58 pages 1 hour read

D. H. Lawrence

Sons and Lovers

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1913

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Symbols & Motifs


Set in a small town in rural England, Sons and Lovers features many references to flowers. The commonality of the references alludes to the world of natural abundance that surrounds the characters. While Walter spends all day down in the dirt and grime of the mine, his children exist in the flowery, bright world above. Paul, in particular, is fascinated by flowers. They symbolize his connection with the natural world and differentiate him from his father. When Paul first meets Miriam, they bond over their shared interests in the sensual pleasures of flowers. The sights, smells, and feel of roses and other flowers bewitch them, and together, they reveal in a form of sensual pleasure that prefigures their romantic relationship. Flowers in their natural setting also illustrate the diversity of life in the natural world. Each time Paul and Miriam share a walk in the countryside, they encounter a new flower. This new flower brings them a new color, a new scent, or some other new sensation that lifts their relationship to new heights. The natural world contains many different flowers and a diverse range of emotions and experiences, which Paul catalogs and explores through his art.