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The Oedipus Complex In D.H. Lawrence's Sons And Lovers

2015 words - 8 pages

At the conclusion of my research and the reading of the novel “Sons and Lovers” by D.H. Lawrence, it could be said that many scholars have agreed that Lawrence’s novel can be used to discuss the Freudian concept of the mother and son relationship. Without much knowledge on the famous psychologists Freud and his psychoanalytic theories it is common for a reader to overlook such an important theme and the detriments of such a passionate mother and son relationship. This paper will try to confirm that there was some kind of an Oedipus relationship between the main character Paul and his mother. This relationship stays with Paul up until the day he decides he must finally let his mother go. The relationship between Paul and his mother Mrs. Morel played a significant role in the detrimental outcome of her son’s life. In order to further support this idea, first, we must take a look at what the Freudian theory suggests.
In the academic journal, "The Oedipus Complex Reflected in D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers- A Great Experience for the 8th Graders" by Adina Lucia Bodgrogean, she claims, that Sigmund Freud described the Oedipus complex as something that begins at the age of three-four years old, and if allowed to manifest, develops into a strong attachment of the child to the opposite sex parent while viewing the same sex parent as a rival (Bodrogram 86). To further understand the relationship between mother and son in Lawrence’s novel “Sons and Lovers,” along with a comparison to the Freudian concept, a brief analysis of the relationship from the perspective of both characters, Gertrude and Paul is necessary.
Throughout the story the reader is reminded of how dearly and deeply Paul loved his mother. “He stuck to his mother. Everything he did was for her.” Lawrence reminds the reader many times throughout the novel of the extent of the loathing Paul felt for his father. “Mr. Morel was loathed by his children, especially Paul.” The children did not tell their father anything, Mr. Morel was a stranger in his own home. “All of the children, but particularly Paul were peculiarly against their father, along with their mother.” Paul is always trying to please his mother. It was in his character to care what other people thought of him but he was especially worried about what his mother thought. Paul hoped that his father would die and wished he could live with his mother alone and take care of her. "Paul hated his father. As a boy he had a fervent private religion. Make him stop drinking, he prayed every night. Lord, let my father die, he prayed very often."
In his excerpt “Sons and Lovers: A Freudian Appreciation,” Alfred Booth Kuttner takes note of the idea that Paul’s relationship with his mother gets in the way of him becoming his own person. Paul is unable to develop a relationship with another woman who is not his mother. Kuttner also explains that the absence of a father figure in the life of a young boy can later form stronger and...

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