Sons and Lovers

The Illusion of Women’s Power in D.H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers 12th Grade

During the early twentieth century, the idea of women having as much power as men was foreign: men were not only better educated, but were also the primary breadwinners for the family. Though individuals do not have the ability to immediately alter how their society is structured, attempts can be made to rectify inequalities. Women in D.H. Lawrence’s novel Sons and Lovers try to create their own power by adopting certain views about themselves in relation to men. By creating certain mindsets, the characters of Gertrude Morel, Clara Dawes, and Miriam Leivers mentally elevate themselves to positions of power. These mindsets include adopting attitudes of indifference, ownership, and self-sacrifice towards the men with whom they have relationships. However, the problems they try to overcome do not disappear, but are further entrenched.

A certain mindset may be key to success for some, but for the women in Lawrence’s novel, changing perception does not entail transforming reality.The thoughts of Gertrude Morel and her husband Walter Morel function on two different levels: while Gertrude possesses faculties that allow her to appreciate higher forms of thinking like philosophy and religion, Walter is simple-minded, more concerned with...

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