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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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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A Mother’s Love: A Study of Love and Its Consequences in D.H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers

June 7, 2019 by Essay Writer

D. H. Lawrence’s novel Sons and Lovers depicts the unhappy marriage between Walter and Gertrude Morel, and their four children. As Mrs. Morel’s relationship with her husband begins to disintegrate, she turns her attention to her sons in the hopes of filling the emotional void that her husband no longer can. The imprisoning nature of Mrs. Morel’s love towards Paul serves to cripple any romantic relationship he attempts to maintain, eliciting an abnormality in Paul’s character as a result of the relationship with his mother.Gertrude and Walter Morel’s unhappy marriage as well as an incongruence between their social classes is problematic because it causes Gertrude to displace her, once passionate, love for her husband onto her sons. Gertrude Morel, “a rather small woman, of delicate mould but resolute bearing” (10), came from a “good old burgher family” (15) where she “loved ideas, and was considered very intellectual” (17). Conversely, Walter Morel “was opposite” (17); “He was well-set-up, erect and very smart. He had that rare thing, a rich, ringing laugh” (17). While Gertrude initially “thought him rather wonderful, never having met anyone like him” (18), it is through the occurrence of pivotal events, such as Mr. Morel lying about owning their home and not having paid the furniture bills to cutting young William’s hair , that we see the Morel’s marriage begin a steady, downward spiral. Macdonald Daly, a critic of the novel, lends some insight into the breakdown of the Morel’s marriage when he explains that “what ruins it decisively is Walter Morel’s inability to deliver to Gertrude the bourgeois material standards she has been led to expect their marriage to secure” (82). Mrs. Morel begins to recognize a shift in their relationship when she notices that “her manner had changed towards him” (21), thus beginning a “battle between the husband and wife, a fearful, bloody battle that ended only with the death of one. She fought to make him undertake his own responsibilities, to make him fulfil his obligations. But he was too different from her” (23). Daly further explains that “it is from the failure of this marriage that the enormous conflict and heartache at the centre of Sons and Lovers unspool” (82), causing Gertrude to fulfil the inadequacies of Walter through another source: her children.Though William, the Morel’s eldest son, was the focus of Mrs. Morel’s affection initially, in which “William was a lover to her” (44), it is through Paul that we see the displacement of love from her husband really manifest itself into the relationship between mother and son. As a young boy Mrs. Morel notes how “her treatment of Paul was different from that of the other children” (65), additionally feeling “as if the navel string that had connected [Paul’s] frail little body with hers had not been broken” (51). Robin Ramsay, the course author of the Sons and Lovers unit, explains that “Initially, much of the relationship between Paul and his mother stems from a natural, wholesome, familial intimacy. Only as each depends too much on the other does it become stifling” (21). Ramsay’s point becomes especially clear when we notice that it is only after William’s death that “Mrs. Morel’s life now rooted itself in Paul” (171). The gradual movement from son to lovers is particularly evident after taking a trip to Jordan’s together and “feeling the excitement of lovers having an adventure together” (118), Mrs. Morel was “like a sweetheart” to Paul (117). Paul’s pet names for Mrs. Morel, such as “pigeon” (428), “my love” (434), and “my little” (435), in addition to his intimate behaviour with his mother, “He stroked his mother’s hair, and his mouth was on her throat” (252), depict a relationship of lovers rather than one of a maternal nature. Daly provides an interesting insight into Mrs. Morel and Paul’s relationship when he discusses the idea of transference, explaining that mothers who are “dissatisfied with their own sexual relationships in marriage, have actively transferred their sexual desires onto their sons. These desires cannot be expressed or acted upon because they are incestuous, and incest is a major taboo. The mothers react by sublimating their feelings into other forms of desire: possessiveness towards, or claims to power over the son” (80). However, it is not until Paul becomes interested in embarking upon a romantic relationship that we actually see the consequences of Mrs. Morel’s love for him. Ramsay brings to attention the implications of the mother and son’s relationship when he explains that “more and more, this closeness has sexual overtones and ramifications that affect Paul’s later relationships” (22), with Daly further adding that Paul’s role towards Mrs. Morel is dual in that “he is both her son and her ‘lover’. But the price of being a ‘lover’ to his mother is that it adversely influences his relationships with the other women in his life, the more ‘legitimate’ objects of his sexual desires, Miriam and Clara” (80).Yet, the only “legitimate objects of his sexual desires, Miriam and Clara” cannot ever reach fruition because “the deepest of [Paul’s] love belonged to his mother” (255), “hers was the strongest tie in his life” (261). It would appear that Miriam and Clara represent different polarities on the spectrum of love: Paul “loved Miriam with his soul” (319), he “belonged to her” (261), whereas “Clara was indeed passionately in love with him, and he with her, as far as passion went” (395). Despite her son’s happiness, Mrs. Morel is not shy about her reservations of the women he chooses to pursue. When Miriam visited Paul at the Morel residence, “Mrs. Morel sat jealously in her chair” (212), feeling Paul “being drawn away by this girl. And she did not care for Miriam” (196). Ramsay touches on the nature of Paul’s relationship with each woman and its effect on Mrs. Morel when he explains that “Mrs. Morel can more readily tolerate someone like Clara than she can Miriam, since Paul’s relationship with Clara is mainly physical, whereas Miriam encroaches on those areas of Paul’s life that he also shares with Mrs. Morel” (22). As he ages and his relationships continuously fail to deepen and progress, Paul comes to the realization that “it was as if the pivot and pole of his life, from which he could not escape, was his mother” (261). Perhaps the most significant conclusion that Paul arrives at however, is the condemnation he feels by his mother as a result of their relationship: “Sometimes he hated her, and pulled at her bondage. His life wanted to free itself of her. It was like a circle where life turned back on itself, and got no further. She bore him, loved him, kept him, and his love turned back into her, so that he could not be free to go forward with his own life, really love another woman” (389). The consequences of Mrs. Morel and Paul’s relationship are substantial; Paul’s attempts at relationships with first Miriam and then Clara fail miserably and leave him wondering if he will ever break the hold that his mother has on his soul. Paul’s bond with his mother is so strong that he is incapable of loving another woman as much as he loves his mother; a factor that affects his entire life, and thus, in this way, rendering him an abnormal character. Works CitedDaly, Macdonald. “Relationship and Class in Sons and Lovers.” D.H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers: A Casebook. Eds. John Worthern and Andrew Harrison. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. 77-90. Print.Lawrence, D. H. Sons and Lovers. 1913. Eds. Helen Baron and Carl Baron. London: Penguin. 2006.Ramsey, Robin. “Unit 1: Sons and Lovers.” ENGL 424: Modern British Fiction. Kamloops, BC: TRU Open Learning, 2008

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Use of Nature in Sons and Lovers

May 17, 2019 by Essay Writer

Because of his past, the protagonist in D.H. Lawrence’s novel Sons and Lovers is a perfect example of a character crippled with the incapability to hold fast to a relationship. Paul Morel had three significant relationships in the novel that all somehow parallel elements found in nature. The symbolism found beneath the natural settings that Lawrence used are all provocative and sexual, and all provide depth into Paul’s relationships with his mother, his neighbor and a woman who eventually became his muse.The first of these relationships was with Paul’s mother, Gertrude Morel. Mrs. Morel’s unhappiness and instability was based on her premature marriage. Her only solace came from living vicariously through her sons, especially Paul. When pregnant with Paul, Mrs. Morel experienced a sensual and reeling moment in her garden that not only shaped the novel but her son’s character as well. This scene in the novel used a lot of provocative images. Both Lawrence’s choice of flowers and flower colors seemed to be significant. “The tall white lilies were reeling in the moonlight… she touched the big, pallid flowers on their petals then shivered… She put her hand into one white bin: the gold scarcely showed on her fingers by moonlight… Then she drank a deep draught of the scent. It almost made her dizzy.” The first image given was of a white lily. The color white seems to be used to describe a virginal moment. Although technically Gertrude was not physically a “virgin,” a lot of the pleasure in the garden seemed new to her. Her sensuality was heightened, something that never seemed to happen through the course of her relationship with her husband. A lily is a very spread out flower, with long petals and an erect center with tips coated in pollen. The petals of the flower are very open and seemed to be used to symbolize the vaginal area. It was hard not to notice the center of a lily. The carpel center, which was long, erect, and straight, seemed to be a phallic symbol. The combination of the color white, long petals and fertile center of a lily is extremely suggestive. Something I also considered when reading this passage was the fact that at the root of a lily is a bulb as opposed to a seed. In comparison to seeds, bulbs are much larger and weightier. The analogy between the seed and the bulb can parallel Walter Morel’s relationship with Gertrude as opposed to Paul’s. In that same scene, images of hills and roses were also mentioned. Lawrence’s use of hills seem to reaffirm her sexual arousal, one that Paul took part of in Gertrude’s womb. Hills are very curvy and feminine as opposed to mountains, which are often described with “peaks,” another phallic symbol. The use of hills instead of peaks reinforces the idea that Gertrude will have some sort of womanly hold over her son, which is what leaves him incapable of evolving romantically with other women. The author used a second reference to flowers in the same chapter to reinforce the idea of Mrs. Morel’s sexual encounter: “She passed along the path hesitating at the white rose-bush. A few whiffs of the raw strong scent of phlox invigorated her. She touched the white ruffles of the roses. Their fresh scent and cool, soft leaves reminded her of the morning-time and sunshine. She was very fond of them.” In this occurrence, Lawrence refers to roses. Roses in literature often symbolize romance. It is very important to remember that Paul is experiencing this arousal vicariously through Gertrude. The roses’ leaves remind her of morning-time and sunshine. Images of morning and sunshine are often metaphorical for a new beginning. In the context of this passage, the new romance seemed to be very welcome to Gertrude. She accepted it, and from this came the development of an Oedipal, almost-incestuous relationship between her and her son.After giving her son the name Paul, “a fine shadow was flung over the deep green meadow, darkening all.” Lawrence once again uses nature symbolically. By darkening the meadow, he was closing one chapter in Gertrude Morel’s life, her relationship with Walter Morel. Although the relationship between Gertrude and Walter was already rocky by this point, the use of a dark meadow is significant because of its placement right after the son’s naming. It suggests that the passion once held for Mr. Morel is now nonexistent, leaving room for Paul to make some sort of territorial claim on Gertrude Morel. The meadow was dark, seemingly representing an ending, as opposed to green and fertile. This also strengthened the idea that what Mrs. Morel experienced in the garden was orgasmic and furthermore that Paul experienced her pleasures vicariously through her. When she was pregnant with Paul, she saw the sunshine, which is symbolic for a new beginning, with a new male. D.H. Lawrence’s symbolic use of nature in the novel continued with the introduction of Miriam Leivers in “Death in the Family.” Paul’s first encounter with Miriam was during a visit with his mother to the Leivers’ farm. Miriam first appeared in a garden with a “rosy” complexion in. Appearing in a garden foreshadows the possibility of a new relationship between Paul and Miriam, and having a “rosy” face gives her character the idea of fertility. Upon meeting Miriam, Paul was obviously fascinated, because he starts a conversation with her about cabbage roses, even furthering the foreshadowing of a romance. “‘I suppose they are cabbage roses, when they come out?’ he said. ‘I don’t know,’ she faltered. ‘They’re white, with pink middles.’ ‘Then they’re maiden-blush.’ Miriam flushed. She had a beautiful, warm coloring.’ ‘I don’t know,’ she said. ‘You don’t have much in your garden,’ he said…” This passage from Paul and Miriam’s first meeting is significant, because of its extreme sexual connotations. Once again, D.H. Lawrence introduced the romantic, fertile image of the rose. However, this time he described the roses as “white, with pink middles.” By doing this, he has put Miriam’s character on the table. The image given off is very sensual. A rose that is white with a pink middle could be seen metaphorically for the vaginal area. The color gets deeper toward the center. She was a girl, in her prime. The color “white” can be seen in the passage, once again indicating virginity or purity. This is also supported by the fact that Paul skeptically said, “You don’t have much in your garden.” While red is often associated with love and passion, she was described as pink and rosy, which means she was at the brink of her sexuality. She was a virgin; she was almost ready. Toward the beginning of “Lad-and-Girl Love,” Paul decided to pay a visit to the Leivers farm “as soon as the sky brightened” and the “plum blossoms [were] out.” Like the chapter title, the brightened sky foreshadowed the beginning of a relationship between Paul and Miriam. It was interesting to me how it specifically said that Paul waited until the plum blossoms are out. Like D.H. Lawrence’s previous choices of lilies and roses, the choice of plum blossoms didn’t seem to be a coincidence. Plum blossoms are often white, pink and a deep red. Two of those colors had already been used to describe Miriam, and the remaining color is the color of romance and sexuality. Like lilies, plum blossoms also have a carpel center, with stigmas tipped with pollen. Their petals are also spread out and are very curvy and circular, much like the female shape. After Paul approached Miriam, the first thing he said to her was, “’I say… your daffodils are nearly out. Isn’t it early? But don’t they look cold? The green on their buds…‘” The author’s use of nature in this passage is to draw a relationship between a woman’s breasts and a daffodil. Like nipples on a breast, the daffodil’s center protrudes. This passage is meant to draw the reader in and focus on the Miriam’s femininity and development. During the visit, Paul made several comments about celandine bushes coming out and being glad about the “sunny” weather. There is increased imagery on plants and nature, which is used to set the “earthy” relationship between Paul and Miriam. The fact that Paul noted that it was now “sunny” rather than a “brightened sky” like before suggests that they have moved past the initial flirtation into something that may have substance. Celandines are small, delicate yellow flowers that were chosen by Lawrence to reinforce Miriam’s delicate, warm nature. “I like [celandines]… when their petals go flat back with the sunshine. They seem to be pressing themselves against the sun.” It was easy for me to infer that Paul happily approved of celandines as a subliminal invitation toward Miriam. He liked when the celandines’ petals were pressed against the sun. I interpreted the use “sun” as a metaphor for Paul, both because since his birth, he had been closely associated with morning. Also because “sun” seemed to be a play-on word for the homonym “son.” If the “sun” was Paul and the celandines were Miriam, he was openly proclaiming his interest and swelling desire for her. “So it was in this atmosphere of subtle intimacy, this meeting in their common feeling or something in nature, that their love started.” Their love for one another evolved as “Lad-and-Girl Love” moved forward. However, how Miriam viewed their relationship and how Paul viewed their relationship was completely different. Miriam wanted a “communion together” while Paul wanted Miriam physically. The sexual tension continued to build and many images of trees began to be offered by D.H. Lawrence, especially in the scene where Miriam wanted to show Paul a wild, rose bush that had fascinated her. “By the time they came to the pine-trees Miriam was getting very eager, and very tense. And she wanted it so much. Almost passionately, she wanted to be with him when she stood before the flowers. They were going to have a communion together, something that thrilled her, something holy.” This passage showed the eagerness Miriam had to be with Paul: body and soul. Whereas Paul’s focus, despite being somewhat intrigued on Miriam’s mind, was on how physically restless he was becoming. His impatience was metaphorically described through the author’s imagery of trees. “The tree was tall and straggling. It had thrown its briars over a hawthorn bush, and its long streamers trailed thick right down to the grass… Point after point, the steady roses shone out to them, seeming to kindle something in their souls.” The straggling tree proved to be a very provocative, phallic image of Paul’s sexual appetite. The images offered by Lawrence in these passages are very suggestive and very sensual. The “straggling” tree seemed to refer back to an erection while Miriam’s “white” and “incurved” roses were very suggestive of a pure, untouched, vaginal area. The adjective “wild” used to describe the rose bush was used to convey something less proper than how Miriam is used to acting since normally she could be described as pious, innocent and conservative. The word “wild” suggested the extreme opposite. “Round the broken top of the tower, the ivy bushed out, old and handsome… The tower seemed to rock in the wind.” The sexuality presented by Lawrence remains constant through the rest of the section. In this particular passage, he used the imagery of a tower metaphorically to describe Paul’s sexual frustration with Miriam’s continuous hesitation. He was swollen, ready for Miriam to consent to his invitation, yet she held back, leaving him unsatisfied and sexually repressed. “It was blowing so hard, high up there in the exposed place, that the only way to be safe was to stand nailed by the wind to the wall of the tower…. Miriam was somewhat scared by the wind… Paul was now pale with weariness.”D.H. Lawrence also used various images in nature to represent the descent of Paul and Miriam’s relationship, which also led to the next, major relationship in Paul’s life. When Paul realized that Miriam could not console his sexual agitation, he started taking steps back in attempt to claim his sensibilities back. “He wanted to give her passion and tenderness, and he could not. He felt that she wanted the soul out of his body and not him.” While taking one of their habitual walks, Paul noticed Miriam smothering the flowers and responded negatively. “’Can you ever like things without clutching them as if you wanted top pull the heart out of them?’… ’You’re always begging things to love you as if you were a beggar for love. Even the flowers, you have to fawn over them.’” How Paul interpreted Miriam’s reaction toward nature paralleled how he interpreted Miriam’s treatment of him. He was sick of being smothered, leading to the eventual “Defeat of Miriam.” Clara Dawes’ impression of flowers was the complete opposite of Miriam’s. Rather than picking them and metaphorically repressing her sexuality by “fawning” over them, she chose to leave them planted in the ground stating, “’I don’t want the corpses of flowers about me.’” Not only could she be labeled as “challenging” because she constantly went against societal norms, but she also had the capability to offer something completely different to Paul, something less temporary and unknown to him. She allowed the flowers to stay planted in the earth, giving them room to grow rather than die abruptly. This ends up being metaphorical of their relationship, since Clara Dawes ended up becoming his muse, his inspiration for a lot of his artwork. With Miriam, Paul felt very suppressed and Clara offered something completely different. Clara inspired passion within him, which can be seen when he chose to purchase “scarlet, brick red carnations” for her. The color scarlet is a very deep, erotic color that suggested a deep desire. The various appearances of nature when Clara was present versus when Miriam was present have a sharp contrast. Often the flowers and plants associated with Miriam were very virginal, very pure as opposed when Clara was presented. “The cliff of red earth sloped swiftly down, through trees and bushes, to the river that glimmered and was very dark between the foliage. The far below water-meadows were very green. He and she stood leaning against one another, silent, afraid, their bodies touching all along. There came a quick gurgle from the river below.” The colors used were described as “red”, “dark”, and “very green.” These colors suggested an engrossment on Paul’s side. Because of a previous marriage, Clara can already be assumed to be anything but pure. However, it was this deeper sense of knowledge attracted Paul. He wanted to thrive off of her experience and be stimulated by Clara’s maturity. The foliage present with Clara included trees, bushes and a river that was dark and gleaming. The trees once again appear as a phallic symbol for Paul’s lust. The bushes also refer to the male pubic area and the river symbolized a yearning. His proposition of “Will you go down to the river?” was an invitation towards Clara. He is asking her to be his lover, despite the fact that it had the complications of being both “risky” and “messy.” Their encounter with nature in “Passion” is very representative of sexual intercourse, and at times D.H. Lawrence even used words closely associated with the activity such as “erect.”“When they were going away the old lad came timidly with three dahlias in full bow… speckled scarlet and white.” Dahlias are very full flowers, even when budding. The significance of this bold, full flower is a parallel with the character, Clara. Like dahlias, she is full figured and the image given of something “full” is also something “more mature.” Clara possessed a maturity that Miriam had never claimed. The colors presented in this passage were particularly interesting. White and red seemed to be such a sharp contrast. However, because there were three dahlias, it seemed to be very symbolic of the women presented in Paul’s life and foreshadowed his incapability of truly having a relationship outside of his mother, Miriam Leivers and Clara Dawes. The white flower seemed to be representative of Miriam while the scarlet seemed to be associated with Clara and her more experienced perspective of the world. The color of the third flower was not distinguished as either scarlet or red, and I cannot help but wonder what the color would be. While it could be scarlet to represent the passion and true love Paul had for his mother, it could easily be white as well because of the purity and unconditional deep affection he had toward her.“The Release” signified an important change, and once again, although not as abundant, D.H. Lawrence referenced nature in order to foreshadow his plot and it’s need for the symbolic release and death of Mrs. Morel. “And he watched the tangled sunflowers dying, the chrysanthemums coming out, and the dahlias.” The change of seasons, which can be assumed by the change of the different blossoms, signified a change in Paul’s life. Furthermore, this quote placed meaning within each range of flower. Once again the dahlias could be paralleled to Clara Dawes. The fact that there was no “action” word used after the flower breed foreshadowed no further “action” in Paul’s relationship with Clara. The sunflowers represented Gertrude Morel in the sense that these particular flowers need sun in order to keep living. By going back to the idea that the word “sun” seemed to be a play on word for Paul Morel (the “son”), this translation is easily justified. It was essential for Gertrude Morel’s character to die for the protagonist to have some sort of shot of a future romance, which is supported by the fact that Paul himself says, “…I never shall meet the right woman while you live.” The word “tangled” was suggestive of suffocation, and although it was apparent that Paul loved his mother to the point of questionable incestuous desires, his character had begun to go around in circles, unsure of the next path in his life. The chrysanthemums physically resemble the celandines that Miriam was so fond of and a further assumption can be made that these flowers were symbolic for her, because she returned to Paul’s life later in the novel, after his mother’s death. D.H. Lawrence made his final use of nature, specifically flowers, in “Derelict.” In a final meeting between Paul and Miriam, the author chose to zoom his focus onto a bowl of freesias. “[Miriam] bowed her face over the flowers, the freesias so sweet and spring-like… It was like [Paul] to have those flowers… ‘Have them!’ he said, and he took them out of the jar as they were… She waited for him, took the flowers, and they went out together, he talking, she feeling dead.” By taking the flowers upon her departure from Paul’s apartment, Miriam was also claiming back her sexuality, leaving Paul dry and alone. From the time of Paul’s conception in his mother’s womb to a final heartbreak in “Derelict,” nature played a prominent role in essentially becoming a “story teller” of Paul’s relationships with Mrs. Morel, Miriam and Clara. As a reader, I felt as if the relationship between the different breeds of flowers and the women in Paul’s life was very interesting, risqué and provided for a sensual, interesting read. Without the use of suggestive language through nature, Sons and Lovers would have been flatter, and a lot of the depth you could only retain from the parallelism would be lost. D.H. Lawrence’s use of nature in a metaphorical sense was necessary for both the novel, the women in the novel and Paul Morel to be multi-dimensional and emotional, sexual human beings. Works CitedFlower Anatomy. (n.d.). EnchantedLearning.com. Retrieved May 27, 2007, from https://www.enchantedlearning.com/nosuchfile.html, D. H. (1994). Sons and Lovers. London, England: Penguin Books. (Original work published 1913)

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Postmodernism and Freudian Analysis

April 30, 2019 by Essay Writer

Write a concise analytical description of ‘Postmodernism’ in no more than 200 words. Postmodernism was a movement which took place in the Arts from the 1930’s to 1980’s, which sought not just to act as a continuation of modernism, but to attempt to reform its modes, which had themselves become conventional, as well as breaking away from elite high art to forms of mass culture, such as television, advertising, cartoons, and popular music. Western morale was threatened by the world-wide economic crisis and political division of the 1930’s ­ this was later exacerbated by the experiences of Nazi totalitarianism, mass extermination, and the threat of the atomic bomb. In 1984, Orwell depicted society’s fear of a totalitarian regime, as a mass consumer culture and centralised economy developed in the post-war period. There was a rejection of old ideals such as Marxism, Freudianism, and the Enlightenment Project. The literature of the period by authors such as Pynchon, Barthes, and Nabokov blended genres so as to avoid traditional classification, and the movement was also seen in Warhol’s pop art, the musical compositions of John Cage, and the films of Jean-Luc Godard. The value of the term is debated; some welcome it as a liberation from the hierarchy of high and low cultures, while sceptics see it as mindlessly glamorising consumer capitalism and its moral vacuity. In no more than 1300 words, debate the relative strengths and weaknesses of Freudian and psychoanalytic perspectives, and feminist and gender studies as approaches towards Sons and Lovers. Psychoanalytical and feminist approaches are two relatively recent critical responses towards literary texts. When applied to D. H. Lawrence’s Son’s and Lovers, both can be insightful yet problematic at the same time. The theories of psychoanalysis, primarily identified with Sigmund Freud, can be applied to imaginative literature and art in general, in order to study their manifest and latent content, in the same way as Freud studied dreams. Literature clearly lends itself to such a study, since, like dreams, the most significant meaning often lies below the conscious surface narrative of a text. Feminist approaches towards literature are concerned with the portrayal of female characters. Lawrence’s representation of women in his work has been admired by many readers for it’s insight, women among them, and has been strongly attacked by others for its prejudiced male perspective. Classic psychoanalytic criticism applied the theories either to the author, or his or her characters, which were seen as internalised images that have come from the author’s unconscious. The high autobiographical content of Sons and Lovers lends itself to this type of study. Also, if works of art are taken to be disguised expressions of an infantile wish driven into the unconscious, as Freud suggests, then Sons and Lovers is doubly of interest. It is about the fundamental infantile wish that all boys have and repress, according to Freud, the wish of Oedipus ­ to kill their father and marry their mother. Freud’s theory of the Oedipus complex and of its frequent effect of psychical impotence, of which Paul is a classic victim, offers a valuable key to a coherent understanding of the novel and the way in which it is structured. The extent of the bond established between mother and son is most vividly dramatised by the episode where Paul’s mother cries at the thought of losing him to Miriam: ‘I can’t bear it. I could let another woman -­ but not her. She’d leave me no room, not a bit of room­’And immediately he hated Miriam bitterly.’And I’ve never -­ you know, Paul ­ I’ve never had a husband ­- not really ­’He stroked his mother’s hair, and his mouth was on her throat.(Lawrence, 1994, p. 212) Not only does she invite Paul to occupy the place of her husband, but she accuses Miriam of the same possessive love with which she smothers Paul. At the end of the chapter, Paul echoes Hamlet, another exemplary Oedipal victim, when he tries to persuade his mother not to sleep with his father. At this point in the novel, the presence of an Oedipus complex in Paul is so patent that one can hardly consider it as a submerged theme. Looked at another way, a major theme of the book is the gradual awakening of Paul to the deadly effects of his Oedipal fixation on his mother. The penultimate chapter, tellingly called ‘The Release,’ shows how Paul comes to reverse the Oedipal desire to kill the father by administering an overdose to his mother. One could say that he has finally learnt to direct his anger outwards to its source. A weakness of the psychoanalytic approach is the tendency to be too selective when choosing evidence from the texts to support the theories. Most interpretations of Sons and Lovers polarise Miriam and Clara as the two sexual objects desired by the psychically impotent Paul. Miriam, in her similarity to Gertrude, represents the woman Paul can only love by repressing desire, so why does Lawrence find it necessary to include the episode in which she and Paul become lovers? And if Clara is the harlot-mother Paul can enjoy sexually, what of the introduction of Baxter Dawes? It has been suggested that he acts as a father figure, so that by adultery, Paul can live out the Oedipal fantasy by proxy. At the same time, his guilt at breaking the incest taboo is strong enough for him to almost desire the punishment he receives during his fight with Dawes. The son-lover later arranges the reconciliation of his proxy parents, living out a fantasy in which the incestuous son undoes the harm he has caused to the marital relationship. One of the roles of feminist criticism is that of deconstructing texts written by men, by reversing the hierarchies, in order to detect prejudice and distortion beneath the appearance of ‘natural’ behaviour. The first feminist critic to attempt this reversal of Sons and Lovers was Kate Millett in Sexual Politics. Despite obvious flaws such as partiality and selective dealing with the text, her views permanently altered subsequent reader’s responses to the novel. The faults of selectivity and partiality have already been encountered in the failings of a psychoanalytic reading, and it also arises in Millet’s interpretation when she accuses Paul of unrepentant cruelty towards Miriam when he attempts to teach her algebra, for example. Her feminist reading has acutely discovered a streak of sadism in Paul’s sexual relationship with Miriam, which may have gone unnoticed, yet her reading is dependant on an extremely partial reading of the text. The novel expresses how Paul repeatedly vacillates between anger and shame at his loss of temper: He was often cruelly ashamed. But still again his anger burst like a bubble surcharged; and still, when he saw her eager, silent, as it were, blind face, he felt he wanted to throw the pencil in it; and still when he saw her hand trembling, and her mouth parted with suffering, his heart was scalded with pain for her.(Lawrence, 1994, p. 157) This quote shows that Millett’s reading is dependent on too small a portion of the evidence. Having examined the curious episode where Paul hands Clara back to Baxter in terms of the enaction of a proxy Oedipal fantasy, (according to psychoanalysis,) we can reinterpret it separately via a feminist slant. Paul’s actions, from a woman’s point of view, are offensive and arrogant, but with feminism, as with psychoanalysis, the novel is more complex that the narrowing summary offered by the reading suggests. Prior to this scene, Clara has been terrified by the death within Paul and can hardly wait to get away from him. Also, Clara is faced with a choice between Baxter, who is reliant on her, and Paul, who would demand her unquestioning loyalty and subservience. In choosing Baxter she is choosing personal freedom. There is certainly plenty of evidence for chauvinism on Lawrence’s part in the novel, and a feminism reading does well to expose this, but the impartial nature of the reading can often omit important information, and be unfair to Lawrence, and characters such as Walter Morel. In places, Walter cuts a rather sympathetic figure, and feminist studies can overlook this side to him. Lawrence often gives a voice in his text to the female Other, giving a narrative voice in places to all the predominant female characters, and the book is full of references to the economic oppression suffered by women. Lawrence itemises at length the amount of money Morel gives his wife, sympathises with Miriam’s degradation at the hands of the male members of her family, and describes the sweated work for pittance that Clara must undertake ­ the price for her sexual freedom. As a science and medical practice, psychoanalysis has proved to be inherently flawed, but it’s ideas and terminology have had a remarkable impact on our culture. A psychoanalytic reading of Sons and Lovers conveniently overlooks passages which may contradict it’s theories, and Freudianism doesn’t account for individuality, since the characters do not exist in a social void, but essentially it has provided some of the most revealing critical observations since the text’s publication. It does not just uncover the subtext (unconscious) of the novel, but focuses on symptomatic passages that illustrate the presence of the unconscious taking the text in its own direction, usually of repetition, as in the triangle between Paul, Clara and Baxter, mirroring that of Paul and his parents. Feminist readings have discovered overlooked women writers and promoted their study, and have enlightened this text in many places, but they can be selective, narrow, and unfair to male characters and the author. Characters are limited by both readings when they are transformed into stereotypes ­ Paul does not act the way he does because he is simply male, or he is simply the victim of an Oedipus complex. Paul is alienated from his father, not just as a result of his complex, but because the father works as part of the traditional working class set-up, and does not spend as much time with the children as the mother. One single reading of the novel will inevitably prevent the student from seeing the whole picture, since each perspective has its own priorities, and several need to be incorporated in order to fully realise all of the characters and understand the true workings of the novel. Bibliography Finney, B. (1990). Penguin Critical Studies: Sons and Lovers. Middlesex: Penguin Group Kuttner, A. B. (1969). A Freudian Interpretation (1916). In Gmini Salgado (Ed.), D. H. Lawrence: Sons and Lovers ­ A Selection of Critical Essays 1969 ­ 1994. Hampshire: Macmillan Press. Lawrence, D. (1996). Sons and Lovers (1913). M. Daly (Ed.), London: Everyman Lucy, N. (1997). Postmodern Literary Theory: An Introduction Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd. Millett, K. (1996). Sexual Politics (1969). In Rick Rylance (Ed.), Sons and Lovers: New Casebooks. New York: St. Martin’s Press. Pope, R. (1998). The English Studies Book. London: Routledge

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