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

In Sons and Lovers how does Lawrence challenge conventional attitudes towards social and sexual relationships and what effect does this have on the narrative?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In Sons and Lovers how does Lawrence challenge conventional attitudes towards social and sexual relationships and what effect does this have on the narrative? Social and sexual relationships are integral themes in Lawrence's semi-autobiographical novel. Sons and Lovers can be described as a modernist text due to the unconventional relationship between the novel's protagonist, Paul Morel and it's heroine, Mrs Morel. This essay will discuss the effect of this love and the social conflicts on the narrative. The novel begins with the chapter, 'The early married life of the Morels', and discusses the transformation of Walter Morel and Gertrude Morel's marriage. This can be seen by Gertrude Coppard's initial attraction to Walter's carefree nature, 'He came and bowed above her. A warmth radiated through her as if she had drunk wine' (p. 10) and their eventual hatred and fear of one another, '"Why, nobody but a nasty little bitch like you 'ud 'ave such a thought."'(p. 22). The breakdown in the relationship, is imperative to the narrative as it identifies Mr Morel as a violent husband, and Mr Mrs Morel as a strong, virtuous victim. This is illustrated when a violent, drunken Mr Morel, locks his pregnant wife outside in the cold. ...read more.

Middle

However, the novel concludes with their reunion. Lawrence, may have decided that such a relationship should succeed as both people are equals, and are able to finally admit to their love and to their mistakes, '"Take me back!"' (p. 409). This theme of equality is illustrated by the successful (although minor) relationships of Annie Morel and Leonard, and Arthur Morel and Beatrice Wyld. The latter relationship is interesting as Arthur Morel is represented as a parallel to his father, as he is reckless, strong and happy being working class. His relationship with Beatrice Wyld is playful and equal. For instance, in a subconscious need to be accepted by 'Beat', Arthur, 'liked to lapse into dialect when he talked to her' (p. 247) and equally Beatrice 'would sometimes smoke with him' (p. 247). This downward convergence in the soldier's speech is sometimes used by Paul when talking to his male friends and flirting with Clara and Beatrice. This may be evidence of a fear of sounding too socially superior in front of his friends or a form of escapism from his and Miriam's serious conversations. The novel is also made up of certain social relationships which help to shape the narrative, into one of conflict, making Sons and Lovers a social tragedy. ...read more.

Conclusion

Miriam, however, treats nature as she regards Paul. She is overly devoted to such beauty as they are of God's creation, and her intense love for flowers often agitates Paul. However, the working class is sometimes referred to in a more sinister way. For example, Mr Morel spends his days in underground darkness, symbolising his rooted, disagreeable nature within the novel. In conclusion, Lawrence challenges conventional attitudes to social and sexual relationships through the character of Paul Morel. The episodic novel takes the reader on a journey of Paul's life, which is faced with a divided upbringing and thus leads to divided loyalties towards those he loves. He is unable to have conventional relationships, as these too are divided. He is torn between the smothering love of his mother, the suffocating intellectual and spiritual love of Miriam, and the shallow sensual love of Clara. The protagonist is finally free from this division with the death of his mother, and his journey into the 'phosphorescence' marks the beginning of his new life. This open ending is typical of modernist literature and together with the psychoanalytic element of the novel, and the controversy of Paul's relationship with his mother; Sons and Lovers is a modernist novel. Elaine Briggs; English; Year One; Kate Steedman ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Charlotte Bronte 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 University Degree Charlotte Bronte essays

  1. Enacting of modern themes and literary devices in To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.

    She feels that Mrs Ramsay is a very special person. It is not something she knows, but something she feels. The relationship between Lily Briscoe and Mrs Ramsay is a kind of mirror-image of Shakespeare's relationship with the young man.

  2. Discuss the image of the doubled female in Charlotte Bront's Shirley, Villette and Jane ...

    not only going to hide a treasure-I meant also to bury a grief.'17 Just as Lucy's love for Dr. John has haunted her until this point in the novel, and, the reader suspects, will continue to haunt her, Miss Marchmont confesses that, even after thirty years, 'I still think of

  1. In the light of these two critical readings, discus the presentation of the unnamed ...

    He makes comments about the landscape and overwhelming effect that it has on him but puts it down to a fever brought on by the heat of the country. He remarks 'everything is too much'. This tells the reader that he is trying to cope and deal with the stresses

  2. Free essay

    Jane Eyre, its film and sequels whatever their differences- always return to the ...

    and Jane speaks clearly about this in chapter 12 "Women are supposed to be very calm...necessary for their sex" (129-130). Brocklehurst, Rochester and St John threaten Jane with the fetters of patriarchy which Jane is resisting in this passage. Jane extends the feeling of entrapment to fellow women, these sentences constitute to Bronte's feminist manifest.

  1. How is happiness conveyed in Jane Austen's Emma and Charlotte Bronte's Villette?

    When had his influence, such influence begun?' (Emma p.312). This sequence comes with a long set of rhetorical questions in which Emma begins to see her flaws; perhaps this is the ultimate happiness for her? Mahatma Ghandi is often famously quoted as saying, 'Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are

  2. Essay on the key theme of alienation in the first two parts of the ...

    This is demonstrated by her clear preoccupation of losing the only person she had delft who was close to her: Chrisrophine. Once she is assured that Christophine "wanted to stay", she feels safer, though she is also negatively affected by her mother saying that they "would have died if she'd (Christophine)

  1. This essay attempts to examine and analyze the autobiographical links in Kafka's fiction Metamorphosis ...

    Kafka is however sympathetic to Georg, as, even though the story ends with his death, the metaphorical manner of his death - drowning, portrays a cleansing for his protagonist and perhaps a new start elsewhere away from an oppressive father.

  2. Pygmalion's title harkened from its predecessor, Ovid's Pygmalion which accounted a woman-hating sculptor falling ...

    Rhys protested that it was only an account of the English side. (Rhys 2000, page viii) In telling Bertha's story (known in Wide Sargasso Sea as Antoinette Cosway), Rhys painted the other side and described how Antoinette became mad. Wide Sargasso Sea was divided in three parts of unequal lengths.

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