In the novel, Sons and Lovers, by D.H. Lawrence, the protagonist, Paul Morel, represented the epitome of the phrase “mama’s boy.” Mrs. Morel was very demanding, and smothered Paul to the point where he felt it was wrong to love anyone else but her. Paul’s disturbing infatuation with his mother became an obstacle in what could have blossomed into successful relationships with two very important women in his life, Miriam and Clara.
In Chapter 7, Paul shows a yearning for some connection beyond what he shares with his mother. In his free time, Paul is a painter, and he still needs his mother to do his best work, as he tells her. But Miriam allows him to take his work to another level. She makes him feel an intensity he has never before experienced. Miriam seems to have a sense of this connection. She was probably Paul’s most suited candidate as his wife. He knew her and her family for years, talked and visited her frequently, and eventually fell for her. He could not love Miriam completely because his mother did not approve of her. The connection between Paul and Miriam may be one reason that Mrs. Morel dislikes Miriam. "She could feel Paul being drawn away by the girl"(168). She seems to view Miriam as direct competition for her son's love and attention. Mrs. Morel felt that Miriam was the type of woman who would suck the soul out of a man.
She’s not like an ordinary woman, who can leave me my share of him. She wants to absorb him. She wants to draw him out and absorb him till there is nothing left of him, even for himself. He will never be a man on his own feet—she will suck him up. (168-169)
It doesn’t seem possible for one to have the ability to “suck the soul” out of someone… maybe the person could consume a lot of the others time, but not suck the soul out of them. That is simply impossible, and is most likely just an over exaggeration and over dramatization on Mrs. Morel’s part in order to make her son feel guilty. This comment also serves as being hypocritical on Mrs. Morel’s part because when she states that Paul could “never be a man on his own feet” (169). Mrs. Morel is the main reason why Paul cannot be a man and move on with his life. She smothers him to the point where he can’t even have relationships with other women besides his mother. Because of this, Paul and Miriam take forever to consummate their relationship, and when they do they are uncomfortable. Even though Mrs. Morel does show some desire for her son...