Lawrence's Use of Time in Sons and Lovers

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Examine the author’s handling of time.

The use of time by the author is an important component of prose, as it provides the framework for the entire novel by manipulating the themes and characters by the use of techniques such a setting and narration. Sons and Lovers is set in the early 1900’s during the second industrial revolution in a small mining town in England. By choosing this time period and place, Lawrence isolates the themes to be addressed, as well as provides context for the relationships, occurrences and behaviour in the novel. The activity of coal mining is an important one in the book as it provides income for the Morels as well as many major problems. This reflects the views of Lawrence who grew up in a similar situation and explains his interest in the theme of industrialisation and its impact on individuals. Lawrence, as a writer of the Romantic Movement great opposed industrialisation as he believed it severed the bond with nature and ruined relationships between persons. These views are evident in his writing as we can see the impact of Morel’s job as a coal miner on his family; this represents the situation in many households during the period. This also explains the emphasised relationships that many main characters have with nature such as Paul, Miriam and Mrs. Morel. This relationship represents their spirituality and their escape from industrialisation, especially so by Mrs. Morel’s refusal to let her children work in the mines as she believes it will dehumanise them, as it did her husband. The use of nature imagery, pathetic fallacy and the accentuated description of nature throughout the novel highlight Lawrence’s own sentiment toward nature. This theme is one characteristic of the era and is only able be addressed because of Lawrence’s choice in setting. The narration and structure are other techniques use to influence time. Sons and Lovers a semi-autobiographical, psychological novel that addresses the relationship between a...
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