to remember more negative experiences than positive; for example, when a couple breaks up, their happy times are forgotten and only the separation is remembered. If one wants to have respect, one must be able to stay good consistently, for if there is an alternation between good and bad, only the bad will be remembered.

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The Illusion of Women’s Power in D.H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers

August 13, 2019 by Essay Writer

During the early twentieth century, the idea of women having as much power as men was foreign: men were not only better educated, but were also the primary breadwinners for the family. Though individuals do not have the ability to immediately alter how their society is structured, attempts can be made to rectify inequalities. Women in D.H. Lawrence’s novel Sons and Lovers try to create their own power by adopting certain views about themselves in relation to men. By creating certain mindsets, the characters of Gertrude Morel, Clara Dawes, and Miriam Leivers mentally elevate themselves to positions of power. These mindsets include adopting attitudes of indifference, ownership, and self-sacrifice towards the men with whom they have relationships. However, the problems they try to overcome do not disappear, but are further entrenched.

A certain mindset may be key to success for some, but for the women in Lawrence’s novel, changing perception does not entail transforming reality.The thoughts of Gertrude Morel and her husband Walter Morel function on two different levels: while Gertrude possesses faculties that allow her to appreciate higher forms of thinking like philosophy and religion, Walter is simple-minded, more concerned with physical pleasures like eating and drinking. Such a contrast between their types of thinking results in conflict. Walter has a nature that “was purely sensuous, and she strove to make him moral, religious. She tried to force him to face things. He could not endure it—it drove him out of his mind” (Lawrence 13). Mr. Morel’s inability to accept his wife’s moral instruction manifests itself when he squanders his income on drinks rather than sufficiently providing for the needs of his family. Though his unhealthy habit may also be a result of poor self-control, a stronger sense of morality could have better reined in his impulse to drink. Walter’s bouts of drinking often transform him into a violent man, as on more than one occasion he physically abuses his wife while drunk. Gertrude is unable to physically change the situation: she is cannot overpower him by suppressing attacks, and she cannot leave the house, for she needs Walter’s income to raise her children. However, what Gertrude is able to change after repeated incidents of abuse is her attitude towards her husband. The concern over his morals vanishes. Previously, “she had fretted after him, as if he had gone astray from her. Now she ceased to fret for his love: he was an outsider to her. This made life much more bearable” (14).

By viewing Walter as a stranger, Gertrude puts up a shield of indifference against her husband so that his actions no longer put her into despair. Her husband becomes nothing more than a human cash dispenser that she must continue to live with to feed her children. Gertrude’s counterattacks to Walter’s punches may fail to faze him, but the indifference she expresses perturbs Walter, whose “soul would reach out in its blind way to her and find her gone. He felt a sort of emptiness, almost like a vacuum in his soul” (42). Gertrude is able to inflict this kind of harm upon her husband because no longer does she view him as a person worthy of her concern. The problem with indifference is that it roots Gertrude to her miserable present. She can make Walter feel as uncomfortable as she wants with all these mind games, but indifference towards her husband also means indifference towards changing her life situation. No amount of mental power allows Gertrude to escape the reality of her dependency on Walter.

Similar themes are raised by a second vexed couple. Though Clara Dawes and her husband Baxter Dawes have been separated for a period of time, they have not gone through a formal divorce. A major reason why Clara does not want a divorce is that such a formal end to the marriage will deprive her of a form of power she believes she possesses. This form of power is ownership of Baxter, as she admits to Paul Morel: “I think he belongs to me” (315). She is like a child who will not bury her dead cat because the burial would also inter her status as Owner. The reason Clara does not let go of her husband is not due to an ever-enduring affection for him; in fact, she “did not love Dawes, never had loved him; but she believed he loved her, at least depended on her” (316-317). However, Clara’s penchant for feeling depended upon ultimately causes her to become dependent upon Baxter, the man who gives her this illusion of power. The time she spends with Paul reveals to Clara that he does not express the same need that Baxter does for her to care for him. Combined with the fact that Clara is still carrying around her dead cat of a marriage, this fact causes Paul and Clara to eventually stop seeing each other. Immediately after the break-up with Paul, Clara begs Baxter to get back together with her in what seems like a state of delirium: “‘Take me back!’ she whispered, ecstatic. ‘Take me back, take me back!’ And she put her fingers through his fine, thin dark hair, as if she were only semi-conscious” (359). She comes crawling back to Baxter, a woman metaphorically starved during her relationship with Paul, deprived of her sustenance of ownership. Instead of being elevated to a position of power above her husband by being the Owner who provides care, Clara becomes the supplicant who needs to beg Baxter to give her power back. Clara may think she owns Baxter, but it is Baxter who gives her the ability to have this kind of confidence

Here, a third relationship becomes instructive. Ever since Miriam first met Paul, she has admired his various talents, which include being able to speak French, comprehend algebra, and paint with dexterity. Even though her education has not been luxurious enough to bestow upon her similar abilities, she thinks of herself so highly that she believes only Paul is worthy of her love, and that only she is worthy of Paul’s love, for she is a “princess” who is “different from other folk, and must not be scooped up among the common fry” (126). As her relationship with Paul progresses, Miriam continues to cling onto her sense of superiority and begins to exert it over Paul himself. When Paul sleeps with her, Miriam thinks “there was something divine in it; then she would submit, religiously, to the sacrifice” (249). Miriam revels in the thought that only she has the authority to yield to Paul what he wants: she fails to understand that his desire for her as a person is mixed with a desire for sex. Miriam’s expectations for Paul to appreciate her sacrifice do not sit well with him: the pressure to admire her all the time makes him feel stifled. It is not long before he starts avoiding Miriam. The fact that Miriam thinks highly of herself is what leads to her conclusion that she and Paul are suited solely for each other, but it is this overly controlling mindset that drives Paul away. No matter how much Miriam may try to convince herself that Paul will come crawling back to her, she has no power to guarantee such a reality.

D.H. Lawrence’s novel Sons and Lovers reinforces the idea that, during the early twentieth century, women are perceived as powerless. Gertrude remains financially bound to her husband, Clara remains dependent on Baxter Dawes, and Miriam loses the man she tries to make love her. Women may gain illusions of control, but these illusions eventually re-emphasize the problems that women try to solve in the first place.

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The Father in Sons and Lovers

July 22, 2019 by Essay Writer

“I would write a different Sons and Lovers now; my mother was wrong, and I thought she was absolutely right.” (Jeffers 296)This line betrays D. H. Lawrence’s eventual realization about his maternal fixation. As a corollary, it might be implied that he regretted villainizing his father. However, critics have maintained that Lawrence was too severe upon himself—perhaps he was unable to grasp the import of the novel upon a reader who didn’t share his personal associations, or that his genius had unconsciously rendered an objectivity into his work which he failed to recognize himself. As Aruna Sitesh confirms, “Sympathy for Walter is scattered all through the novel.” (494)In Walter Morel, one finds the predicament of a simple-minded man stuck in an incompatible marriage with a woman who possessed a greater sensibility than he did. “What he felt just at the minute, that was all to him. . . . His nature was purely sensuous, and she strove to make him moral, religious. She tried to force him to face things. He could not endure it—it drove him out of his mind.” Clearly, a situation mirrored in the later Paul-Miriam relationship; but returning from the digression, Gertrude “was too much his opposite. She could not be content with the little he might be, she would have him the much that he ought to be. So, in seeking to make him nobler than he could be, she destroyed him.” (Lawrence 18, 20) This distance continued to grow along with the children as the mother diverted her aspirations towards them (her elder sons in particular), resulting in a marriage where the transitory passion of youth had long evaporated, the one which had impulsively brought the mismatched couple together. As Thomas L. Jeffers explains:“It is an attraction of opposites – the pale civilized lady startled yet warmed by the ruddy native collier – marked in the too-brief but unforgettably vivid scene at the Christmas dance. Though passionately happy with him during the first months of their marriage, she soon decides that, since he has been less than honest about his fiscal status and has proved fonder of the pub than of her company at home, he is no good, and her marriage has been a mistake.” (299)Nonetheless, it is clear throughout the text that Walter continued to love Gertrude. He couldn’t bear to see his position usurped by his sons, and yet he was helpless against his overbearing wife. As a result, he consoles himself in the company of his fellow colliers, “relieving the tedium of their lives with alcohol.” (Murfin 472) In relation to this, there is an interesting observation that the “masculine place is also distinctly feminine . . . it is the orifice of the earth that everyday the colliers “die” into and are “born” out of. This crinkled “womb” – swarming with men, horses, and mice – has enabled Morel to incorporate the feminine side of his self”. One finds an echo of this cathartic sentiment in Lawrence’s Nottingham and the Mining Countryside, where he claims that the miners “knew each other practically naked, and with curious close intimacy, and the darkness and the underground remoteness of the pit “stall,” and the continual presence of danger, made the physical, instinctive, and intuitional contact between men very highly developed, a contact almost as close as touch.” (Jeffers 295, 296)At home, the alienated husband tried to assert himself in vain, leading to brutish moments which further contributed to his estrangement. What heightens the tragedy is the fact that he lacked the sensitivity and awareness to comprehend the problem. For instance, when he flung the drawer at Gertrude, he was overcome with guilt and shame even if he didn’t express it, and the following lines depict his inner turmoil and attempts at self-justification: “‘It was her own fault,’ he said to himself. Nothing, however, could prevent his inner consciousness inflicting on him the punishment which ate into his spirit like rust, and which he could only alleviate by drinking.” (Lawrence 49) Thus followed his inevitable descent into alcoholism, which of course further marginalized his position.On the other hand, the shrewd self-righteous wife was fully aware of the situation, and simply gave up on her husband. “There was this deadlock of passion between them, and she was stronger.” She knew that his statements such as “I’ll make you tremble at the sound of my footstep.” (Lawrence 49, 43) were nothing but empty threats. She was aware of his tenderness and instinctive nature, and thus, in a manner of speaking, she had an absolute emasculating hold over him—something against which he tried to rebel but never succeeded. Therefore, as a foil to Walter, Gertrude projected herself as the victim, and in fact she was actually convinced about it. However, to the reader it is evident that the individuals must bear the blame mutually.Of course, the real guilt might be traced to the 19th century English ethos, which led to “pointedly historical circumstances of maternal domination in Victorian and Edwardian households” along with moral restraints and notions of social decorum, which forced unhappy couples to abide in their marriage in spite of daily heartbreaks. Moreover, as a material aspect, “the stultifying routine in factory, mine, or shop and the dominance of the mother in the verbal nurturance of the children had between them left the father with little to offer in conversation or storytelling” (Jeffers 293, 293), rendering him a nominal head of the family with no actual involvement. For the wife and children would unconsciously view him solely as the provider, and thus endure him as if out of compulsion. Eventually, everyone involved reconciled themselves to the situation. In the case of the Morels, Walter “did not care any longer what the family thought or felt. . . . The family withdrew, shrank away and became hushed as he entered. But he cared no longer about his alienation.” (Lawrence 49-50) As for Gertrude, “she was more tolerant because she loved him less. . . . standing more aloof from him, not feeling him so much part of herself, but merely part of her circumstances she did not mind so much what he did, could leave him alone. . . . autumn in a man’s life. His wife was casting him off, half regretfully, but relentlessly; casting him off and turning now for love and life to the children. Henceforward he was more or less a husk. And he half acquiesced, as so many men do, yielding their place to their children.” (Lawrence 54)Therefore, while the family took each other for granted, Walter’s amiable nature comes to the fore in his interactions with the outsiders, as with his friends, or Gyp or Clara. For the rift at home was too great to be repaired, as reflected by Walter’s dilemma when Paul fell sick: “The father waited undecidedly on the hearthrug for a moment or two. He felt his son did not want him.” (Lawrence 82) One finds an inherent conflict in the father—a dichotomy of feeling, a paternal love which Walter was unable to express or realize, owing to various inhibitions including notions of manhood—in effect, creating a miserable situation.As a reactionary measure, Walter resorted to annoying trifles, perhaps just so the family might take notice of him. He gave up all pretence and manners, and of course he had lost the charm of his youth; “he persisting in his dirty and disgusting ways, just to assert his independence. They loathed him.” (Lawrence 129) Yet by the end of the novel, Walter becomes a timid old man inured to his desolation. He is seen to be afraid of his wife and kids, silently acquiescing to their directions—a most tragic figure, a faint shadow of his past self—a personality succinctly captured by Jeffers in the following passage: “the unlettered butty who went down pit when he was eight years old, rarely sees daylight, labors under conditions physically draining and dangerous, drinks with his mates, and feels generally unwanted by his wife and children. He is also the “natural man” who, in wonderfully evoked scenes, has been famous for his lithe dancing and choir-boy singing . . . who comfortably cooks his own breakfast each morning; who walks to work through the fields and along the hedgerows, off which he may pick a stalk to chew on for the day; and who, having recruited his children to help him make fuses, tells them cunning tales about the mice and the horses in the mine.” (294)* * *Works ConsultedGoode, John. “Individual and Society in Sons and Lovers.” 1970. Sons and Lovers. Ed. Ashok Celly. Delhi: Worldview-Book Land, 2010. 463-69. Print.Jeffers, Thomas L. “‘We children were the in-betweens’: Character (De)Formation in Sons and Lovers.” Texas Studies in Literature and Language 42.3 (2000): 290-313. JSTOR. Web. 8 Oct. 2011.Lawrence, D. H. Sons and Lovers. Ed. Ashok Celly. Delhi: Worldview-Book Land, 2010. Print. All quotations are taken from this edition.—. Nottingham and the Mining Countryside. 1930. Sons and Lovers. Ed. Ashok Celly. Delhi: Worldview-Book Land, 2010. 440-47. Print.Murfin, Ross C. “The Waste Land according to D. H. Lawrence: Social Forms of Conflict and Self-Conflict.” 1987. Sons and Lovers. Ed. Ashok Celly. Delhi: Worldview-Book Land, 2010. 470-86. Print.Sitesh, Aruna. “Women in Sons and Lovers.” Sons and Lovers. Ed. Ashok Celly. Delhi: Worldview-Book Land, 2010. 487-97. Print.

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