He completed the novel in 1913, while mourning his mother’s death and under yet another female influence date of first publication 1913 United Kingdom publisher Gerald Dckworth and company Ltd arrator because is an atobiographical book the narrator is Lawerence climax protagonist antagonist setting (time) at the turn of the twentieth century setting (place) The village of Bestwood point of view All of the events are told of some third person (by the author) point of view. alling action tense past tese, present- tense the dlog between wife and drinking husbend, foreshadowing tone themes Lawrence demonstrates how contradictions emerge so easily in human nature, especially with love and hate. Paul vacillates between hatred and love for all the women in his life, including his mother at times. Often he loves and ates at the same time, especially with Miriam. Mrs. Morel, too, has some reserve of love for her husband even when she hates him, although this love dissipates over time.
Indstrial live vs nature,class conflicts, loves versus jealousy, social and romantic Motifs Symbols CHELP Sound off, GIN PITS Pits from which miners extract coal. context plot overwiev In the rolling hills and coal-pitted fields of central England,known as the British Midlands, live the Morels, a poor miningfamily. The family has just moved down in the world from the nearby village of Bestwood to the Bottoms, a complex of working-class row houses. Gertrude Morel is a small, stern woman, pregnant with her thirdchild, Paul, the protagonist of this novel.
The Morels’ other children are William and Annie. Paul is not wanted by his mother. The poverty-stricken household cannot easily handle another hungry mouth to feed. Walter Morel, Paul’s father, is a hard-working coal miner with a lively spirit and a severe drinking problem. Mr. and Mrs. Morel were initially attracted to each other because they were so different. He is working-class, sensual, nonintellectual,and fairly irresponsible. His wife is middle-class, pious,intellectual, and eminently reliable.
The passion that held them together in the first glowing months of their marriage cannot survive their social and moral differences. When Paul is born, Mrs. Morel is determined to make him feel loved, to compensate for his unwanted conception. Paul is a feeble,oversensitive child, who seems to be living proof of the shattered love of his mismatched parents. William, the eldest son, is the favorite of the family. He’s a great athlete, student, worker, and companion. He lands a good job in London and gets caught up in the exciting urban life.
He becomes engaged to Louisa Lily Denys Western (“Gyp”), a young woman who is beautiful but not bright. Meanwhile, Paul gets an office job at Jordan’s artificial limb factory in Nottingham. The shop girls, particularly the hunchbacked Fanny, adore this shy, sweet boy who offers them encouragement and kindness. He has also become serious about landscape painting. On a holiday visit to the farm of family friends, Paul meets his first sweetheart, Miriam Leivers. At first, Miriam means far less to Paul than do the other members of the Leivers family, whom he visits frequently.
In the city, William works endlessly to support his fiancee’s extravagant whims. He resents Gyp’s frivolity and stupidity but is sexually enthralled by her. She satisfies his passion, without loosening his mother’s hold on his heart and mind. The conflict between William’s attraction to Gyp and his devotion to Mrs. Morel eventually undermines his health. He dies of pneumonia in his cold, lonely London flat (apartment). Now all Mrs. Morel’s passions and aspirations pour into Paul. As he becomes the center of his mother’s universe, he truly begins to live.
The Leivers become like a second family to Paul. Soon, the daughter Miriam grows closest to the sensitive, artistic youth. The two share long, idyllic walks through the countryside, talking and reading to each other. Paul helps Miriam overcome her many physical fears, such as climbing fences and letting the barnyard chickens eat out of her hand. He teaches her French and algebra, opening up a new, exciting world. Miriam appeals to Paul’s own growing mysticism and creativity and loves nurturing Paul’s artistic growth. They experience an intense relationship but don’t know how to express it physically.
As Paul grows into manhood, he finds his abstract, spiritual relationship with Miriam unsatisfactory. Mrs. Morel, however, is jealous of Miriam’s influence over Paul. She fears Miriam will suck the life and energy out of him with her dreamy ysticism. Paul, in turn, becomes frustrated by Miriam’s otherworldliness. He eventually realizes he wants to have a sexual relationship with her, but can’t get up the courage to make a pass at her. He knows how much she fears sex. Confused and frustrated, Paul starts to hate Miriam and treat her cruelly.
At the Leivers farm, Paul meets Clara Dawes, a political and social activist who has left her unfaithful husband. As the relationship between Miriam and Paul becomes more hopeless, his affinity for the older, sensuous Clara develops. Clara suggests to Paul that Miriam might actually want him as a man and elps him find the courage to approach Miriam as a lover. Finally Paul and Miriam make love. The act dissatisfies both of them. Miriam acts as if making love is an unenjoyable sacrifice she endures for Paul’s benefit only. Paul cant stand feeling that his wanting Miriam as a woman hurts her.
He finally follows his mother’s advice and ends his affair with Miriam. In hope of finding an outlet for his intense sexual passions, he turns to Clara. Paul and Clara have an affair. She satisfies his sensuality without breaking his attachment to his mother. But Clara, like Miriam, wants to make their relationship permanent, or t least stable. This is impossible because of Paul’s devotion to Mrs. Morel. Paul comes to befriend Clara’s husband, Baxter, who has not hidden his hatred for Paul and even thrashed him for having an affair with his wife.
While Baxter is in the hospital, Paul visits him, then helps place the broken man in a convalescent home. Meanwhile, Paul’s mother is dying of stomach cancer. Neither Paul nor his sister Annie can bear to see their mother in pain. Paul finally gives her an overdose of morphine to end her suffering. After his mother’s death, Paul feels that life isn’t worth living. His relationship with Clara has disintegrated, nd he decides to renounce her. Clara, believing she will never get close to Paul, goes back to Baxter. Paul remains in deep despair over his mother’s death.
He can’t do anything but mourn and think about dying. Eventually, his will to live wins out. Character List PAUL MOREL Paul Morel, the protagonist of Sons and Lovers, is a young man in the painful process of growing up. He is torn between his passion for two young women, the mystical Miriam and the sensual Clara, and his unyielding devotion to a possessive mother. He’s often kind, especially to his mother and the shop girls at Jordan’s. He can be very cruel, particularly to his girlfriends. he’s treatment of Miriam seems shockingly inconsiderate.