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David Herbert Lawrence (1885-1930)

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David Herbert Lawrence (1885-l930)

David Herbert Lawrence had a negative view of his father, a miner with a large family. His mother, an ex-school teacher, and a rather refined woman, encouraged him at school. He was deeply fond of her, and her death was very painful for him. When he was 15 he left school to start working as a clerk in a surgical goods factory. In 1908 he became a teacher. In 1912 he gave up teaching because of health problems and started to support himself by writing. In 1913 he published his major novel, Sons and Lovers, and two years later he married Frieda Weekley. They travelled all over the world. Lawrence was deeply opposed to the industrial civilization of his time. He believed that the suppression of natural instincts and emotions in modern man and the mechanised, cerebral character of modern civilization had a destructive effect on the life of the spirit. According to him, modern civilization had trasformed human beings: they had become slaves to the routine of work. He had costant problems with censorship because his main themes were basic human passions: the relationships between man and woman and between human beings and the environment.

5a. Sons And Lovers

The main theme of Sons and Lovers is the psychological and emotional relationship between Mrs Morel, an unhappily married mother, and her sons. Paul and his brother William are to some extent bound to their mother by an Oedipus complex, as suggested by the title. In the novel Paul tries to escape from the obsessive relationship with his mother through fulfilling sexual relationships with other women. The novel is a fictional version of the novelist's childhood and youth. Lawrence drew Mrs Morel's and Paul's characters from his personal experience. An autobiographical element is also the contrast between the vitality of Paul's working-class father and the middle-class gentily of his mother. Lawrence's language has poetic and symbolic energy, and an imaginative power rarely equalled in the 20th century. It is reminescent in its rhytms and use of repetition of the language used in the 17th century Authorized Version of the Bible, which was such an important influence in his childhood. Lawrence didn't write only novels. He was a gifted poet, as well as a novelist, and a gifted critic, letter and travel writer too.


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