Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence (Spoiler Alert)

My latest read is Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence. Goodreads link is located here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9825769-sons-and-lovers This is a very important book in the world of literature as I was reading that this book was ranked Number 9 in a list published by Modern Library called, “100 Best Novels in English of the 20th Century”. After this book, I have taken a break from classical books for a while. I guess reading a few classical books in a row became a bit too much for me, figuring out the language and the society they are dealing with plus they happen to be like so damn slow.

D. H. Lawrence is a well known classical author whose books are said to be controversial because for the times and the society in which his books were written, they were very controversial and radical and even outrageous. By the standards of today they are normal and regular, but that was then. Now, this is the first D. H. Lawrence book that I have and I did not find anything in this book that could be labelled “outrageous” in any way, so maybe this happened to be one of his milder books, I do not know.

Anyways, to the book. This book is written in an autobiographical style where it revolves around Paul Morel and his family. His mom plays a very important role in this story as the author has hinted towards Sigmund Freud’s Oedipus Complex. Paul seems to be an Oedipal kid and at the same time Paul's mother is a very possessive lady, one of those kind of parents who don’t allow their children to operate their own lives.  And here we learn about Paul’s attempts to operate his life while battling Oedipus Complex and relationships with two very diverse girls, Clara and Miriam.

So basically this book has been divided into two parts, known as Part I and Part 2. Part 1 deals with Paul's family background and introduction to his early life while Part 2 deals with his later life.

In Part 1 we learn about Paul’s mother, Gertrude, and how she met Paul’s dad, Walter, and their marriage. It is not a happy marriage as Walter drank a lot, and was distant, and at times mistreated his wife and did not provide enough money for the running of the household even though he had the money on him. At this point, Gertrude is extremely attached and possessive to Paul’s older brother, William who may also be exhibiting Oedipus Complex. Both mother and son are very attached to the extent that William doesn’t enjoy anything without his mom. Eventually William does move to London because of his job, experiences social mobility into a higher class and even gets engaged. But then he gets sick and dies, where the mother’s focus shifts to Paul and Paul begins to exhibit Oedipus Complex.

In Part 2 the mother’s focus is now on Paul. Mom is very possessive and dominating over Paul and Paul is attached greatly to Mom also. Paul does not want to leave Mom but he knows he has to go out in the world. Paul eventually gets involved with Miriam, a girl who attends the same Church as him and lives on a nearby farm. Their relationship goes on for several years, after which Paul decides to call it quits, mainly due to Mom’s disapproval. Later on Paul gets involved with another girl, Clara. Clara is married, but currently separated from her husband and is a feminist. In these times and in the society we are dealing with her, being a female separated from her husband and leaning towards feminist ideology makes you one of the most radical and controversial figures ever. Even Paul and Clara’s relationship did not work out as Paul just drifted away from Clara slowly back to mom, which resulted in Clara getting back together with her husband, Baxter. Eventually Mom dies from cancer, leaving Paul all alone in the world.

To sum up, like all classical books, it was so damn slow. And this book is so tedious to read, that when I reached the last page of the book, I was like “Thank God this book is over”. According to the description, it appeared to be a psychological thriller but it was nothing like that at all. It turned out to be one dry tedious book that I couldn’t wait to get over with. Not a book that I would recommend at all. Must be a good book if it got the Number 9 ranking. I am not saying its bad, all I say is that it just did not appeal to me.

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