Sons and Lovers

The Father in Sons and Lovers College

“I would write a different Sons and Lovers now; my mother was wrong, and I thought she was absolutely right.” (Jeffers 296)

This line betrays D. H. Lawrence’s eventual realization about his maternal fixation. As a corollary, it might be implied that he regretted villainizing his father. However, critics have maintained that Lawrence was too severe upon himself—perhaps he was unable to grasp the import of the novel upon a reader who didn’t share his personal associations, or that his genius had unconsciously rendered an objectivity into his work which he failed to recognize himself. As Aruna Sitesh confirms, “Sympathy for Walter is scattered all through the novel.” (494)

In Walter Morel, one finds the predicament of a simple-minded man stuck in an incompatible marriage with a woman who possessed a greater sensibility than he did. “What he felt just at the minute, that was all to him. . . . His nature was purely sensuous, and she strove to make him moral, religious. She tried to force him to face things. He could not endure it—it drove him out of his mind.” Clearly, a situation mirrored in the later Paul-Miriam relationship; but returning from the digression, Gertrude “was too much his opposite. She could not be content with the...

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