• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explore the relationship between Paul Morel and his mother.

Extracts from this document...


Explore the relationship between Paul Morel and his mother. What impact does this have on his later relationships? ('Sons and Lovers') "The texture of Paul's relationship with his mother is one of an intimacy so close that the only adequate means of expression are sexual, but its structure is throughout one of social aspiration." John Goode1 It is clearly evident throughout the novel that the relationship Paul and his mother have is not one of any other normal son and mother relationship. It is far too close and suffocating to be portrayed as 'normal'; yet as John Goode has said above, it is a relationship full of social aspiration. Mrs. Morel is determined for her son to be a social success and Paul sees his mother as the one to raise him above the level of the 'coal-pits'. She has the power, intellect and ruthless direction. Mrs. Morel, a 'Puritan', tries to refine and elevate her husband; when she fails she starts to despise him and tries again, first with William and then with Paul. She is a woman of immense strength of character, determination and emotion. Having failed to maintain a healthy and happy relationship with her husband she attempts to regain much of the love she has been deprived of through her sons. ...read more.


Miriam adores Paul for his supposed intellectuality. Their relationship is concerned with books, flowers and going to chapel. It is clearly evident that Mrs. Morel disapproves of this relationship, she does not like Miriam. She sees her as competition, she does not want to share Paul with anyone, she wants him all to herself; and the fact that Miriam is intellectually equal to Mrs. Morel makes her all the more jealous: "She could feel Paul being drawn away by this girl. And she did not care for Miriam..'.She wants to draw him out and absorb him till there is nothing left of him, even for himself." Paul is uncertain about his girlfriend and hardly knows whether she irritates him or whether he loves her. A huge barrier of 'purity' is between them and it seems impossible that they will ever love physically. We sense Paul's frustration increasing as he continues his relationship with this soulful and awkward girl. Lance St John Butler2 says of the relationship: " All their activities together as 'Lad-and-girl' rest uncomfortably on Miriam's sexlessness." Even when Paul tries to teach her algebra, and becomes angry when she is slow at understanding, his anger has a sexual quality that implies the frustration of the relationship: "He had been too fast. ...read more.


"But it seems for Miriam nothing can be done"- Louis L.Martz4 as is shown in the last, sad meeting they have, after his mother's death: "..Her bloom of youth had quickly gone. A sort of stiffness... had come upon her" Paul knows what he has done to her, but he cannot help her, for she no longer attracts him. His mother's influence has restrained the vitality in Miriam that once drew them together. Inevitably, he rejects her proposal with his mother's reasoning: "But you love me so much, you want to put me in your pocket. And I should die there smothered" By the end of the novel there remains in Paul his mother's tough, determined will; damaged as he is, "he would not give in". Whatever happens to others, he will survive: his mother's will drives him on. His growth in self-knowledge offers a better hope. Paul has managed to take everything from his mother that he needs; this will last forever. And from this moment on, every success he has will be his own not due to his mother: "Turning sharply, he walked towards the city's gold phosphorescence. His fists were shut, his mouth set fast...He walked towards the faintly humming, glowing town, quickly." ?? ?? ?? ?? 4 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Authors section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Authors essays

  1. How does Graham Greene explore gender representation in Brighton Rock?

    "Fastening his mouth on hers...Pecking at her lips" she is presented as a woman who flaunts her assets as well as boasts about being able to "please a man". Bordering on prostitution, her character challenges what is expected and perceived of, a female, particularly in a 1930 society.

  2. Discuss the relationship between Keith and Stephen that is presented in the first Six ...

    this by deliberately carrying on up to the parapet when Stephen asked to go back. Keith was also just as frightened and Stephen noticed as he says 'we lie like terrified worshippers prostrate before a visiting god. When Keith discovered the box, Stephen warned him not to open it, but

  1. Discuss Hosseinis exploration of the parent/ child relationship in the Kite Runner. ...

    The Hazara's low status in Afghanistan is demonstrated through Hassan and Ali's menial positions in Baba's household but also more harshly revealed through Assef's fascist and xenophobic behaviour towards Hassan, who he believes, is not a "true Afghan". This animosity arises from the fact that Hazara's descended from Mongolian invaders

  2. How is John Hilliard's character developed, in the novel "Strange Meeting" by Susan Hill?

    British reserve is derived from conservative ideologies. The Duke of Wellington, a British general who fought during the period of the Napoleonic War, established a traditional, British sense of reserve in to challenge the expressive liberality of the French he was fighting against.

  1. The relationship between Pelagia and Dr. Iannis is the key relationship it is very ...

    we can see from Iannis? histories in the first chapter and his treatment of his daughter that he is also an outsider of the society in his beliefs but the island accept them because he is a doctor. Iannis foreshadows the demise of Pelagia?s relationship with Mandras, ?I have often

  2. Laurie Lee belongs to a large family, due to his fathers two marriages.

    ?The sisters, as I said, were about to get married. Harold was working at a factory lathe. Brother Jack was at grammar school, and his grammar was excellent ; and Tony still had a fine tremble voice. My mother half-knew me, but couldn?t help, I felt doomed, and of all things wonderful.? p.231 2.

  1. How is Mrs. Morel presented in Sons and Lovers?

    It is when she is alone that her emotions are set free for the reader to enjoy. Lawrence describes that Mrs. Morel is waiting ?at least? until William grew up to be free and feel worthy. This suggests that she is very unhappy with the repetitive life she lives in

  2. In her essay "Flight," Doris Lessing illustrates the story of an old man who ...

    Both the writers of ?Flight? and ?Your Shoes? the narrative technique of symbolism. In ?Flight? the grandfather uses a pigeon and in ?Your Shoes? the mother uses a pair of new white training shoes (trainers). Both symbolise purity, they are portrayed as precious and in need of being looked after.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work