Thursday, March 22, 2012

'Sons and Lovers': Techniques, Motifs and Themes

Compare how the writer uses narrative techniques in “Sons and Lovers” to express various themes and motifs in the novel.
Within the “Sons and Lovers” novel, D.H Lawrence eloquently utilizes a wide range of narrative techniques as a means of presenting the major themes and motifs omnipresent. He advances the central topics of his Bildungsroman through the intentional usage of narrative techniques such as point of view, symbolism, foreshadowing, characterization and flashback to structure his work and provide some form of intrigue to his readers.
D.H Lawrence’s style is known to be one in which he must develop the protagonist to be of an astute disposition in which he searches for some sort of meaningful connection in life. This is based entirely on the aspect of Romanticism as the individual, namely, in this case, Paul does not want simply a superficial social world but seeks for an identity, personal fulfillment if you must. The quest for identity and personal fulfillment is one of the many themes explored within Sons and Lovers. This particular theme, however, is developed through point of view.
Point of view in Sons and Lovers entails mainly a third-person omniscient point of view, as the readers gain a means of accessing the characters inner-most thoughts and gaining insight as to their perspective on certain issues as witnessed when Paul feels threatened to go to his job interview because he feels he will be tied to the restraints of capitalism and industrialization.
Furthermore, Lawrence brings across the themes of bondage. He devises his plot in such a way as to emphasize both a social and romantic bondage betwixt the characters and society. Foreshadowing is a major element of the thematic discussion on romantic bondage as the readers suspect that due to William’s failed relationship and death that Paul will have a similar outcome. William felt like he had an obligation to wed Louisa although he kept on having second-thoughts on her character. Similarly, Paul went through this phase with Miriam. He felt as if she wanted the whole of him, to put him in her pocket and suck his soul dry.
An integral theme of Sons and Lovers was the natural environment. His description and language often played a huge role in signaling sexual energy and derelict. Complementing this theme was the literary technique of pathetic fallacy. These flowers and scenery were give human-like emotions which reflected exactly what the character was feeling at the moment.
The Oedipus complex which was one of the crucial themes prevalent throughout the novel was particularly evident through the form of dialogue. As Paul talks more to his mother and the readers witness his stream of consciousness one begins to notice the unual lustful and romantic feelings he has for his mother. This fact is compounded by his resentment and hatred of his father.
Therefore, D.H Lawrence strategizes his plot and character development in such a way as to advance the thematic elements he wishes to presume within the novel. He cleverly engages the reader through the use of these literary techniques to recognize the motifs and themes being portrayed and an element of imagery is created in the same token.


  1. Very helpful for my English coursework. Thanks!

  2. Jim Morrison's favourite line..nice