For those of you who are fans of classics or are considering looking into some of it, I would highly recommend Sons And Lovers, by D.H. Lawrence. I, myself, haven’t stumbled upon many classics. However, I noticed that I had a copy of the book in my library, so I decided to give it a chance. The story sounded great, after all.
Based on Lawrence’s own boyhood in the Nottinghamshire coal fields, Sons And Lovers is the coming-of-age story of Paul Morel, who comes from a British working-class family. Paul’s father, Walter, a collier, works every day to provide for his family while Paul’s mother, Gertrude, tends to the housework and their children–William, Paul, Annie, and Arthur.
A day in the lives of the Morel family are filled with strife, on account of the children witnessing the continuing, loveless marriage that their parents have. Eventually, when William is old enough, he leaves home to start his own life. His mother is heartbroken; however, she accepts that he is grown-up. Paul, on the other hand, has promised his mother that he’d always be loyal to her. When he’s finished with school, he takes on a job at a factory as a means to help with the household expenses. Later on in the story, Annie and Arthur leave home to start their own lives. Meanwhile, Paul stays back and continues his job at the factory, as well as focusing on his side work as a painter, which is something his mother is quite fond of.
While Paul continues his work at the factory, it is there that he meets a young woman, named Miriam. Paul does take a personal interest in her, even though he knows that his mother doesn’t approve of her. When Miriam introduces him to Clara Dawes, though, Paul also becomes intrigued by Clara. He, soon, realizes that he has fallen for two women. While he maintains a friendship with both women, Paul is confused as to whether or not he can actually love either one of them. While Paul’s mother fears that he’ll eventually marry and leave home, Paul promises that he won’t ever leave her side. Still, he’s torn between two women and doesn’t know how to deal with the situation.
As I read this book, I couldn’t help hating yet pitying Paul Morel because he was so distant and confused in his life and, obviously stringing along two women who loved him. He loved them both, yet he was so afraid to give himself to them–physically and emotionally. Could it have been that his own parents’ failed marriage affected him, or was it that he’d feel guilty for breaking his promise to his mother? Who knows?
What do you think, fellow reader?