❴EPUB❵ ✰ Sons and Lovers Author D.H. Lawrence – Wildlives.co
I attempted to read this book twice years ago I failed to finish each time, finding the novel laborious Now, married and with children, I have read through this book eagerly It is perhaps a half lifetime of experience that has allowed me to see this story in a different light The examination of Paul Morel s emotionally incestuous relationship with his mother and the way it cripples his love for other women is insightful My Barnes and Nobles version of this book I put this review under this version since it is the most popular has a contemporaneous review Lascelles Abercrombie, Manchester Guardian, July 2, 1913 that assesses this book much better than I can Indeed, you do not realize how astonishingly interesting the whole book is until you find yourself protesting that this thing or that bores you, and eagerly reading on in spite of your protestationsYou think you are reading through an unimportant scene and then find that it has burnt itself on your mind This book has truly burnt itself on my mind, and I am glad that I came back to it. Sons and Lovers or Lovers and Sons in some editions, is the fictionalized autobiography of the origins and youth of D.H.Lawrence.The main character, like the great writer, was born in the world of the mining country of Nottinghamshire, a sensual father, drinker, choleric, vulgar nature and a mother from a higher background, to the puritanical and bourgeois values constantly wounded by the unseemly attitude, the reckless acts and low appetites of her husband This volume is an interesting document on the daily lives of miners and their families hard work, modest joys, pubs spent on the meager pay on Friday It bears witness to the development, precursor to the creation of the Labor Party, of workers organizations, such as workers cooperatives, solidarity funds, women s guilds or temperance societies, while feminist consciousness and aspirations are born in the developed layers of the population It is also a pretext for the suggestive description of Nottingham, its monuments, its nature, the localities surrounding it But the main interest of this story is that of being, without any doubt, the most personal work of Lawrence, where the emotion of the thing lived is everywhere exposed The oedipus of the latter is very well made, as well as the atmosphere of growing hatred of children for this father to the unworthy conduct, nonetheless exempt from a few rare moments of peace and relative happiness David Herbert Lawrence aka Paul Morel appears as a gentle child, thoughtful, temperament artist, conscientious painter with delicate health, subject to bronchitis, these disorders that will prematurely take the writer of tuberculosis We follow his launch in life as a clerk in an orthopedic appliance factory in Nottingham, the untimely death of the eldest son of the family, the first long platonic love affair with the mystical, religious and reserved Myriam, then with the Clara, a meeting marked by the seal of ephemeral passion and the Dionysian impulse so dear to the artist It is especially in the narration of the fusional attachment with her mother that the work culminates This love makes a balance of power, confrontation, possessiveness of the mother, jealousy too finally, the heart rending agony of the latter and the deep distress that seizes the son at the loss of the irreplaceable, provoke in the reader an unusual emotional tension.A troubling novel, moving and poignant. She Was A Brazen Hussy She Wasn T And She Was Pretty, Wasn T She I Didn T Look And Tell Your Girls, My Son, That When They Re Running After You, They Re Not To Come And Ask Your Mother For You Tell Them That Brazen Baggages You Meet At Dancing Classes The Marriage Of Gertrude And Walter Morel Has Become A Battleground Repelled By Her Uneducated And Sometimes Violent Husband, Delicate Gertrude Devotes Her Life To Her Children, Especially To Her Sons, William And Paul Determined They Will Not Follow Their Father Into Working Down The Coal Mines But Conflict Is Evitable When Paul Seeks To Escape His Mother S Suffocating Grasp Through Relationships With Women His Own Age Set In Lawrence S Native Nottinghamshire, Sons And Lovers Is A Highly Autobiographical And Compelling Portrayal Of Childhood, Adolescence And The Clash Of Generations Generally considered Lawrence s masterpiece, it is ranked 9th on the Modern Library 100 best books of the 20th century The story of Paul Morel and his brothers and the influence of the women in their lives, especially of their mother I think the age old theme of men trying to find a wife or lover in the metaphorical image of their mother is present in all of Lawrence s novels, butso in Son and Lover s than any other It is beautifully written and the characters are well developed and very memorable Overall, it s my favorite Lawrence novel 4.5 stars. Being Smothered by Controlling MotherDomineering MommyCoal Mining Son You made me cry, you told me liesBut I can t stand to say goodbye.Mama I m comin home.Ozzy Osbourne, Mama, I m Coming Home, 1991.D.H Lawrence, one of my personal favorites, seems to have told a tale no truer than his largely autobiographical Sons and Lovers While all the primary characters have some major defect of character, I felt the most pity for the protagonist Paul Morel a real mama s boy and Miriam his childhood semi sweetheart Mama Morel didn t as much dislike Miriam as she did the idea that she would lose control over Paul you love me so much, you want to put me in your pocket And there I will die smothered. D.H Lawrence, Sons and LoversTo me, Sons and Lovers is the best literary illustration of the devastating impact a parent here, a mother can have on a child and his her descendants, even from the grave I deem it a tragedy when I see a self centered parent, apparently because he she is so frustrated with his her own life, controlling and repeatedly interfering with, and thereby ravaging, the child s life by, among other things, stealing loves, constraining career, and corrupting the conditions conducive to joy in life.4.5 stars How do you leave a mother who associates her life s meaning and fulfillment to you and your achievements, without breaking her heart How do you surrender all your passion to a lover while leaving some for the woman who gave birth to you, reared you, and loved you Should a man give greater love to his mother or his lover How do you achieve balance between the women in your life D.H Lawrence s semi autobiographical novel Sons and Lovers displays the pendulum of a young man s love swinging to and fro from his deep bond with his mother to his passionate relationships with his lovers It is a fragile pendulum that slowly cracks and inevitably breaks And in the same way she waited for him In him was established her life now After all, the life beyond offered very little to Mrs Morel She saw that our chance for doing is here, and doing counted with her Paul was going to prove that she had been right he was going to make a man whom nothing should shift off his feet he was going to alter the face of the earth in some way which mattered Wherever he went she felt her soul went with him Whatever he did she felt her soul stood by him, ready, as it were, to hand him his tools She could not bear it when he was with Miriam She would fight to keep Paul It is often said that young men unconsciously look for the qualities of their mother in a spouse I do not know whether or not this is true, but if it is, this primal instinct is the definitive sign of the maternal clutch that holds us so, that a man never truly leaves his mother, that a wife is, in a way, only her substitute Much in the same light that a woman would look for qualities of her father in a partner, this shows the strong influence of the family unit in our romantic compass At the same time, it can also be seen as a deeply embedded desire for harmony between the abandoned family and the newly established one But these are all just conjectures It is often the case that a man would leave his mother for his wife, and forget about her altogether Mothers are often relegated into a secondary role, often only visited during holidays, usually abandoned at elder s homes But then isn t that the way it is But should that be how they are treated when their love for you is muchthan a lover can ever give you How do you satisfy both women s need for your love And if you do satisfy them, what then is left for you The novel starts with a wife and a husband Gertrude Morel, the wife, the mother, I believe, is one of the greatest female figures in literature Her fortitude despite a slovenly, drunken husband and her defiance towards him is an impressive feat in itself Her unfailing love and devotion to her children makes her a champion greater than any female lover character Granted, there may be flaws in her character, yet her wisdom, her strength and her abiding maternal love makes these flaws insignificant The story starts off with the difficulties and relationships of the family, then morphs into focus the second son, Paul, and his relationship with his mother and, later on, his lovers It scrutinizes how he traverses the tightrope between his love for the woman who brought her into this world, and the women who make his world go round A significant highlight of the novel, aside from the mother son relationship, is the conflict in Paul s heart between Miriam and Clara These two women give face to the different sides of loving Miriam, a friend since childhood, embodies the deep love that pierces the soul and being They understand each other perfectly, soulmates, as they call it She loves Paul to the very core, yet no passion arises in her She considers love making as something she must endure because she loves him, herself a sacrifice Clara, on the other hand, is the very flame of passion A beautiful older woman, her affair with Paul is one of desire and physicality Her love is that of a wild carnal storm that reduces both into total abandonment Yet they are two very different beings only united by an animal need, and nothing deep takes hold They give Paul two different things, but none of them ever truly takes his heart But no, mother I even love Clara, and I did Miriam but to give myself to them in marriage I couldn t I couldn t belong to them They seem to want me, and I can t ever give it them You haven t met the right woman And I never shall meet the right woman while you live, he said Ever since he was born Paul has always had this deep awareness of his mortality, a melancholy attitude that was drawn to the surreptitious darkness around He was always keenly aware of their poor standing in life His empathy for his mother s suffering when he was young might have been the driving force of his intense love for her And as a young man he developed an existential crisis that made him unable to really love another woman It was as if his deep love for his mother exhausted all his reserve, and made him empty His life was grounded on his mother, as she had grounded her life on him So when the inevitable happened, he was shattered Now she was gone, and forever behind him was the gap in life, the tear in the veil, through which his life seemed to drift slowly, as if he were drawn to death Therein lies the danger of such an intense proportion of love He gave away all, pouring between his mother and his lovers that none was left for him His melancholy character enabled him to empty himself, to abandon his preservation He forgot that before one can be a son or a lover, one should be a man Before one can be a daughter or a partner, one should be a woman As such one should always remember that you must also hold enough love for yourself, to rationally love another Otherwise the love consumes and is foolish he was in such a mess, because his own hold on life was so unsure, because nobody held him, feeling unsubstantial, shadowy, as if he didn t count for much in this concrete world Not muchthan a big white pebble on the beach, not muchthan a clot of foam being blown and rolled over in the sand In Sons and Lovers, a young heartbroken D.H Lawrence throws a pebble into the sea, not to see it hit the water, but only to feel the freedom of its release He doesn t aim to shed light in the darkness, but rather only to defy it His fists were shut, his mouth set fast He would not take that direction, to the darkness, to follow her This novel is the nostalgic lamentation of an empty young man abandoned by love, and numb to it, a young man who feels loss in every sense of the word, blindly going forward Go forward. Sons and Lovers is an excellent book on several fronts It is a story of a young man who is a budding writer One sees the poet in him He is sensitive, forlorn and deeply contemplative He possesses all the mythic features we often assign to artists We see him discussing books with his girlfriend, his delight at getting published and earning a little money This aspect of his life, without his other difficulties, might be of supreme interest for those who harbor the same sort of ambition.This young man is Paul who is extremely attached to his mother His mother marries Walter Morel, socially her inferior, and later comes to regret her decision Her oldest son dies young, and now she has nothing to hold onto in her life except Paul, her youngest son She focuses all her attention on him As Paul grows up, he begins to see girls First, he meets Miriam who, like Paul, has a refined sensibility They meet often and establish a good rapport Although they share a great friendship, there is no passion in their relationship To aggravate this relationship further comes in Paul s mother She resents Miriam and thinks of her as deep , someone who can take her son away from her She fears that Miriam seeks to possess her son s soul Having lost so much in life, she makes sure that nobody comes between her and Paul Paul meets another girl Clara With her, there is no spiritual connection, his relationship with her pivots only on passion, and therefore, it begins to crack as soon as it started Paul s mother feels less threatened by her, though One can imagine how a sensitive boy like Paul might have suffered in the web of these powerful forces, each pulling him in a certain direction and tearing him apart.What is so impressive about the book is that it captures the tensions and inner turmoil that this young boy grapples with Lawrence goes very deep in portraying Paul and making him so credible All his inner thoughts in relation to his mother, his violent father, his two girlfriends, his budding writing career are drawn with extreme care, love, and formidable talent In addition, the tension that exists between his mother and him is dealt with so powerfully that as a reader I was absolutely lost in the queer vortex of their world Who can repeat what Lawrence has achieved in bringing to the page what is so often lived by millions, but so rarely understood and discussed.As I thinkabout Paul, I feel that there is something about him we do not know Lawrence probably leaves that for us to figure it out For instance, Paul s failure with two girls his overwhelming and complicated relationship with his mother Most of the time, ordinary people get over whatever close attachments they have with their parents sibling or friends once they have a close, intimate, passionate encounter with the right other However, Paul fails to take that leap Towards the end, his mother dies He walks toward the lights, toward the city Miriam and Clara, now, belong to another time and place One can only guess what his walk toward the city meant What is it that he could not find in spiritually inclined Miriam and sexually daring Clara One keeps wondering Even though a perceptive reader knows Paul very early in the book, he can feel Paul s deep desires and understand his profound melancholy Since he looks for satisfaction in wrong places or rather forced to do so considering the times he lived in , this brings pain, suffering and long spells of sadness in his life and in the lives of those who are attached to him. There has been a robbery A theft on a grand scale Cleansed of the detritus of a self, a presence, an ability to act on desire, he waits to be alit upon The fretwork strums a baroque dirge as an accompaniment to realizations of the smallness of any life upon the vastness of the universe and its grand seduction of infinite stars the largeness of the interiority of ones passions and the labyrinth they must circumvent Their interactions and the labyrinthine yearnings of others result in collisions sparking a cannibalism of blood spotted gore within their circumvented lives.Lawrence writes this in the style of his time a third person narrator who does not hesitate to drift from points of views occasionally to the detriment of the narrative s pace He dilutes the meaning of characters gestures and movements by explanation and confirmation There is a doubt within him the reader will get what is expressed This leaves less room for the reader to enter into the story butroom for the reader to be filled up by the characters The author The duty of the author to fill the reader up The year is 1913 Readership was less sophisticated then Yet, I can but imagine how scandalous the contents of this story burned within its package of seeded tropes Generations tumble through decades Psychologically steeped in acute vision he understands the psychoanalytic Oedipal situation bordering on the incestuous Sex whispers through the sentences His autobiography finding its form of fiction.Paul finds himself strewn upon the rough edged rocks of a family living within a small English coal mining town Gertrude, his sensitive mother married to a crude miner, has attached herself to her son s, Paul, especially after her eldest has died Quietly she mines an attachment to Paul that may also make up the lack of nourishment gained from her marriage He a budding artist with little recognition from an often sodden father who is neither a role model or a mirrored reflection back for Paul to see who he is, who he might be as a man He needs much from others as he grows but is frightened to ask or seek Attracted to a woman he hesitates, falters, swings back and forth between betrayal of his mother and a withdrawal removed in layered shades from life around him, from any circumference of a globe he may safely enter Left in a removed isolation alone but only occasionally lonely This is a space leased to him fitted to his contours.I hear somewhere deep within my inner ear an echo of Lawrence s voice asking in an English accent to stop here He warns that if I go on to describe the others, their relationships, the sucking ooze of life, I will be betraying him by stereotyping his finely wrought complex characters so completely themselves He is right Words will dampen their vitality confining them to less than they are.In the end, this bold book crashing through time, illuminating its elastic taunts and tumbles, questions the minute and the vast, while spinning its compelling tale. I started the year transfixed by the visceral floral and fiery passion of Lawrence s The Rainbow my review HERE Its rich earth ripened buds of promise into irresistible blooms of vibrant delicacy But reading this at the end of the year, I feltlike I d been dragged through barren mud Perhaps that s fitting for the story of a miner s family There is lyrical imagery and caressive talk see quotes, below , but far too much plodding Janet and John prose, and characters who infuriated me My 3 rating is generous.On the Psychiatrist s CouchThe plot is straightforward and heavily autobiographical Gertrude marries beneath herself, to Walter Morel, a miner It quickly becomes an unhappy marriage he drinks and loses money , but several children are born, and she strives to raise them up, rather than merely raise them Once they are grown, and the eldest son, William, is out of the picture, the story is mainly about Paul and specifically how he is torn between love for his mother and for two women mind versus body religious, poetry loving Miriam Leivers, and suffragist Clara Dawes, who is estranged from her husband, Baxter Mrs Morel likes one and dislikes the other I have no expertise in psychiatry, but almost everyone in this story needs help, Paul most of all It became increasingly frustrating to read Confusion of love and hate love for a parent or child versus love for a partner love versus duty and the difference between platonic friendship, chaste intimacy, and sensual, sexual love All are exacerbated by endless indecision and, in many cases, by obliviousness to the feelings of others Conversely, but perhapsplausibly, confirmed enemies , Paul and Baxter, had a peculiar feeling of intimacy and were oddly drawn to each other.My friend Apatt pointed out in his review that there isto Walter Morel than just being drunk and abusing his wife and kids, yet I initially forgot to mention that in mine Walter s portrayal is nicely nuanced, though not in initial drafts DHL changed it to be fairer to his father The finished version iscredible, and makes the storybalanced But he s as easily left out of a reader s mind as his children s.An agonising death, drawn out in painful detail, over many months, is all theacute and momentous because of the conflicted and unbalanced relationships of those affected.The Oedipal overtones become uncomfortably strong and frequent Paul is a shy and delicate child, and mother and son are very close, sharing almost everything about their lives As he hones his art, all his work was hers That s fine But.When she takes him to his first job interview in the city, they were feeling the excitement of lovers having an adventure together He forswears all women to be with his mother sort of , and on another jaunt, he buys and pins flowers on her clothes because I want people to think we re awful swells and justifies his extravagance because I m a fellow taking his girl for an outing There many occasions where the way he touches his mother s hair and face, and kisses her goodnight are unsettling, too.More generally, I came to wonder if hate meant something different and weaker to Lawrence Every couple relationship here without exception has love or mere attraction permanently tainted with hate Not hate after the love has gone, but allegedly co existing with it Even when the hate is temporarily subdued, attraction is strongest when rebuffed I know that people get angry, and love can be messy and conflicted, but constant hate is not a feature of love I have known, or want to know For one day he had loved her utterly But it never came again That s not love either though there are flowers that live, bloom and die in a single day but not native to Nottinghamshire..Flowers and Fruit Trying to sooth herself with the scent of flowers and the fading, beautiful evening The sky overhead throbbed and pulsed with light The earth and the hedges smoked dusk. Flowers are a regular feature, but not so laden with sexual allegory as in The Rainbow Troubled people turn to flowers, gardens, and woods for solace in the vast, mysterious beauty of nature tender touch, fervid kisses , and subtle smells.This was first published in 1913, but I did wonder if Lawrence was referencing the symbolism of Victorian Flower Language, especially in a passage with repeated and specific mention of chrysanthemums seen out of a window, in a bowl on the table, then walking among them, choosing favourites They were associated with platonic friendship and lost love They also bloom in autumn or early winter thanks, Alfred late bloomers, like Paul and, to a lesser extent, Miriam No such glossary is needed when a person with forget me not blue eyes, who is nearing death, watches the tangled sunflowers dying each day.And yet when Paul teaches Miriam algebra and she gives him an apple, there s little of Eve, until later, when questioning her feelings for him, she fears there was a serpent in her Eden because of the disgrace and shame of wanting him However, on another occasion, there is a great crop of cherries at a potentially pertinent time.Clara thinks differently about many things She questions the ethics of picking wild flowers, even when plentiful I don t want corpses of flowers about me watching them die Miriam counters, I think if you treat them with reverence you don t do them any harm It is the spirit you pluck them in that matters Therein lies the difference between the friends except that on other occasions, when Miriam is not present, Clara lets Paul pin scarlet carnations and unspecified berries to her clothes.Nature and Landscape QuotesHidden for brevity no plot spoilers view spoiler She and her child melted in the mixing pot of moonlight The night was very large, and very strange, stretching its hoary distances infinitely Chrysanthemums in a cemetery frilled themselves in the warmth Trees in whose branches a twilight was tangled, below the bright sky of afternoon Paul paints trees and leaves Not the stiffness of the shape That seems dead to me Only this shimmeriness is the real living The shape is a dead crust The shimmer is inside really The surface of a reservoir, tossing its sunshine like petals lightly in its lap The river slid by in a body, utterly silent and swift, intertwining among itself like some subtle, complex creature The stars shuddered and broke upon the water The hillside was all rife with sunshine It was wild and tussocky, given over to rabbits The hills were blazed over with red sunset Mrs Morel watched the sun sink from the glistening sky, leaving a soft flower blue overhead, while the western space went red, as if all the fire had swum down there It was one of those still moments when the small frets vanish, and the beauty of things stands out At sunset watching the gold clouds fall to pieces, and go in immense, rose coloured ruin towards the darkness Gold flamed to scarlet, like pain in its intense brightness Then the scarlet sank to rose, and rose to crimson, and quickly the passion went out of the sky Watching the gold clouds fall to pieces, and go in immense, rose coloured ruin towards the darkness Gold flamed to scarlet, like pain in its intense brightness and quickly the passion went out of the sky The long waste of foreshore lay moaning under the dawn and the sea Over the gloomy sea the sky grew red Quickly the fire spread among the clouds and scattered them In a golden glitter the sun came up, dribbling fierily over the waves in little splashes, as if someone had gone along and the light had spilled from her pail as she walked The dichotomous tension between natural wonders and industrial power From the train he used to watch the lights of the town, sprinkled thick on the hills, fusing together in a blaze in the valleys There was a patch of lights at Bulwell like myriad petals shaken to the ground from the shed stars and beyond was the red glare of the furnaces, playing like hot breath on the clouds hide spoiler The storyline is in the name,Sons and Lovers, but what you don t expect are the subtleties of the Oedipus complex or Freudian allegory It was a surprisingly sensational read for me, especially since earlier this year, I gave myself a classics challenge to read and re read a few classics just for the sake of it erase the disdain of forced readings in high school, college and grad school read just for how it makes me feel, not because everyone else is doing itSons and Loversends my personal challenge, the twentieth read and most likely the last classic I read in 2013 The best one I ve read all year Here we have the Morel family There is the miner who falls in love with the sophisticated woman and lies to her about his financial situation They move to the Nottingham coalfields, get married and have children three boys, one girl The marriage is dreadful, dad is a drunk and abuser Now fast forward to William, the oldest son who moves to London to live the cultured life There he falls in love with a shallow girl who treats his working class family like servants So starts the stories of the sons and their lovers William, Paul, and Arthur sons who all lead complicated love lives Victoria Blake wrote this in her introduction Though often these passages are annoyingly indistinct and, for all their spiritual beauty, difficult to get through, the reader remembers the sense of them years later They stick to you, like pollen on a cheek, a sense of mystery, a sense of the wonderful and the unknown It is this sense, frustratingly unnameble, that was Lawrence s genius and his legacy to letters The book has less to do with lovers,to do with love or the lack thereof Or the expression of love Most of the book centers around Paul Morel, the lover, the fool, the man with a strange love for his mother, the artist His antagonizing relationship with his best friend Miriam, the woman who loves him wholeheartedly, but whom he can t seem to love His tumultuous relationship with the married Claire His ambivalent relationship with his father His struggle with self love And then there is the mother And I shall never meet the right woman while you live, Paul tells his mother.When Lawrence blurbed his book in 1912, this is how he described the sons and their relationship with their mother But as her sons grow up, she selects them as lovers first the eldest, then the second These sons are urged into life by their reciprocal love of their motherbut when they come to manhood, they can t love, because their mother is the strongest power in their livesNow, now, don t get all squeamish, for it is not that kind of read There are subtleties though a bedtime stroke of the eyebrows there, too long a hair rub here, mouth on throatyou know, those kinds of seemingly inappropriate gestures Lawrence is elegant in his descriptions part show, part tell Though as Blake mentions, there are times certain parts of the narrative are so subtle they seem elusive Yet there are no complexities here Just simple, elegant proffering, even at this moment in the book, where things stood still for me as he foreshadowed death two people who knew that one of them was dying But he was white to the lips, and their eyes as they looked at each other understood Her eyes were blue such a wonderful forget me not blue He felt as if only they had been of a different color he could have borne it better His heart seemed to be ripping slowly in his breast He kneeled there, holding her hand, and neither said anything Paul s relationship with Miriam was the page turner for me She wanted a partner, he felt stifled You love me so much, you want to put me in your pocket And I should die there smothered Oh the unrequited love, always making for a good story Not surprisingly, the fictional relationship was said to be based off a true one with Lawrence and his long time friend, Jessie Chambers, who even acted as an agent for him at one point, sending off his work to be published when he had given up She too loved him and was stunned when he sent her the manuscript to this book She read the book and they never spoke again He went on to have a long term tumultuous relationship How s that for fiction Now I really can t wait to read her biography D H Lawrence A Personal Record The storytelling is swift yet very intimate, partly because of the omniscient narrator that Lawrence pulls off so seamlessly, at just the right moments, you know what everyone is thinking Perhaps one of my favorite parts about the book is the riffing on language, the dialect in dialogue to produce sensational conversations where each character really stands out, because as Virginia Woolf said about him, D.H Lawrence was original There were the words and phrases of a certain time and place that really intrigued me a mardy baby instead of a spoiled baby you pair of gabeys instead of you pair of fools what a bobby dazzler Now I can truly understand the fuss about the Lawrencian language, that language of elusion, symbolism and mysticism The inconspicuous rearranging of words and sentence structuring here and there Me like.