Sons and Lovers

Use of Nature in Sons and Lovers

Because of his past, the protagonist in D.H. Lawrence’s novel Sons and Lovers is a perfect example of a character crippled with the incapability to hold fast to a relationship. Paul Morel had three significant relationships in the novel that all somehow parallel elements found in nature. The symbolism found beneath the natural settings that Lawrence used are all provocative and sexual, and all provide depth into Paul’s relationships with his mother, his neighbor and a woman who eventually became his muse.

The first of these relationships was with Paul’s mother, Gertrude Morel. Mrs. Morel’s unhappiness and instability was based on her premature marriage. Her only solace came from living vicariously through her sons, especially Paul. When pregnant with Paul, Mrs. Morel experienced a sensual and reeling moment in her garden that not only shaped the novel but her son’s character as well. This scene in the novel used a lot of provocative images. Both Lawrence’s choice of flowers and flower colors seemed to be significant. “The tall white lilies were reeling in the moonlight… she touched the big, pallid flowers on their petals then shivered… She put her hand into one white bin: the gold scarcely showed on her fingers by moonlight…...

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