"Bildungsroman, a form of fiction which allows the novelist to recreate through the maturing of his protagonist some of his own remembered intensity of experience" (Nivin, Alastair; pg. 34)
D.H. Lawrence re-created his own life experience through the writing of Son's and Lovers, an intensely realistic novel set in a small English mining town, much akin to the town in which he was raised. The son of a miner, Lawrence grew up with a father much like the character of Mr. Morel in Son's and Lovers. Morel (as the father is called) is an ill tempered, uneducated, and rather crude man. A man with little ability to express his feelings to his wife and family, who love him dearly despite the fact that he was seldom cordial to any of them.
"Lydia (Lawrence's mother) was high-minded and pious. She had been a schoolteacher and had written poetry. She hated dirt and drink and poverty." (Segar, Keith; pg.11)
Lydia met her husband Arthur at a family function and they married only a year later. "It was an attraction of opposites which could not last. Arthur was irresponsible and poor." (pg.11) While the two loved each other dearly, their differences caused many of the problems that arose later on in Lawrence's life. In the novel the Mother and Father also met at a dance, where Mr. Morel's ability to dance was "natural and joyous", he possessed "a certain subtle exultation like glamour in his movement." These features attracted Mrs. Morel immediately, just as Mr. Morel was attracted to her because she was "perfectly intact, deeply religious, and full of beautiful candor." (Lawrence, D.H.; pg. 44)
The Morels, once married moved to an end house on "hell row" in the "Bottoms", just on the outskirts of the mine.
"The bottoms consisted of six blocks of miners' dwellings, two rows of three, like the dots on a blank-six domino, and twelve houses in a block. This double row of dwellings sat at the foot of the rather sharp slope...