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Sons and Lovers

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  39,514 Ratings  ·  1,556 Reviews
Living on the Northamptonshire coalfields, the Morel family are beset with conflict. Gertrude Morel, restless and disillusioned with her inarticulate working-class husband, pours her energies and aspirations into her son Paul. But inevitably tensions develop when Paul falls in love and seeks to escape from his family ties.
Paperback, Penguin English Library, 504 pages
Published May 27th 1981 by Penguin Classics (first published 1913)
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Priyamvada Physically, no. The relationship between Paul and Gertrude isn't physically incestuous. But yes, it does contain unconscious and repressed sexual…morePhysically, no. The relationship between Paul and Gertrude isn't physically incestuous. But yes, it does contain unconscious and repressed sexual feelings (According to the Freudian Allegory). Both Paul and William were Oedipal towards her. Their relationship is certainly matrifocal and dysfunctional. As Gertrude's marriage with Morel withered gradually, she began to shower her love and attention to her sons. Consequently, the attachment between her sons and her became unhealthy. Paul and William viewed themselves as competitors in her affection. In their eyes, she was strong, confident, caring, wise and something pure - the qualities they began to look for in their partners.
William lived to please her. But when she became jealous of his lovers, he tried to break free and escaped to London. It was all well between him and his betrothed for a while, until he began to see her as a creature inferior to his mother. Similarly, Paul sought himself in Miriam. This made Gertrude jealous. She expressed her disapproval and pointed out that Miriam would absorb all of him, which she couldn't bear as she had never really had a husband. Paul tries to rid himself of Oedipus by sleeping with Miriam. However, his life had become so highly centred on his Mother, he couldn't break free. His relationship with Clara is bound to be temporary(he was aware of it). He began hating Gertrude and murdered her to end his Oedipal feelings.(less)
Joshua Depends upon which level one desires to read it. Personally, I think that, as a story alone, most 12 year olds could deal with it- there's little…moreDepends upon which level one desires to read it. Personally, I think that, as a story alone, most 12 year olds could deal with it- there's little complicated in plot or language, contrary to many Modernist novels, and, contrary to most D. H. Lawrence, surprisingly little sex, if any. However, to truly understand the novel- e.g Freudian allegory and psychological undertones, though, I'd say 15+. (less)
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Richard Derus
Nov 20, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 0.125* of five

BkC51) SONS AND LOVERS by D.H. Lawrence: The worst, most horrendously offensively overrated piece of crap I've read in my life.

Yeup. Since I'm in a real bitch-slappin' mood, here goes.

The Book Report: Sensitive, aesthetic nebbish gets born to rough miner and his neurasthenic dishcloth of a wife. She falls in love with her progeny and tries to Save Him From Being Like His Father, which clearly is a fate worse than death. So, lady, if you didn't like the guy, why didn't you j
...more
Cecily
I started the year transfixed by the visceral floral and fiery passion of Lawrence's The Rainbow (my review HERE). Its rich earth ripened buds of promise into irresistible blooms of vibrant delicacy. But reading this at the end of the year, I felt more like I'd been dragged through barren mud. Perhaps that’s fitting for the story of a miner’s family.

There is lyrical imagery and “caressive” talk (see quotes, below), but far too much plodding Janet-and-John prose, and characters who infuriated me
...more
Cheryl
The storyline is in the name, Sons and Lovers, but what you don't expect are the subtleties of the Oedipus complex or Freudian allegory. It was a surprisingly sensational read for me, especially since earlier this year, I gave myself a classics challenge: to read and re-read a few classics just for the sake of it; erase the disdain of forced-readings in high school, college and grad school; read just for how it makes me feel, not because everyone else is doing it. Sons and Lovers ends my pers ...more
Duane
Generally considered Lawrence's masterpiece, it is ranked 9th on the Modern Library 100 best books of the 20th century. The story of Paul Morel and his brothers and the influence of the women in their lives, especially of their mother. I think the age old theme of men trying to find a wife or lover in the metaphorical image of their mother is present in all of Lawrence's novels, but more so in Son and Lover's than any other. It is beautifully written and the characters are well developed and ver ...more
Jr Bacdayan
Jan 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How do you leave a mother who associates her life’s meaning and fulfillment to you and your achievements, without breaking her heart? How do you surrender all your passion to a lover while leaving some for the woman who gave birth to you, reared you, and loved you? Should a man give greater love to his mother or his lover? How do you achieve balance between the women in your life? D.H. Lawrence’s semi-autobiographical novel Sons and Lovers displays the pendulum of a young man’s love swinging to- ...more
Perry
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: libri-classici
Being Smothered by Controlling Mother
Domineering Mommy


Coal Mining Son


"You made me cry, you told me lies
But I can't stand to say goodbye.
Mama I'm comin' home.
Ozzy Osbourne, Mama, I'm Coming Home, 1991.


D.H. Lawrence, one of my personal favorites, seems to have told a tale no truer than his largely autobiographical Sons and Lovers. While all the primary characters have some major defect of character, I felt the most pity for the protagonist Paul Morel (a real mama's boy) and Miriam (his childho
...more
Luís C.
Sons and Lovers or Lovers and Sons in some editions, is the fictionalized autobiography of the origins and youth of D.H.Lawrence.

The main character, like the great writer, was born in the world of the mining country of Nottinghamshire, a sensual father, drinker, choleric, vulgar nature and a mother from a higher background, to the puritanical and bourgeois values constantly wounded by the unseemly attitude, the reckless acts and low appetites of her husband. This volume is an interesting documen
...more
Stephen P
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There has been a robbery. A theft on a grand scale. Cleansed of the detritus of a self, a presence, an ability to act on desire, he waits to be alit upon…The fretwork strums a baroque dirge as an accompaniment to realizations of the smallness of any life upon the vastness of the universe and its grand seduction of infinite stars; the largeness of the interiority of ones passions and the labyrinth they must circumvent. Their interactions and the labyrinthine yearnings of others result in collisio ...more
Cyril
Jun 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I attempted to read this book twice years ago. I failed to finish each time, finding the novel laborious. Now, married and with children, I have read through this book eagerly. It is perhaps a half-lifetime of experience that has allowed me to see this story in a different light. The examination of Paul Morel's emotionally incestuous relationship with his mother and the way it cripples his love for other women is insightful. My Barnes and Nobles version of this book (I put this review under this ...more
Chrissie
I read books for pleasure. I enjoy learning something new and thinking about human relationships. Real human relationships, not those of the fantastical sort. I want to have something to ponder. In addition I want writing that describes places, people and situations well.

I learned nothing new from this book.

The human relationships as described herein are not true to life. Maybe members of the Bloomsbury Group, of which D. H. Lawrence was one, did in fact communicated with each other with extre
...more
Apatt
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fave-classics
I had no idea what to expect of Sons and Lovers as I went in. I had no idea what the book is about, presumably multiple sons and more than one lovers are involved. With the public domain books just knowing that it is a classic is usually enough. I also had no expectation of D.H. Lawrence, I knew he is the author of Lady Chatterley's Lover, which I have a vague impression of being some kind of Edwardian porn (though it probably isn't). Diving in with no expectation is often fun and rewarding.

The
...more
Matthew
Feb 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
“I have been reading ‘Sons and Lovers’ and feel ready to die. If Lawrence had been killed after writing that book he’d still be England’s greatest novelist.”
- Philip Larkin in a letter to a friend, aged nineteen.


It’s late, and I haven’t written any reviews for this site up until now, but here goes nothing. Considering the relatively abysmal ratings that Lawrence’s novels seem to have here, I figured I should at least add my two cents and say a couple things about what I feel is one of the better
...more
Jason
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love & Pain: self love & self-inflicted pain; familial love & the pain of resentment; romantic love & the pain of rejection; physical love & the pain of loss.

I did not love this book during most of the reading, I actually found it to be quite a pain for much of the time. This is not to say that there is not some beautiful writing and superb character development, because there absolutely is. I think I was just frustrated with all the pain - the pain inflicted on themselves an
...more
Kacie
May 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Warning: the book deals with sex. If you're sensitive to that, don't read the book or my review.

I loved this book. It reminded me again of my love for classic English literature. I love the realism in it. "Sons and Lovers" is essentially about relationships. I thought it was going to focus on the relationships of the mother in the book because the first part deals with her marriage and the stages it goes through. It describes the disintegration of love and what it's like to be a woman and have
...more
Rakhi Dalal
Son - I want to review this book Mater.

Mother – Do you really now?

Son – Yes mother.

Mother – I would not advise you to do so.

Son – Why mother?

Mother – Because it will ask too much from you (READ - What about me then? There won’t be anything left for me of you.)

Son – You are being ridiculous mother. I wish to do it because I feel this is right.

Mother – Then do as you deem appropriate. I shall say no more.

Son - I will mother. You can’t hold me now.

So I finally decided to review this book. A midst v
...more
Pooja
Dec 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3/4th part of this book, I read word by word and could understand each person in the story and why they are as they are. At each point, they created sympathy in my mind for them, specially Mrs. Morel.

It took me 1 month to finally finish this one. And I should admit that this one month didn't go all amazing. I thought each and every time about finishing it. And yet, it was, I feel, daring of me to did so.

It's kinda frustrating book, It sends you off into abyss of depression sometimes, and the do
...more
Mahima
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lawrence wrote in one of his letters:

“Nobody can have the soul of me. My mother has had it, and nobody can have it again. Nobody can come into my very self again, and breathe me like an atmosphere.”

‘Sons and Lovers’ has many strands it is made up of, and this quote describes the most important one of them. Lawrence’s own unparalleled love for his mother translates in the novel as Paul Morel’s love for his mother, the portrayal of which gives rise to a Freudian subtext. While Lawrence thought tha
...more
Alexander
Mar 09, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There has never been a book that made me want to inflict physical pain upon a character -- until Sons & Lovers that is...

The really devious thing about this dreadful book is that the Sons half, the first half, isn't all that bad. Lawrence spends an immense amount of time on what one supposes to be the backstory for the Lovers section. One learns of Paul's youth and temperment, Paul's mother, Paul's parents relationship and his brothers' exploits. It is time consuming and not always entertain
...more
Sarah
May 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sons and Lovers is a wonderful novel on the complex nature of love in its many forms. We follow the lives of the Morel family who live in a coal mining community in Nottinghamshire at the turn of the twentieth century.

Walter and Gertrude's marriage has problems and Gertrude concentrates her love and hopes on her sons. She becomes a dominating force to them and the life choices they make. The sons suffer with obsession, frustration and indecision about the women in their lives.

Through childhood,
...more
Alex
Of all the major writers in the canon, DH Lawrence is the horniest. Lots of people write about sex, but Lawrence writes exclusively about it, entirely about it. He's consumed by sex. Sex motivates everything that happens in his world. It can draw people together like in Lady Chatterley's Lover, or drive people apart. (Its energy in Sons and Lovers is not super positive.)

He thinks there's real communication to be had about what sex is like and why. He wants to talk about how sometimes it's not a
...more
BAM The Bibliomaniac
I think between the stress of the death of my father, the poor narration on my audiobook, and the style of writing, I just did not enjoy this book at all. Something didn't click with me. I'm sorry I can't write more right now.

2017 Reading Challenge: word of a family member in the title
Cristin
Aug 04, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
This marks my first experience of D.H. Lawrence, apart from practically memorizing a famous, passionate excerpt from “The Rainbow,” read during a great episode of Northern Exposure (one of the greatest television shows of all time, in my humble opinion)…that excerpt may have generated some preconceived notions regarding the content of Sons and Lovers…in some ways, my predictions were correct…in others, wholly unmet and practically unfounded.

Sons and Lovers is the story of one family, the Morels,
...more
Dolors
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
Another of Lawrence's gems.
Not as good as Women in Love, but still worth reading.
In this work you can easily notice one of Lawrence's obsessions. The love for his mother.
Jean
May 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Generally regarded as semi-autobiographical, this is a very brave and evocative portrayal of working-class life in a Nottinghamshire mining community in the very early part of the twentieth century. You feel the characters' claustrophobia, and however much you may dislike them, sense that they are trapped in their lives by both their actions and their aspirations. The story line is engrossing and shocking for its time, both in its accurate portrayal of the imprisonment and desperation of individ ...more
Rick
Apr 09, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: arty people who might better identify with sensitive, moody Paul
Recommended to Rick by: found it on amazon as a suggestion for people interested in soci
It was mostly a bore. Some of the events had me interested, but overall i just kept waiting to be really moved and wasn't. I liked the descriptions of Paul in his discussions with Miriam about their relationship when they were getting close to "breaking off."

I kept wishing I could identify more with Paul. I read an interpretation that said the drive and ambition Mrs. Morel had driven into Paul to help him rise above his roots eventually hindered his ability to accept any woman as good enough fo
...more
Gearóid
Nov 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really brilliant book!
From the minute i started reading i was totally absorbed.
I didnt know what to expect when i started reading this
but it was just go engrossing and the writing so lovely
it just carried me along through this story.
The whole setting in the mining community was so vividly
described and the characters really felt like i knew them.

Really connected with the dad as he was working in the mines
and had such a hard life but i think loved his family anyway.

Miriam was a little gem...i woul
...more
مروان البلوشي
تاريخ القراءة الأصلي : 2007
Roland
I wanted to read this book for months, and now that I've finished it I can say that it was a terrible disappointment. The main character Paul treats the women in his life like absolute crap, and it's hard to care about a Mama's boy who can barely make decisions for himself. The mother in the book is a bitter, complaining shrew, and regardless of the first part of the book which explains why she's so protective of her son, you still want to slap her one. There are some good passages, but overall ...more
James
Jan 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lawrence's autobiographical novel, Sons and Lovers, made famous the tortured conditions of his upbringing: his uneducated father's pit-and-pub life, his mother's contempt for this and her self-sacrifice to escape it, Lawrence's own conflicted feelings about both of them. It initially incited a lukewarm critical reception, along with allegations of obscenity, it is today regarded as a masterpiece of modernism. It certainly established some of the themes that Lawrence would explore in his subseque ...more
RitaSkeeter
Sep 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2015, classics
Re-read September 2015

I first read this book around twenty years ago. Wow. I suddenly feel old having written that. But despite that passage of time, the emotions I felt when I read the book have stayed with me. In particular, the loathing I had for Paul Morel as a character; closely followed by Gertrude as runner-up.

Being older (sob) and wiser, my emotions are a little more refined following this re-read. I still loathe Paul. He is selfish, self-absorbed and treats Miriam and Clara - particular
...more
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17623
David Herbert Richards Lawrence was an English writer of the 20th century, whose prolific and diverse output included novels, short stories, poems, plays, essays, travel books, paintings, translations, literary criticism and personal letters. His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanizing effects of modernity and industrialisation. In them, Lawrence confronts issues rel ...more
More about D.H. Lawrence...
“Recklessness is almost a man's revenge on his woman. He feels he is not valued so he will risk destroying himself to deprive her altogether.” 88 likes
“Sleep is still most perfect, in spite of hygienists, when it is shared with a beloved. The warmth, the security and peace of soul, the utter comfort from the touch of the other, knits the sleep, so that it takes the body and soul completely in its healing.” 78 likes
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