Please describe the point of view of Sons and Lovers.

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

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The point of view of this excellent text is third person omniscient, as the narrator has a god-like position that allows him to access the thoughts and emotions of all characters and he is not limited to a linear progression of time as he tells the story, zooming back and forth to give the reader important background information on various characters and situations before resuming with his narrative. However, what is interesting about the point of view is the way in which Lawrence initially tries to establish a narrator that is impartial and presents the action of the novel in an objective fashion. Although this is his aim, the narrator occasionally offers his own opinion on what is happening in the novel, offering the reader his views on the matter. Note how he does this in the first section of the novel, that focuses on Mrs. Morel's life, when she considers that her life will be nothing but non-stop drudgery:

Sometimes life takes hold of one, carried the body along, accomplishes one's history, and yet is not real, but leaves oneself as it were slurred over.

This remark represents an intrusion by the narrator, as he steps into the text at this point to offer his own view and opinion on what is happening. Throughout the text, therefore, the point of view is one that is easily recognised as third-person omniscient, but what is of interest is the extent to which the narrator is intrusive. Although an objective stance is mostly maintained, there are instances where the narrator will step in to offer his own opinion.

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