Sons and Lovers

Sons and Lovers
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Rating: 4.3/5

Author: Carson McCullers

Publisher: Gerald Duckworth and Company Ltd

Publication Date: 1913

Language: English

Genre: Autobiographical Novel

ISBN-10: 8171674089

ISBN-13: 978-8171674084

Cost: Rs. 57.06 (Kindle edition)

Format: Paperback

Page: 532 pages


Sons and Lovers is a realistic novel developing two significant psychological themes. The first is the story of Paul Morel's beautiful but terrible relationship with his mother, who gives to him all her warmth because her husband has denied her the love she craves. The second is a study of attraction and repulsion in love, presented through Paul's relations with two quite different women, Clara and Miriam.


This novel famously uses the Oedipus complex as its base for exploring Paul's relationship with his mother. Paul is hopelessly devoted to his mother, and that love often borders on romantic desire. Lawrence writes many scenes between the two that go beyond the bounds of conventional mother-son love.

Paul is guilty about having incestuous feelings by transferring them elsewhere, and the greatest receivers are Miriam and Clara. However, Paul cannot love either woman nearly as much as he does his mother, though he does not always realize that this is an obstacle to his romantic life. But Lawrence adds a twist to the Oedipus complex: Mrs. Morel is saddled with it as well. She desires both William and Paul in near-romantic ways, and she despises all their girlfriends.

Romantic bondage is given far more emphasis in the novel. Paul (and William, to a somewhat lesser extent) feels bound to his mother, and cannot imagine ever abandoning her or even marrying anyone else. He is preoccupied with the notion of lovers "belonging" to each other, and his true desire, revealed at the end, is for a woman to claim him forcefully as her own.

Lawrence also uses the opposition of the body and mind to expose the contradictory nature of desire; frequently, characters pair up with someone who is quite unlike them. Mrs. Morel initially likes the hearty, vigorous Morel because he is so far removed from her dainty, refined, intellectual nature.

Sons and Lovers has a great deal of description of the natural environment. Often, the weather and environment reflect the characters' emotions. Lawrence uses ‘flowers’ throughout the novel to symbolize these deep connections.

About the Author:

David Herbert Lawrence (11 September 1885 – 2 March 1930) was an English writer and poet. His collected works represent, among other things, an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialisation. Some of the issues Lawrence explores are sexuality, emotional health, vitality, spontaneity, and instinct.

Lawrence's opinions earned him many enemies and he endured official persecution, censorship, and misrepresentation of his creative work throughout the second half of his life, much of which he spent in a voluntary exile he called his "savage pilgrimage"

David Herbert Lawrence wrote in many genres - fiction, poetry, travelogues, criticism and psychology. He also left behind a mass of letters that touched on many subjects. Published privately in New York in 1920, Women in Love is termed an 'epic of vice' by critics because of its bold analysis of sexuality.