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Parent relationship in "Sons and Lovers"

By Sabina-Akter Nov 19, 2013 1094 Words
 David Herbert Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers is considered as one of the most innovative novels of the twentieth century. In this novel, though Lawrence mainly deals with the relationship between men and women, he also informs us that the relationship between parents and children with the influence of the disharmonious relationship between the special man and woman—father and mother is very significant to children, family and even society. Sons and Lovers is an autobiographical account of Lawrence’s early life. Lawrence gives an account of his mother which shows how strongly she influenced the conception of Sons and Lovers. As it is certainly beyond the capacity of a thesis to deal with all kinds of human relationships thoroughly, this chapter intends to focus its efforts on the relationship between the parents and children found in the novel Sons and lovers. In other words, we must guide our emotional responses to others in society and set the stages for what happens to us in the interpersonal lives with others.

As father, Mr. Morel's exclusion in novel has been read as a necessary part of the oedipal drama which unfolds between mother and son. In all this, the father comes off rather badly, his prime role that of rival in love. He is cruel to his children, who hate him. William hates him with 'a boy's hatred for false sentiment and for the stupid treatment of his mother' and Annie never liked him; 'she merely avoided him.' Paul even prays to God to let his father die if he will not give up drinking.

Mrs. Morel is an educated woman. However, in D.H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers, Gertrude Morel devote herself passionately to her children. As a mother should make her children self-sufficient and independent individuals, and enable them ability of living their own lives and loving their own loves without constant reference to her judgments and feelings. At first, she chooses and begins with her eldest son.

William Morel is Morel’s elder son, a handsome and intelligent young man who combines his father’s gregariousness and physical magnetism with his mother’s intelligence and will power. However Mrs. Morel puts her strong possession from her husband Walter Morel to William. One time Mr. Morel wanted to cut William’s hair, but Mrs. Morel wanted to kill Mr. Morel. She holds her two fists tightly then lifts them. Mr. Morel shrinks back. Mrs. Morel treats William as part of her. She wanted to control William. Mrs. .Morel protects William from her husband after a neighbor’s complaint.

On the other hand, William also loves her very much. One time, Mr. Morel quarrels with Mrs. Morel, William was very angry, and his fists are shocked. He wanted to kick his son. William is bigger, but Mr. Morel is hard-muscled, and mad with fury. William put his fists ready. He watches his father, suddenly, the air is frozen. Luckily, Mrs. Morel stops this fight. From this quarrel, we find that mother and son look like partner, because William thinks that he is the only man who can protect his mother. But when William grows up to go to work and begins to keep dating with young girls, he doesn’t go home often. Mrs. Morel begins to be jealous of his girlfriend.

William a split in his mind and his body, and at last he suffers to die of pneumonia. Because of Mrs. Morel’s possession, she deprives her son’s rights of love. Her son William can’t love because their mother is the major part in their lives and controls their mind tightly. Readers believe that William dies of Pneumonia, but really because he can’t resolve the conflict he feels between marrying his girlfriend “Gyp” and remaining devoted to his mother.

After William’s death, Mrs. Morel is paralyzed with grief. She is not finally roused from her despair until her second son, Paul, another major character, is dangerously ill with the same illness. From then on, her life begins to root itself to Paul.

Paul is the second son of the Morels, a light, quick, slender boy. From childhood on Paul is especially sensitive, artistic and imaginative, and he becomes extraordinarily dependent on his mother, a highly intelligent woman with an unusually strong and vivid personality. Paul is always sick; he never wants to be separated from his mother and only wishes to devote himself to his mother.

As he grows up, he starts to work, though he is reluctant to leave his beloved home. When the girl named Miriam appears in his life, Paul wants to love her and to be loved by her. But he couldn’t. Whenever Paul is out and late with Miriam, he knows his mother is furious and getting angry with him. Miriam was a girl who dislikes Paul’s mother, because Mrs. Morel controlled Paul’s mind and his mother thinks that Paul was a part of her, that’s to say, no one can take Paul.

This part deals mainly with the relationship between Mrs. Morel and Paul to explain the relation between the mother and children. As to Mrs. Morel’s second eldest son Paul was a born soul-mate to her. When he was born, it was a great comfort for the mother that the baby was another boy because it meant a great man in the future. Not long after his birth, Mrs. Morel noticed that the baby seemed to be trying to understand something painful.

When Mr. Morel is hospitalized after an accident, the 14-year-old Paul repeatedly says to his mother with joy that he is the man in the house; and when they learn that the father is discharged from hospital after recovery, the mother and the son cannot help regretting his coming back home. Paul’s ambition is to earn quietly thirty or thirty-five shillings a week somewhere near his home, and then, when his father dies, to have a cottage with his mother, paint and go out as he likes, and live happily ever after. Throughout the novel, he shows his animosity towards his poor father and his tenderness to his mother; his relationship with his mother is the most important factor in his life.

Here we are shown a mother’s love for her son at its triumphant best. We feel file relationship is rather too tense -- Lawrence here describes Mrs. Morel as “gay, like a sweetheart”. This is not merely a mother-son relationship; it seems to be a relationship between lovers.

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