Have you ever wondered why a novelist wrote a specific book? I often do. Sometimes it is good to delve deep into the historical events that support the time period of which a piece was written. Well, I did a little diving and this is my take on the novel Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence.
As the world gave way to industrialism in the early twentieth century, there was a falling away from religion in British society. The pursuit of a secular or materialistic mindset and lifestyle soon gave way to a sense of false hope and desperation. Social issues such as “the income gap, poor working conditions, the collapse of Christian morals, and environmental pollution” played a significant part in the attitudes of the public (Wu). D. H. Lawrence spends a great deal of effort trying to expose the destructive influence that industrialization had on “human relations” and their “spiritual well-being” (Wu). We especially see this in Why the Novel Matters when Lawrence says “Men get ideas into their heads, of what they mean by Life, and they proceed to cut life out to pattern. Sometimes they go into the desert to seek God, sometimes they go into the desert to seek cash, sometimes it is wine, woman, and song, and again it is water, political reform, and votes” (Lawrence, Why the Novel Matters).
In the novel Sons and Lovers, Lawrence tells a story that reflects the deterioration of the family unit brought on by industry—coal mining to be exact. It starts out with a young woman, Gertrude, who becomes enamored by a young coal miner named Walter. The two marry and have four children. Life is not as easy as Gertrude had thought it would be and the family struggles to survive as Walter spends the majority of his time underground in the mines and the pubs drinking. This shows the deterioration of the spirit—the seeking of things other than God. The greed of industry threatens the well-being of the people who feed it—the workers. Continue reading “Looking into the society of “Sons and Lovers”; a novel by D. H. Lawrence”