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D.H. Lawrence- Sons and Lovers

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Ana Strbac

on 5 April 2015

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Transcript of D.H. Lawrence- Sons and Lovers

Lawrence was born on Sept. 11, 1885 in the small coal-mining village of Eastwood, Nottinghamshire in central England. Lawrence's father, Arthur, was a miner, and the mining boom of the 1870s had taken the family around Nottinghamshire. Lawrence's mother, Lydia an intellectually ambitious woman disillusioned with her husband's dead-end job and irresponsible drinking habits, encouraged her children to advance beyond their restrictive environment.
David Herbert Lawrence
D. H. Lawrence-Sons and Lovers
David Herbert Lawrence
Lawrence was accepted to Nottingham University College in 1906 and upon graduation in 1908, received a job at a Boys' School near London.
His mother developed cancer in 1910, and as she passed away, Lawrence began writing "Paul Morel" (later to become Sons and Lovers) as an investigation into his relationship with her.
Lawrence's personal life was also somewhat scandalous-he met and married Frieda von Richtofen Weekley, the wife of a professor at Nottingham University Colledge and a mother to three children, whom she left to marry him.
Lawrence and Frieda spent many years traveling the world visiting Italy, Australia, and the United States. He continued writing novels, poems, and even books on psychoanalysis.
Following various illnesses, Lawrence died of tuberculosis on March 2, 1930, in Vence, France.

Surprising Facts
Memorable Facts
Interesting facts

Book covers & editions
Lawrence, a sickly, bookish child, won a scholarship to Nottingham High School in 1898 and at age 16 he began working as a clerk in a surgical appliance factory. One of his older brothers, Ernest, died from the skin disease and Lydia sank into grief. After Lawrence nearly died from pneumonia, Lydia devoted herself to him. This relationship, including Lydia's smothering love for him, is examined in depth in Lawrence's largely autobiographical novel Sons and Lovers (1913).
Various movie covers, from 1960`s black and white movie to BBC serials from 2003.
As Lawrence's works became more well-known, he gained a reputation for his controversial subjects which included themes such as sexuality, emotional health, and modernization.
Many criticized his works as "pornographic" because of their subject matter, which was considered inappropriate during that time period.
His poetry and prose were HEAVILY based on his life events.

Not only did he write poetry, prose and non-ficiton, he painted as well.
D.H. Lawrence`s Paintings
The title ?
The book was initially named
Paul Morel
The shift to
, makes the work less focused on Paul and more focused on all of the characters—on the messed-up dynamics of modern love.

Gertrude Morel has an unhappy marriage to coal-miner Walter Morel in the English town of Bestwood. She is most devoted to her eldest son, William. Her second, sensitive son, Paul, grows up and works in a factory while painting on the side. William dies of a skin disease, and Mrs. Morel plunges into grief. Rededicating her life to Paul revives her, and the two become inseparable.
Paul, now a young man, spends a great deal of time with Miriam Leiver, a religious girl who lives on a nearby farm. Their Platonic relationship is intense and romantic but never developed. Mrs. Morel bitterly dislikes Miriam, feeling she is trying to take her son away from her. Paul grows attracted to Clara Dawes, an older woman separated from her husband. Mrs. Morel develops a tumor and, after a long struggle, dies. Paul feels lost, unable to paint any more. Miriam makes a last appeal to him for romance, but he rejects her. He feels suicidal one night, but changes his mind and resolves not to "give into the darkness."

Character list
Paul Morel
Paul is the protagonist of the novel, and we follow his life from infancy to his early twenties. He is sensitive, temperamental, artistic (a painter), and unceasingly devoted to his mother. They are inseparable; he confides everything in her, works and paints to please her, and nurses her as she dies.

Gertrude Morel

Mrs. Morel is unhappily married to Walter Morel, and she redirects her attention to her children, her only passion in life. She is first obsessed with William, but his death leaves her empty and redirects her energies towards Paul. She bitterly disapproves of all the women these two sons encounter, masking her jealousy with other excuses. A natural intellectual, she also feels society has limited her opportunities as a woman, another reason she lives through Paul.

Miriam Leiver

Miriam is a religious girl who lives on a farm near the Morels, and she is Paul's first love. However, their relationship takes ages to move beyond the Platonic and into the romantic. She loves Paul deeply, but he never wants to marry her and "belong" to her, in his words. Rather, he sees her more as a sacrificial, spiritual soul mate .
Clara Dawes

Clara is an older women estranged from her husband, Baxter Dawes. Unlike the intellectual Miriam, Clara seems to represent the body. Her sensuality attracts Paul, as does her elusiveness and mysteriousness.
Walter Morel

Morel, the coal-mining head of the family, was once a humorous, lively man, but over time he has become a cruel, selfish alcoholic. His family, especially Mrs. Morel, despises him, and Paul frequently entertains fantasies of his father's dying.

William Morel

William, Mrs. Morel's "knight," is her favorite son. But when he moves away, she disapproves of his new lifestyle and new girlfriends, especially Lily. His death plunges Mrs. Morel into grief.

NARRATOR`S POINT OF VIEW (omniscient third person narrator-said and unsaid)
Oedipus complex


1. Do you think Lawrence's depiction of family life is realistic? What aspects of the Morels' relationships are the most realistic? The least realistic? Use specific examples from the text to support your answer.

2. Why does Lawrence frequently compare Paul Morel and his mother to romantic lovers? Do you think Paul has an unconscious attraction to his mother, or is there something else Lawrence is trying to get at in these moments?

Sons and Lovers- a source of inspiration for music bands
Sons and lovers band- Music mainly from the 60s and 70s decades)
Sons and lovers, British pop-rock, alternative group
Ana Štrbac,
SKC Kragujevac,
April 2015
1. In your opinion, are there any examples of ideal love in this book? Which relationship in this book, if any, would Lawrence want us to imitate?

2. Why can't Paul bring himself to be with Miriam? What's holding him back?
3. Why would Paul choose Clara over Miriam? Use specific examples from the text to support your answer.

In Sons and Lovers, love and hate are two sides of the same coin; you can never experience one without experiencing the other.
1. Do you approve of Miriam Leivers' brand of femininity? Is she too submissive? Is she too full of herself? Can she be both? Use specific examples from the text to support your answer.

2. In what ways has English culture in 1913 let down women like Gertrude Morel, Clara Dawes, and Miriam Leivers? What aspirations has a man's world kept these women from fulfilling?

1. What specific problems does Paul face as a sensitive little boy in this novel? How do his culture's expectations of masculinity influence his young life?

2. How is Paul's failure to be with Miriam connected to or not connected to his masculine sense of pride?

1. Why does Lawrence choose to make Paul a painter, do you think? How does this distinguish Paul from the other male characters in this book?
2. What is the significance of Paul losing his ability to paint after his mother dies? Use specific examples from the text to support your answer.

1. What is this book's general attitude toward modernization? How has the "new" world done away with the old one, and what are the consequences of this shift?
2. What does it mean when a fourteen-year-old Paul Morel feels like a "prisoner of industry"? Why does he look to painting as a relief from the industrial world?

1. In what ways does Mrs. Morel focus her frustrated pride on her children? What failures is she compensating for?

2. How does Mrs. Morel react to her son winning first prize in an art contest? What does this tell us about her relationship to other people, particularly other women?
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