Bring out comment on the autobiographical elements in Sons and Lovers. (NU. 2000, 2012)
Ans. Sons and Lovers is a novel in which fact and fiction have been blended quite successfully. In it D.H. Lawrence makes a venture to reveal tactfully his own emotional crisis but this is in a strictly imited sense. We at least take it for a semi-autobiographical novel.
The first autobiographical element may be traced in the setting of the novel. Bestwood is actually Eastwood, the village where Lawrence had been born and brought up. Lawrence’s boyhood experience of aal mining in his native village has enabled him to give a very realistic description of the miners’ life and doings. The hero of the novel, Paul Morel, the Midland miner’s son is, in fact, Lawrence himself. Again Gertrude Morel and Walter Morel bear great resemblances to Lydia Lawrence and Arthur Lawrence. As Paul’s mother in the novel, Lawrence’s mother was a high minded and pious woman. Lawrence’s mother hated dirt and drink, and poverty, and so does Paul’s mother in the novel.
The parents of Lawrence never enjoyed a happy conjugal life as in Sons and Lovers. As Gertrude Morel, Lydia, Lawrence’s mother, also after her bitter frustration and acute dissatisfaction with her married life, transferred her affections to her sons, first to William Earnest and then to D.H. Lawrence. Similarly Gertrude makes her sons husband-substitutes. The children unitedly stand against their father in favour of their mother. The excessively mother-pull dered the sons incapable of achieving a normal and perfect relationships with other women, either as wives or as lovers.
Further, Paul resembles Lawrence in physic also. Like Paul, he was a weak and sickly boy, and he became very close to his mother resembles Lawrence. Jessie Chambers was a dreamy girl as Miriam after a serious attack with Pneumonia. In his love-affair, too, Paul the novel is. In fact, most part of Paul Miriam relationship was witen directly under her supervision, and from the notes, supplied by her.
Lawrence at a later time fell in love with a married woman named Alice Dax but this lady did not make any effort to retain this Lawrence at a later time fell in love with a married woman his with Lawrence. In the novel, we find Paul establishing sexual tionship with Clara Dawes who is very sensual. Eventually Clara Dawes breaks off her adulterous relationship with Paul just as Alice had broken her love-affair with Lawrence. Further, there is a close resemblance between the circumstances of the death of Paul’s mother and that of Lawrence’s mother.
To sum up, Paul Morel resembles Lawrence in many respects but still the resemblance does not occur in every detail. The real autobiographical interest lies in the faithful portrayal of domestic friction, disintegration of family life and the unusual sexual relation of Lawrence with several women in his youth.
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