Sons and Lovers

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Genres: Banned Books
Language: English
Type: Digital

Sons and Lovers is a 1913 novel by English writer D. H. Lawrence. It traces emotional conflicts through the protagonist, Paul Morel, and his suffocating relationships with a demanding mother and two very different lovers, which exert complex influences on the development of his manhood. The novel was originally published by Gerald Duckworth and Company Ltd., London, and Mitchell Kennerley Publishers, New York. While the novel initially received a lukewarm critical reception, along with allegations of obscenity, it is today regarded as a masterpiece by many critics and is often regarded as Lawrence's finest achievement.


The novel follows the story of Paul Morel, a young man growing up in a working-class family in Nottinghamshire, England. Paul's mother, Gertrude, is a passionate and possessive woman who dominates her family. Paul's father, Walter, is a coal miner who is often drunk and abusive.

Paul has two brothers, William and Arthur, but they both die young. Paul is also close to his sister, Miriam, but she is a repressed and religious woman.

Paul's first love interest is Miriam Leivers, a quiet and thoughtful girl. However, Paul is eventually drawn to Clara Dawes, a married woman who is more passionate and experienced than Miriam.

Paul's relationships with his mother and his two lovers are complex and often suffocating. Gertrude is obsessed with Paul, and she sees him as her replacement for her husband. Clara is also possessive, and she demands Paul's complete devotion.

Paul struggles to break free from the emotional demands of his mother and his lovers. He eventually realizes that he must leave home and start a new life in order to become his own man.


Sons and Lovers explores a number of themes, including:

  • Oedipus complex: The novel explores the Oedipus complex, which is a psychoanalytic theory that suggests that young boys are attracted to their mothers and hostile to their fathers. Paul is clearly attracted to his mother, and he is resentful of his father.
  • Coming of age: The novel is also a coming-of-age story. Paul struggles to become his own man and to break free from the emotional demands of his family and lovers.
  • Social class: The novel also explores the issue of social class. Paul comes from a working-class family, but he yearns for a better life. He is attracted to Clara Dawes, who comes from a higher social class.
  • Sexuality: The novel also explores sexuality in a frank and honest way. Paul is a passionate young man, and he is drawn to both Miriam and Clara.


Sons and Lovers is a significant novel for a number of reasons. First, it is one of the first novels to explore the Oedipus complex. Second, it is a powerful coming-of-age story. Third, it is a realistic and insightful portrayal of working-class life in England. Fourth, it explores sexuality in a frank and honest way.

Sons and Lovers is a classic novel that continues to be relevant and challenging today. It is a must-read for anyone who is interested in human psychology, social class, or sexuality.


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