Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence

D. H. Lawrence excels in presenting human emotions of love and lust, hate and hope, faith and passion. The main protagonist, Paul, is said to be an autobiographical account of Lawrence's own self, and perhaps that explains why Lawrence is able to present his array of emotions as well as he manages to do in this novel. The novel is about the relationship between mother and sons, and about the lovers of the respective sons.

The character of mother is actually the one around whom all the story is woven. No one writes about the feelings of woman as well as Lawrence does, and like in other novels, he captures the feelings through delicate and beautiful descriptions of seemingly trivial events. Paul's brother William and the woman he loves Gypsy, present the life of London in backdrop of romance between a highly intelligent male, and a blonde-like bimbo. Paul's own romances with Miriam, a simple, homely girl, who is religious and respecting, and with Clara, a much older than himself and modernist in views female makes this novel a classic study of passionate love and sexual attraction. Among all this, is the role of mother whose compensates for her unhappy marriage by devoting all her energies to her sons, and then in later years has to deal with loves of her sons that threaten to tug them away from her.

The story is also a story of struggle of a family, where a young wife must come to grips with a drinking husband, where children must grow in shadow of the strained relationships of their parents, where Paul, William and the other siblings will grow from childhood into an age where they will fall into love, find vocations and finally the family will grow into a happier, richer bunch. Like typical Lawrence, all relationships are treated with rich and emotional descriptions, and the innermost thoughts of characters are spread out in beautifully written prose. The novel captures commotion of love and lust quite well, and eventhough Lawrence has refrained from talking about sexual attraction in a way that cause much consternation in his times, the descriptions are lush and unforgettable.

I have always loved the way Lawrence describes nature. Sunlight, leaves, forests, evenings, stars in the night sky, clouds, sea and seashore: all nature itself is woven into the fabric of this novel in very artistic fashion, very poetically and imaginatively. Lawrence, I repeat, is the novelist of last century that no one ought to miss, and trust me his world is run by universal emotions that only writer of his talent, perception and feeling can write.

Lastly, this is a classic, it requires time and effort. The beauty of the writing is in the descriptions, rather than the sequence of events. From seemingly mundane lives of few family members, and using seemingly trivial daily events, Lawrence tells a story of romances, relationships and (I believe one of the best accounts of)mother-son relationship. Its a kind of story that stays with you, makes you understand yourself better, and is wonderful to remember!

1 comment:

Vivek said...

from sulekha:

gjp comments:
on Apr 11 2005 9:20PM delete this comment block this user
Thanks Vivek.

I am going to pick this book up ASAP. I have been wondering for some time whether to read this one or not- now I know. :)

Looking forward to more book reviews .


Vivek Sharma comments:
on Mar 30 2005 6:13PM delete this comment block this user
Sure chaya! More reviews will be posted in coming weeks!

Priyanka: Trust me Lady's Chatterley's Lover and Rainbow are as rewarding as Sons and Lovers. I have not finished Rainbow, it is in fact so creative that I admire every paragraph that I read and yet never manage to read more than a few pages per week! Started Women in Love, which incidentally is a sequel to Rainbow, so would be interesting to see where it goes!

As you said, DHL should be necessary reading for everyone, and the criticism and debates he inspired are as rich as his own writings. I wish he had received the fame and fortune he so deserved when he was alive!

miss_priyanka_gupta comments:
on Mar 30 2005 10:44AM delete this comment block this user
hi vivek

I read 'Sons and Lovers' as a prescribed text for my masters. After reading this novel one craves for reading even more. Other novels by Lawrence in my list (to be read): The Rainbow, Women in Love, The lost Girl, Lady Chatterely's lovers, The woman who rode away, The Princess.

His treatment of Psyche of characters is unique (some reviewer said he is obscure) and every aspiring writer/student has loads of lessons to take from his classic writings.

D H Lawrence is truly ahead his time & the autographical element of this novel makes it even more interesting. Lawrence had courage to say 'not expected' and raised many protests against himself.

The reviews raised on his writing then & now are even more interesting to read:))


chayalife comments:
on Mar 29 2005 10:27PM delete this comment block this user
Ditto!! Ditto!!! Ditto!!!!

Simply put...any one who loves reading, should SHOULD read DHL....

Vivek...are we getting more book reviews???