Class Conflict in D.H Lawrence's Sons and Lovers

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 4278
  • Published : November 16, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
Literatures In English

Name: Ramona Roberts Grade: 13R Teacher: Ms. D. Campbell

“Sons and Lovers as a novel epitomizes the conflict between the unskilled, ‘ill- educated’ working class and the rigidly moral, emotionally and sexually inhibited middle class.”

D.H. Lawrence was one of the first modernist novelists to be passionately involved with his characters. Among the proletarian novels in the English literature, D.H. Lawrence’s Son’s and Lovers is the model and the precursor in terms of treatment as well as theme. A proletarian novel portrays sympathetically the problems and distressing economic conditions of the proletariat, the working class and their effects on the character. It also embodies the conflict between the two opposing classes. The key relationship is the novel, is that of Walter Morel and Gertrude Morel, it is set against a working class society and is dominated by class-conflict. Walter Morel, is a symbol of the working class, he has the positive qualities of instinct, warmth, and spontaneity. His wife, Gertrude, is a symbol of the middle class, embodying their work ethic and their intellectual and social aspirations. Gertrude and Walter, like the lower and middle classes, can't get along. Sons and Lovers, as a novel epitomizes the conflict between the unskilled, ‘ill- educated’ working class and the rigidly moral, emotionally and sexually inhibited middle class. In the rolling hills and coal-pitted fields of central England, known as the British Midlands, live the Morels, a poor mining family. The family has just moved down in the world from the nearby village of Bestwood to the Bottoms, a complex of working-class row houses. Gertrude Morel is a small, stern woman, pregnant with her third child, Paul, the protagonist of this novel. The Morels' other children are William and Annie, Paul is not wanted by his mother as 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 Gertrude Coppard was twenty-three, she met the twenty-seven year old Morel who was extremely handsome, “had that rare thing, a rich, ringing laugh… he was so full of colour and animation,… he was ready and pleasant with everybody… soft, non-intellectual, warm, a kind of gamboling… she thought him rather wonderful, never having met someone like him. Gertrude knew that Morel’s values and preferences were totally different from those she had grown used to. “She was puritan like her father, high minded and really stern.” However, there differences seemed rather thrilling and adventurous, an attraction that was irresistible and had a pull on the two opposites. Walter Morel was solely fascinated by Gertrude; she was sophisticated and lady-like. They then got married “But this bliss of togetherness did not last long enough to keep their marriage going. Mrs. Morel became more conscious of her superior class than that of her husband. She was a woman who was interested in reading and longed to have constructive arguments on religion, philosophy and politics with an educated man. Morel therefore was not the right man for her. We then see her later fondness for the...
tracking img