How is Mrs. Morel presented in Chapter One of Sons and Lovers?
The first chapter begins with a description of the neighborhood of “The Bottoms,” the miners’ dwellings in which the Morel’s live. The Morel’s consist primarily in the first chapter of, Gertrude and Walter Morel, and their son William. Before we are even introduced to Mrs. Morel, the description that D.H. Lawrence gives in the opening few pages is enough for the reader to graft an opinion. Lawrence firstly writes that Mrs. Morel “descended” to the Bottoms from Bestwood. This creates the impression that she deems herself above everyone who lives in the area; this is a very pompous attitude to have from the outset. Further on, we are told how Mrs. Morel enjoys living on the end house in her street because “her rent was five shillings and sixpence instead of five shillings a week”. Mrs. Morel is portrayed as arrogant and snobby in the first few descriptions as it comes across that because she has money, she is better than the residents of “middle houses”. Further on in the novel we discover the “real” Mrs. Morel and how her mind works. Critics have even pointed out that Lawrence’s characters are that absorbing it is “easy to become immersed in their emotions”. When alone, Mrs. Morel seeks nature as an “escape” from her busy life with her two children. It is when she is alone that her emotions are set free for the reader to enjoy. Lawrence describes that Mrs. Morel is waiting “at least” until William grew up to be free and feel worthy. This suggests that she is very unhappy with the repetitive life she lives in the Bottoms as a stay-at-home wife and wishes for something more to fulfill her. This thought was common for many women at the time this novel was written as soon after came the Suffragette movement. The Suffragettes were a group of women who fought for equal rights between men and women. Mrs. Morel narrates throughout how if she were a man “nothing would stop me”. Critics envision that is...
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