Sons and Lovers as an Autobiographical Novel

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Novel gained immense popularity during the 20th century. In the history of English novel D. H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers is a typical 20th century novel. The 20th century novels bear the characteristics of realism, romanticism, modernism, impressionism, expressionism etc. It was a time of complex human psychology. A contiguous overflow of a thought, which is happening in human psychology become the theme of the novel of the time. After the havoc and destruction of the First and the Second World Wars a great change in human psychology took place. Prominent psychological writers like- Sigmund Freud, Jung and Lucka came forward with their stimulating psychoanalytical theory. Freud’s theory of Oedipus complex and Lacka’s theory of child’s life or self-development greatly influenced the Novelists of The 20th century. Son’s and lovers by D.H. Lawrence is also a psychological novel where Lawrence as a psychoanalyst brings into focus the subtle and intricate happening in the minds of his characters, like Gertrude Morel , Paul Morel , Miriam and others. Sons and Lovers deal with the psychology of the characters. Lawrence examines human life minutely and represents the complexity of human mind in his novel, Sons and Lovers. He brings out the deepest and subtle psychological aspect of his characters specially of Gertrud Morel and Paul Morel. According to the psychologists’ theory, there are three levels of human thought: conscious, subconscious and unconscious. Most of the thoughts lie dominant in subconscious and unconscious level. Sometimes it comes out into surface. Oedipus complex is one of such instinct. A psychological novelist like Lawrence externalizes the hidden and inner recondite thoughts of subconscious and unconscious mind. The theme of Oedipus complex is a dominant theme of Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers. Gertrude morel is a lady of delicate and refined taste and she married a miner named Walter Morel. Though it was a love marriage, within a few months of their marriage she discovered him as a stranger, a gambler, drunkard and an agitated person. Besides the poverty of Morels family disillusioned her. In spite of remaining as his wife, she lost all the interests for him. Morel’s rude and aggressive behavior with her and their children made her burdened with life with him. But nevertheless she remains with him because she had loving children as- Annie and William. All her love and affection was transferred to her children specially to her eldest son William who also loves his mother very much. When William came into maturity he managed to earn for family and it made her happy but gradually Mr. Morel becomes an outsider of the family. Because of the crude and vulgarity of his manner his children William and Annie also began to despise him. Mrs. Morel’s extreme love for her son William made the father jealous. In a state of conflict between husband and wife, both of them felt dreary and lonely. So all the love and affection of a disappointed soul like Gertrud Morel find place in her lovely children especially in the sons- first in William then in Paul. The sons gave hope and spirit in Mrs. Morel’s life. Her heart filled with love and affection first for William then for Paul, her second son. Lawrence in a letter to his friend Edward Garnett said about the relation between mother and son: “But as her sons grew up, she settles them as lovers.” This is the kind of love Sigmund Freud mentions as Oedipus complex. According to the theory, if the marriage between the mother and father is not happy and loving, the parents become interested in love for the child of opposite sex. The child functions as the substitute of husband or wife. Lawrence as a psychologist brings out the innermost psychology of his characters, Mrs. Gertrud Morel and her son Paul Morel. Mrs. Morel prevented her sons making love with other woman except her. She prevented William from getting intimate...
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