Homework Help

What are the best themes to use when comparing the novels "The Go Between" by L.P...

user profile pic

lindsay-beard... | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 12, 2010 at 1:11 AM via web

dislike 2 like
What are the best themes to use when comparing the novels "The Go Between" by L.P HARTLEY and "Sons and Lovers" by D.H. LAWRENCE???

i really need to know the best way to approach comparing these to novels as it for my A2 english coursework.

2 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted October 26, 2010 at 1:46 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

Some themes worth considering for 'The Go Between' and 'Sons and Lovers' might include exploitation, dependency, duty, responsibility, selfishness and the true nature of love. In one novel, a child is used by adults, flattered and used purely for his services as a go between. In the other, the 'exploitation' can be more deeply questioned - after all families depend on each for support. In this case, a boy and his mother appear to sustain each other through the trauma of dealing with an uneducated, ignorant and violent father - who is also helpless and needy in his own way. Yet you might want to look at the balance here - is it unfair? Does the mother lean too heavily on the child and overly influence his freedom of choice? Or is the support mutual and equal? Interesting questions!

user profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 26, 2010 at 4:39 PM (Answer #3)

dislike 0 like

I think #2 has got it right in terms of focussing on the relationships between adults and children in both works. The role of female figures in both and their impact on the male protagonists is a highly interesting question that would warrant closer analysis. There is a clear case of infatuation in one and potential incestuous feelings (though this is highly debatable) in the other. In both, however, you will want to focus on how adults exploit or manipulate the children for their own benefits - whether consciously or unconsciously.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes