“She would wake up. She would lift her eyelids. She was with him still,”
I’m just going to start out by saying that I am not a big fan of D.H Lawrence’s books. I think most people read Lady Chatterly’s Lover just to find rude bits. But one of his books, Sons and Lovers, is quite an OK book, with themes we can all identify with.
Gertrude Morel is trapped in an unhappy marriage to collier, Walter. When Walter turns violent, Gertrude’s love shifts focus onto lavishing affection on her four children: William, Annie, Paul and Arthur. Nothing is wrong with that. I am sure there are many people who are dragged through unhappy marriages and choose to cling to their children. But Gertrude ends up invading the lives of her children and manipulates her sons against their prospective wives. The typical evil mother-in-law. As a result of her manipulation and the tragic death of William, Paul can’t let anyone else into his life and is left all alone when his mother dies.
I was surprised I could even finish reading a D.H Lawrence book without tearing my face off or consuming those who had the unfortunate fate of being near me at the time. I am not a big fan of his books, as I said before. But with Son’s themes of marital unhappiness, drudgery and interfering mother-in-laws are too familiar to us as a 21st century audience. The way it is written makes us empathize with Gertrude for clinging to her children but hate her for ruining their lives and refusing to let them ‘grow’ as people.
There were times when it was too allegorical and sometimes nothing happened for quite a long stretch of time. And it was incredibly annoying when Paul Morel would chop and change between the women in his life. It got boring very quickly. However, it was interesting seeing early 20th century attitudes to women and work.
MY RATING: 2.5 / 5.