Friday, March 16, 2007

22. "Sons and Lovers" ~ D.H. Lawrence

This is the "best" of Lawrence's books, according to many bibliomaniacs, though I preferred Lady Chatterly's Lover.

The Morel family consists of a miner father (Lawrence's father was a miner), three sons - one of whom works as a clerk and is sickly (Lawrence worked as a clerk and had pneumonia repeatedly), and a doting, jealous mother. Need I fill in the blank for Lawrence's relationship with his?

This is the stuff of Freudian dreams. Lay upon the sofa and tell me about your mother. If interpreted this way, Lawrence really needed to cut the apron strings a lot sooner. Or, well, mothers really are the centers of their sons' universes.

Paul, the clerk, wants to form a deep relationship with Miriam, but his love for his mother, as well as her deep control over his emotions, creates mental havoc. Basically, this is Oedipal complexes at their most vivid.

Other than the siblings, this is purely autobiographical. His other books explore power in sexuality. I'm sure you could read about how mothers and sons introduce the first struggle, but, as the mother of boys, I'm a bit grossed out, in all honesty. Perhaps if I wait ten years I will read this differently.

1.5 out of 5.0 Dirty Mother-In-Laws.

Banned book: Hello? Sexual innuendos of an incestual bend.


John said...

wow! only 1.5 eh. I loved this book. I thought it showed very vividly the struggles of family loyalty that can drive a person mad. I thought Lawrence did an amazing job of describing the reality of life from his childhood - very vivid. I'd give it 4 if not 5 out of ten. Mind you, it is the only Lawrence book I have so far read

The Lowly Third Beauty said...

I read this book as research on whether or not the sexual content that caused this book to be banned outweighed the overall weight of the book itself. And, I've got to say, the themes presented in Sons and Lovers --of an old world meeting the new, growing up and making decisions, the conflict of blood being thicker than water--make it enjoyable. I've read a lot of people stipulating it as an autobiography of Lawrence himself, but I feel that if you allow yourself to read it without that pretense, it is thoroughly more enjoyable.