Comment on the Theme of Love and Marriage in Sons and Lovers

Question: Comment on the Theme of Love and Marriage in Sons and Lovers.


Though the basic theme of the novel “Sons and Lovers” by D. H. Lawrence (1885 – 1930) is love and marriage. But the characters of the novel are not able to establish a harmonious relationship among themselves. The novel revolves around members of the Morel family. Beginning with the first marriage of coal miner Walter and his wife Gertrude, the novel follows the family when the couple has four children. As the title suggests, the novel is particularly interested in the family’s two eldest sons, William and Paul, and their relationship with both their parents and their beloveds. The novel explores the emotional bonds that bind Morels to each other and to others in both obvious and unexpected ways.

Bitter frustration and acute dissatisfaction

In this novel, the novelist has shown that bitter frustration and acute dissatisfaction result from the bitter experience of love and marriage. The novel opens with a picture of Morel’s marriage. Gertrude Morel marries Walter Morel after being attracted with his good humor, sweet voice, and gentle manner. But after marriage, Mrs. Morel sees that her husband is a drunkard and irresponsible man. She tries to rectify her husband but she cannot rectify him. because of such experience about love and marriage, Gertrude Morel feels exhausted and makes her sons to her husband’s substitute.

The way of fulfillment of love

The novelist asserts that without a physical relationship love cannot be fulfilled. To establish a good relationship between the lovers, intercourse is a must. The relationship between Paul and Miriam may be the best example of this. If Miriam does not become stubborn to preserve her virginity, their relationship may be the best one but unfortunately, it becomes a failure.

“All the life of Miriam’s body was in her eyes, which were usually dark as a church”

Although Miriam is responsible for the sexual rigidness, Paul is also responsible for his deep attachment with his mother.

Producing illicit love affair

Being utterly dissatisfied with Miriam, Paul for physical pleasure turns to Clara who is a married woman. Clara is attractive and sexy and she always tries to attract Paul. Paul finds his satisfaction with Clara and enjoys sexual pleasure. Thus, Lawrence tries to scatter the message that frustration and dissatisfaction in love produce illicit love affairs.

Polarization of the lovers

According to Lawrence, happiness can be achieved through the polarization of the lovers who come in contact with each other. Domination and possessiveness should be shed off to create a better and sweet relationship. In order to establish a successful relationship, the lovers should respect each other’s choices. The identity of a partner would be lost if he or she is over dominated by his or her other partner. This may result in the poisoning of the mutual relationship and it becomes difficult to save such a relationship from total destruction.


From the light of the above discussion, it can be said that love and marriage are interconnected with each other. The marriage cannot be fruitful if there is no balanced love. The results of Mrs. Morel and Paul’s relationship are significant; Paul’s attempts at a relationship first with Miriam and then with Clara fail miserably and he wonders thinking that he will never break his mother’s soul because his bond with his mother is so strong that he is unable to love another woman as much as he loves his mother which is a fact that affects his entire life, and thus, Paul becomes an unusual character.

SR Sarker
SR Sarker
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