What is the social climate at the time?
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Considered Lawrence's first masterpiece, most critics of the day praised Sons and Lovers for its authentic treatment of industrial life and sexuality. There is evidence that Lawrence was aware of Sigmund Freud's early theories on sexuality, and Sons and Lovers deeply explores and revises of one of Freud's major theories, the Oedipus complex. (Lawrence would go on to write more works on psychoanalysis in the 1920s.) Still, the book received some criticism from those who felt the author had gone too far in his description of Paul's confused sexuality. Compared to his later works, however, such as The Rainbow, Women in Love, and Lady Chatterley's Lover, Sons and Lovers