Roy Cartlidge, prof.
Monday October 16
Explication of an excerpt from Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
Sons and Lovers, a twentieth-century novel by D.H. Lawrence is a novel which explores
the theme of Oedipus complex. This excerpt take place in part two of the novel just after Baxter Dawes' court case with Thomas Jordan, who he had pushed down a flight of stairs during a drunken attempt at attacking Paul. In this excerpt Paul tells his mother about the court case he was involved in and they discuss love and his inability to love another woman unknowingly due to his devoted love for his mother.
The excerpt opens with Paul telling Mrs. Morel about the incident with Dawes and the
court case he testifies at. Mrs. Morel watches him closely as he speaks because she is now seeing a new side of her son that he has yet to share with her until now. Paul identifies Dawes behaviour as foolish for acting the way he did in public allowing himself to be seen in a vulnerable way that Paul would never let happen to himself. Although the attack at Jordan's was meant for Paul and not Thomas Jordan, Paul’s testimony at the hearing lets Dawes walk off a free man. That is strange behavior towards a man who has been harassing him for an extended period of time.
Mrs. Morel asks Paul if he has taken into consideration how the love triangle between
himself, Clara and Dawes will end. She asks this because she knows that there is an inevitable end to this relationship. Mrs. Morel refers to the inevitability of "things work out themselves out" as a "rule" to assert her motherly status in their relationship and the rules mothers set in their households for the welfare of their children. This shows that Mrs. Morel has a considerable understanding of the world at large. Paul is submissively agreeing with his mother saying one should put up with the rule to which she responds with "you're not as good at 'putting up with' as you imagine"(393). This is a reflection on his character and how he is more like his father, her husband, than he'd like to admit.
Mrs. Morel brings up the point in question of his affair with Clara when...