Women in Sons and Lovers

Topics: Feminism, Gender, Women's rights Pages: 5 (1613 words) Published: March 24, 2013
Sons and Lovers, published in 1913, is D. H. Lawrence's third novel. It was his first successful novel and arguably his most popular. Many of the details of the novel's plot are based on Lawrence's own life and, unlike his subsequent novels, this one is relatively straightforward in its descriptions and action. D. H. Lawrence has been always criticized for the content of his novel and his characters. Sons and Lovers is another novel which was even banned for years because of its explicit indications to sexual intercourse and the complex and complicated relationship of mother and sons. Society has a certain code fixed for a mother but Lawrence attempted to portray the mother figure in a quite different way. In fact, Lawrence puts question that to what extent a mother should care for her children and shows what happens if a mother becomes wife-submissive through the character of Gertrude Morel who is also known as Mrs. Morel. This paper would attempt to explore the character of Mrs. Morel through the feminist point of view.

Before discussing Mrs. Morel’s character through the magnifying glass of feminism, it is needed to focus what does feminism means and what does the feminist criticism deal with. The most straightforward definition of feminism says that is a movement for social, cultural, political and economic equality of men and women. It is a campaign against gender inequalities and it strives for equal rights for women. Feminism can be also defined as the right to enough information available to every single woman so that she can make a choice to live a life which is not discriminatory and which works within the principles of social, cultural, political and economic equality and independence. It is in fact a global struggle for gender equality and end of gender based discriminatory practices against women. Feminism is also related to men in the sense that all gender based equality is in fact a balance between the male and female with the intention of liberating the individual. In that sense the definition of feminism also includes all movements and campaigns that target men and boys for gender sensitization with a goal to end gender based discriminatory practices and achieve gender based equality.

Feminist literary criticism is the critical analysis of literary works based on the feminist perspective. In particular, feminist literary critics tend to reject the patriarchal norms of literature that privileges masculine ways of thinking/points of view and marginalizes women politically, economically and psychologically. Some critics find that feminist criticism makes space for and listens to women's voices previously muted or drowned out by dominant patriarchal literary-critical practices. In other words, what the text leaves out says much about the writer, literature in general, and society as a whole. By using this "hermeneutics of suspicion" literary critics hope to reveal how women are marginalized in the language of literature.

Now, in Sons and Lovers, Mrs. Morel is portrayed as the victim of the patriarchal society and the stones in Paul’s life road to success, to some extent. This paper would try to avoid the normal literary criticism to Sons and Lovers, and rather would focus on the analysis of the three tragic women through feminine position, and specially would explore how Lawrence has portrayed Mrs. Morel with all the issues of female essence (differance).

Mrs. Morel, who came from a little capitalist class, aloof and cultured, is a woman of knowledge of a Victorian woman but her character can be read from Marxist-Feminist point of view. From very young, she has been struggling against patriarch, fighting for her existence and for women’s rights, longing to become an authoritative, independent and responsible man. As the England industrial atmosphere came, in the man-centered family, her husband treated her sadistically, Mrs. Morel naturally constitute an alliance with her sons to live, she...
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