Sons and Lovers

A Mother’s Love: A Study of Love and Its Consequences in D.H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers College

D. H. Lawrence’s novel Sons and Lovers depicts the unhappy marriage between Walter and Gertrude Morel, and their four children. As Mrs. Morel’s relationship with her husband begins to disintegrate, she turns her attention to her sons in the hopes of filling the emotional void that her husband no longer can. The imprisoning nature of Mrs. Morel’s love towards Paul serves to cripple any romantic relationship he attempts to maintain, eliciting an abnormality in Paul’s character as a result of the relationship with his mother.

Gertrude and Walter Morel’s unhappy marriage as well as an incongruence between their social classes is problematic because it causes Gertrude to displace her, once passionate, love for her husband onto her sons. Gertrude Morel, “a rather small woman, of delicate mould but resolute bearing” (10), came from a “good old burgher family” (15) where she “loved ideas, and was considered very intellectual” (17). Conversely, Walter Morel “was opposite” (17); “He was well-set-up, erect and very smart. He had that rare thing, a rich, ringing laugh” (17). While Gertrude initially “thought him rather wonderful, never having met anyone like him” (18), it is through the occurrence of pivotal events, such as Mr. Morel lying...

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