58 pages 1 hour read

D. H. Lawrence

Sons and Lovers

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1913

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Part 1, Chapters 4-6Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 1, Chapter 4 Summary: “The Young Life of Paul”

Paul is increasingly aware of his mother’s importance in his life. He has always been close with her, feeling as though he has sided with his mother and his siblings in opposition to his father. He can recall many instances in which his father drunkenly abused the rest of the family. Though William had wanted to fight Walter, Gertrude stopped him. Around this time, the family moved to a new home in the same town. Many of Paul’s earliest memories involve his father’s drinking and abuse. He hates his father and wishes that his father would stop drinking, as he would arrive home drunk each night after stopping at the bar after work. Walter would shout at the children, accusing them of making noise; Walter was “shut out from all family affairs” as a result (63), and the children felt no need to talk to their father.

Paul is sick very often. He is especially prone to bronchitis, so much so that his mother was concerned that he would die young. Her fear and anguish leaked into her love for him, though he has always admired his mother for bravely dealing with “suffering and disillusion and self-denial” (66). Paul wishes that he could do more to help her.