Discuss the importance of the title Sons and Lovers.

The importance of the title Sons and Lovers lies in its depiction of the almost incestuous relationship that Gertrude Morel has with her sons. Deeply dissatisfied in her loveless marriage, Gertrude diverts the passion that she’d normally expect to have for her husband toward her sons.

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Devotees of psychoanalysis have had a veritable field day with Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence . At the heart of the story is an almost incestuous relationship between Gertrude Morel and her sons, Paul and William. It’s interesting to note that Lawrence originally intended the book to be...

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Devotees of psychoanalysis have had a veritable field day with Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence. At the heart of the story is an almost incestuous relationship between Gertrude Morel and her sons, Paul and William. It’s interesting to note that Lawrence originally intended the book to be entitled Paul Morel, but as he wanted to emphasize the strange, passionate vitality of the mother/son relationship he changed the title to Sons and Lovers.

Although there’s no sense—thank goodness—that any actual laws or social taboos are broken by Gertrude or her sons, there’s no doubt that theirs are more than just conventional mother/son relationships. Trapped in a loveless—and one must suppose, sexless—marriage, Gertrude needs to find an outlet for her passion; and she duly finds it in her sons.

In time-honored Freudian fashion, Paul comes to develop a pronounced Oedipal complex. He doesn’t simply treat Gertrude like a lover rather than a mother, he also resents his drunken, ignorant lout of a father, Walter, seeing him as a deadly rival. When Walter passes away, it’s notable that Paul immediately takes his place as head of the house. He is not so much a son as another husband, albeit a husband who deeply loves his wife/mother.

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