Sons and Lovers

The Five Stages of Walter Morel 12th Grade

The Five Stages of Walter Morel

Sometimes, it is difficult to understand how important a certain problem is unless it is examined on a microscopic level. A broadly stated dilemma is abstract and thus difficult to relate to; on a micro level, it becomes easier to see exactly how the predicament harms people. The phrase “world hunger” is detached; a picture of a starving child is startling. In Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence, Walter Morel is used as a microcosm for the stages of domestic abuse; he is the living embodiment of the cycles of abuse exacerbated by alcoholism.

Although Walter is a terrible father and an even worse husband, he was not always that man; once upon a time, he was charming and good natured. When Gertrude first meets him, he is described as someone with a “sensuous flame of life” (Lawrence 20); he sings, he dances, and although he is the opposite of her, he makes her feel like “a warmth radiated through her as if she had drunk wine” (21). In fact, she is so love with him they make the rash decision to get married. This phase of the Morel’s marriage can be considered the setup for domestic abuse. Often times, a couple becomes blindsided by the “honeymoon effect” and thus ignores anything that puts their...

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