58 pages 1 hour read

D. H. Lawrence

Sons and Lovers

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1913

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Character Analysis

Paul Morel

Paul is not yet born at the beginning of Sons and Lovers, but he gradually emerges as the novel’s protagonist. He is the son of Walter and Gertrude; Paul hates Walter, but his love for his mother defines the novel. From a young age, Paul is quiet and introspective. This emotional fragility encapsulates his relationship with his parents. While Paul hates his father and his father’s friends, who he views as uncouth and common, he bides himself to his mother’s affection. Gertrude pities her quiet son and offers him enough adoration to make up for the affection that his hated father cannot provide. She protects him, showers him with affection, and hopes that he will be able to grow up to break free from the constraints of the poverty into which he was born. Paul’s introspective qualities manifest in his skills as an artist. Paul feels an Immediacy of Emotion in the world around him, viewing every sunset and flower as an expression of his bond with the natural world. He conveys this emotional attachment in his painting, which gradually becomes more successful than he could ever have imagined. Paul is richly rewarded for his emotional expression, to the point where his emotionally withdrawn father is forced to acknowledge the financial benefits of his son’s artistic endeavors.