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The Children In "Sons And Lovers" By Dh Lawrence And "What Massie Knew "By Henry James

809 words - 3 pages

The characters in Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrenceand the characters in What Maisie Knew each have a specialmeaning. They all seem to be interwoven with one anotherportraying a new cycle in another characters life. Forinstance, in What Maisie Knew Mrs. Wix was introduced, inmy opinion, at a time when Maisie needed a mother figure.Also, Sir Claude is introduced when she seems to need afather figure. On the other hand, in Sons and Lovers thereare not very many new characters introduced. However, theones that are introduced seem to want to try and break thebond that Paul and his mother have. Thus, James and Law¬rence seem to be using similar themes with differentsurroundings and events. Although the circumstances aredifferent, Henry James and D. H. Lawrence characterize thechildren as being Impoverished.Henry James in his novel What Maisie Knew , portraysthe main character, Maisie, as being impoverishedemotionally. The emotional poverty that Maisie experiencesin her life exist because of her parents extremely vicioushatred for each other. They use Maisie as a "vessel forbitterness" (13). To Beale and Ida, Maisie was just a toolthat they used to hurt the other person. Eventually,Maisie figured out that they were using her to be thebearer of brutily hateful messages. Consequently, shelearned not to deliver such messages. This made herparents very angry and they decided that she had "grownincredably dull". Thus, Maisie realized "They had wantedher not for any good they could do her, but for harm theycould, with her unconscious aid, do each other."Unfortunately, Maisie's emotions were of no concern toeither parent. As a result, Maisie seldom experienced anymeaningful affection from either of her parents.Furthermore, on the rare occasions when Maisie's motherembraced her it was performed without any affection, or itis so convulsive that it makes her feel as though "she hadsuddenly been thrust, with a smash of glass, into ajeweller's shop-front..." (112 Lawrence). Likewise,Maisie's father subjects her to emotional neglect byreminding her that everything had "changed on her account,everything ordered to enable him to give himself up toher." (17). This, in my opinion, was Beales way of tellingMaisie that she was a bother to him, thus, she isunconsciously informed that she is not wanted. Theemotional poverty that Maisie lives with makes her feelthat her parents made "it hurt more than usual" (17).Consequently, Maisie's fate is sealed. Unconsciously sheknows what is about to happen...

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