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Comment on the ending of Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence
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High School Teacher
The ending chapters of the novel Sons and Lovers by D H Lawrence.
Reading and literature are very subjective, so make sure you have read the book very closely and researched the background. That way, when you come to comment upon the final chapters you will have your opinions as well as commonly held ones and can back them up with quotes and sources.
It is ironic that just after Paul realises he may have great difficulty marrying while his dearly beloved,but sometimes resented, mother is still alive - he realises that she is going to die from a tumor. This has great pathos, and different readers will take away different things from it. For example, much has been made of the fact that Paul's mother was a control freak who manipulated his life so he could never break free of her influence.
(Speaking personally here for a moment, I never got this from the novel, which I loved. What I saw at the end of the novel was a very contemporary and dangerous dilemma for Paul and his sister - out of deep love for his mother he eases,maybe even hastens her death by administering morphine. There is a very poignant moment where he is preparing some soup for her and wonders if it is right to give her, as it is prolonging a life that will become more painful and sad. Ethically, this is a very tricky area and should not be discussed lightly.)
Many readers who are expecting a happy romantic movie type ending are disappointed by this book, yet some find it realistic, honest and truthful. Paul doesnt fade happily into the sunset with either the emotionally needy and spiritual Miriam or the more physically passionate Clara. He does what a lot of sons would do....gets depressed, maybe even suicidal. Life goes on, as his mother would want it to. Women-wise, he doesn't love either of them enough to be with them full time, or as deeply or as needily as he did his mother's company.
So he just sells up, like people do and gets lodgings of his own in town. Clara does not leave her husband to be with him - indeed he helps her back to her husband. Interestingly, in Lawrrence's own life.... his partner Did leave her husband for him...and her children as well!
Posted by coachingcorner on November 16, 2009 at 11:14 PM (Answer #1)
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