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Sons and Lovers As a Semi-autobiographical Novel by D.H. Lawrence

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Sons and Lovers a semi-autobiographical novel by DH Lawrence published in 1913 His first adult novel was a psychological study of the family and romantic relationships of an English working class.

D. H. Lawrence’s superb autobiographical novel paints a provocative portrait of an artist torn between affection for his mother and desire for two beautiful women. Set in the coal fields of Nottinghamshire during Lawrence’s teenage years, the story follows young Paul Morel growing up in a working-class English family. Gertrude Morel, Paul’s purest mother, focused all her love and care on Paul, nurturing her talent as a painter. When she thought that he might one day marry and leave her, the son swore that he would never leave her. Then Paul falls in love – not with one woman but with two – and ends up having to choose between them.

The story follows the coming of age of Paul Morel, Gertrude Morel’s second son, and her worker husband Walter Morel, who earns his living as a miner. As Miss Morel tries to find meaning in life and develop feelings through her relationship with Paul, Paul seeks to free himself from his mother by developing relationships with women. other. The novel was controversial when it was published due to its straightforward approach to sexuality and clear Oedipal accent. The novel was also heavily censored. Edward Garnett, a Duckworth reader, editor of Lawrence

Author Biography

David Herbert Lawrence (September 11, 1885 – March 2, 1930) was an English writer and poet. His collected works are, among other things, a profound reflection of the dehumanizing effects of modernity and industrialization. Lawrence’s work explores issues such as sexuality, emotional health, vitality, spontaneity, and instinct.

His works:

  • Sons and Lovers (1913)
  • The Rainbow (1915);
  • Women in Love (1920);
  • Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious (1921);
  • Fantasia of the Unconscious (1922);
  • Studies in Classic American Literature (1923);
  • St. Mawr (1925);
  • and The Plumed Serpent (1926).
  • Lawrence’s most controversial novel, Lady Chatterly’s Lover (1928), was accused of being pornographic, and its publishers were taken to court.

Early life-

Youth Born in Eastwood, England on September 11, 1885, David Herbert Lawrence struggled to fit into his working class and mining town. As a child, Lawrence was often ill and physically weak. His mother, from an educated middle-class family, encouraged a love of literature and the arts, and as a result, her son often did not get along with other boys interested in athletics and sports. Despite his excellent academic results, his lack of sociability made young Lawrence often depressed and melancholy. As an adult, Lawrence would say he felt his childhood was relationship with his alcoholic and uneducated father didn’t help his depression. Arthur John Lawrence started working in the coal mines at the age of 10 and lacked the knowledge to understand his son’s artistic expressions or literary ambitions. First Writing After graduating from high school in 1901, Lawrence began working as a factory clerk in Nottingham. Like Paul in Sons and Lovers, arguably Lawrence’s best autobiographical novel, Lawrence fell ill and had to take time off work to recover. While recovering, he spent a lot of time at the nearby Haggs Ranch, where he formed a strong friendship with the farmer’s daughter, Jessie Chambers. Lawrence and Jessie’s friendship was shaped by a shared love of lite dorature, and at Jessie’s request, Lawrence began to write creatively. He published his first short story in a local magazine in 1907. He then published other short stories and poems before publishing his first novel, The White Peacock, in 1911. A few years later, Lawrence showed Jessie a manuscript of Sons and Lovers. Apparently the inspiration for the character of Miriam in the book, Jessie offers her own angry advice on making amends after accusing Lawrence of turning their relationship into fiction.

Lawrence’s hectic and mobile existence – he and Freida constantly traveled – ended on March 2, 1930, in Vence, Southern France, when he finally succumbed to tuberculosis, an illness that plagued him for most of his life.


Mrs. Gertrude Morel

The first protagonist of the novel. She becomes unhappy with her husband Walter and devotes herself to her children.Mrs. Morel was the wife of Mr. Morel and the mother of William, Paul, Annie and Arthur. She was born into a middle class family and married Mr. Morel after meeting him at a country ball. Mrs Morel was reserved and devout, but she was also an extremely practical and uncompromising woman. Although she disliked drinking and often lived an ascetic life, she was capable of passion and sensuality, which led her to marry Mr. Morel, who was immediately attracted to her. . Ms. Morel always strives to get out of poverty and is always proud and ready to stand up for her husband’s abuse. She’s never let down by his temper, even if it angers her – throughout their marriage, she tends to dominate and outdo him, for the benefit of her. his own. is really the strongest of the couple. Mrs. Morel loves her children very much and is really nice to them. Unfortunately, the power of her love for boys made her jealous and possessive and she inadvertently held them back as they tried to develop their own lives. they have such a strong bond with her that they feel guilty sharing their feelings with another woman. Miriam, Paul’s longtime girlfriend, often finds himself in competition with Mrs. Morel and he is under the influence of his mother. In general, Mrs. Morel’s life is difficult and unhappy, readers feel that she has not had the opportunity to develop her full potential. She was an intelligent, organized, and industrious woman, but her class and gender constraints meant Ms. Morel missed work and educational opportunities that generations of women had lost.

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Paul morel

Paul is the main character in the novel, and we will follow his life from his childhood through his early twenties. He is sensitive, capricious, loves art (painter) and devotes himself to his mother. They are inseparable; he gave her everything, worked and painted to please her and took care of her when she died. Paul eventually had an unsuccessful romantic relationship with Miriam Leiver and Clara Dawes, always alternating between great love and hate for each of them. Her relationship with Miriam broke because she was too sacrificed and a virgin to consider him his own, while with Clara things didn’t go well as she never seemed to let go of her ex-husband. However, the main reason Paul broke up was the shadow of his mother; No woman will ever be able to match him in his eyes, and he will never be able to free himself from his possession.

Miriam Leiver

Miriam is a virginal and devout girl who lives on a farm near Morels, and she is Paul’s first love. However, it took years for their relationship to transcend Platonic and become romantic. She loved Paul deeply, but he never wanted to marry her and ‘belong to her’ in her words. On the contrary, he considers her more as a sacrificial and spiritual confidante than a romantic and sensual lover. Mrs. Morel, who felt threatened by Miriam’s wisdom, always reinforced his contempt for Miriam.

Clara Dawes

Clara is an elderly woman separated from her husband, Baxter Dawes. Unlike the intellectual Miriam, Clara seems to represent the body. Her sensuality appeals to Paul, as does her elusive and mysterious character. However, she loses that elusive character as their love affair continues, and Paul feels that she still ‘belongs’ to her husband.

Walter Morel

Morel, the head of the coal miners family, was once a humorous and lively man, but over time he grew into a ruthless and selfish alcoholic. His family, especially Ms. Morel, despised him and Paul frequently fantasized about his father’s death.

William Morel

Morel William, Mrs. Morel’s ‘knight’, was her favorite son. But when he moves out, she doesn’t agree with his new lifestyle and his new girlfriends, especially Lily. Her death plunged Ms. Morel into grief.

Baxter Dawes

Dawes, a handsome muscular man, is separated from his wife Clara Dawes because of his infidelity. He was angry with Paul for marrying Clara, but over time the two became friends. Annie morel Annie is Morel’s only daughter. She is a teacher who comes home early from school.

Arthur Morel

Arthur, Morel”s youngest son, was unusually handsome, but also immature. He enlisted in a hurry and it took a while to get out. He is married to Beatrice.

Louisa Lily Denys Western

Lily, William’s girlfriend, is a materialist and a mercenary. Her condescending behavior around Morels annoyed William, and she quickly forgot about him after his death.

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Sons and Lovers As a Semi-autobiographical Novel by D.H. Lawrence. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 28, 2023, from
“Sons and Lovers As a Semi-autobiographical Novel by D.H. Lawrence.” Edubirdie, 27 Sept. 2022,
Sons and Lovers As a Semi-autobiographical Novel by D.H. Lawrence. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 28 Sept. 2023].
Sons and Lovers As a Semi-autobiographical Novel by D.H. Lawrence [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 27 [cited 2023 Sept 28]. Available from:
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