An analysis of “love” in Sons and Lovers
青岛西海岸新区第一高级中学 山东 青岛 266555
David Herbert Lawrence could be considered as one of the most creative as well as the most controversial writers in the British Literature of the 20th.During his forty-five year’s life,he produces ten novels,four mid ones and a lot of essays and literature reviews.But what really makes him so splendid is his work Sons and Lovers.This thesis intends to focus on the relationship of human-beings,from the“love”aspect,a permanent topic to come to realize the quintessence of love.
Sons and Loves draws it materials from the writer’s childhood and adult life.The novel focuses on the development of the hero Paul to reflect the social and psychological problems.Paul’s father is a rude and illiterate mining worker; however,his mother is a middleclass woman who is literate and full of aspirations.Because of the difference of characters and culture background,their marriage has already ceased to exist except in name.Owe to the unhappy marriage,Paul’s mother turns all her love to her sons.This sentiment has exceeded normal mother love.Her super-love has affected Paul to a great extent that he comes to attached strongly to her Mom.In the end,Paul feels loss of support suddenly after his mother died.He becomes isolated and cuts off from help in face of the complexity of life.
“Love” in this novel could be summarized as the following three parts：
(1)Paul’s love with Miriam
Miriam is the first “true lover” Paul has at the age of sixteen.They both fall in the somewhat unknown love.Miriam worships pure love,despises carnal life.She views her love with Paul as a sacrifice and without passions.Although the pair are attracted by each other,owe to the obstacles of Paul’s mother,they couldn’t embrace,kiss and have sex.Because of his attitudes towards love and Miriam’s spiritual love,their Platonic Love is doomed to fail like a flash in the pan.So,in the end,their love fails inevitably.
(2)Paul’s love with Clara
In Paul’s previous love,he suppresses his carnal desire.But on the part of Clara,he finds a great possibility of recovering his suppressed sex ability.But the love between Paul and Clara is not perfect.It has its own faults.It only lies on the level of carnal feelings,and is short of spiritual and emotional materials.In this case,we could say that the love of Paul and Clara is not true love.
(3)Paul’s deformed love with Mrs.Morel
This love is the most important love of this novel.Paul is sensitive to feelings.When Mrs.Morel is upset,he could not only understand but is upset himself as well.Paul’s love to his Mom is interrelated with the Mom’s love with Paul.They confide in each other,share the joy and sorrow in life.Because of Mrs.Morel’s great influences on the part of Paul,he is always full of anxieties when he is with other women.His “Oedipus complex” leads him into an inextricable dilemma and deprives him the ability to love other women except his Mom.
Paul’s abnormal love towards his mother lasts until his mother’s death.At last,to end his mother’s pain,he gives his mother the mercy-killer.Just then,he realizes that he couldn’t live his own life with his mother’s existence.But at the same time he feels that he couldn’t live without his mother’s accompany.These contradicting emotions exist in his heart at the same time.Paul even cries like Mrs.Morel’s lover when she dies.“My love-my love-oh,my love!” he whispered again and again.(p502)
Lawrence tries from such a different angle to show us the translation of such love in the Sons and Lovers.He uses quite different ways to try to make us understand the essence of such love.Its uniqueness makes the book of Lawrence the foundation for his other greatnesses.
Here,I’m not judging that the love in this book is justified.It has its own faults,indeed.But what we should do is not to only condemn Paul and Mrs.Morel,but to have a thorough analysis of the causes of this abnormal love,such as the influences of the family,the relationships between the child and other brothers and sisters and the influences of the society.One who is grown up in a normal family environment and healthy social circumstances is unlikely to develop complicated and deformed love.