In in the way of her sons’

In “Sons and Lovers” by D. H. Lawrence that the predominant type of love is the motherly love. Mrs. Morel is the mother of four children, William, Annie, Paul and Arthur. She projects her dissatisfaction with her marriage onto her suffocating love for her sons. And she’s always standing in the way of her sons’ love lives. Lawrence adds a twist to the Oedipus complex: Mrs. Morel desires both William and Paul in near-romantic ways, and she despises all their girlfriends. She neither liked Lily, William’s fiancĂ©, nor Miriam, the friend of Paul. With respect to Paul, one may actually believe that she sees him as a suitor. She talks in a “curious tone, of a woman accepting a love-token” when he gives her a bottle of perfume and she also feels jealousy towards Miriam who “leaves her no room” in the soul of her son. In the book, Lawrence focuses mainly on the relationship between the eldest son, William and the mother, then on the relationship between Paul and the mother, both of them showing the highest feelings towards their mother, the powerful bond and the dependence relationship that they have with their mother, often taken to extremes. The difference between the two siblings is that the eldest, after taking a job in London, and meeting a girl that will eventually became his fiancĂ©, he puts aside the love for her mother, moving on to the next love in his life like any other man, trying to break free from the oedipal attachment to his mother. But Paul never actually becomes a grown up in this respect. He always puts his mother first, above any other woman; he feels bound to her, and cannot imagine ever abandoning her or even marrying anyone else. The Oedipus complex is definitely present with this character; Paul adores his mother and hates his father with all his soul. Paul cannot love any woman nearly as much as he does his mother, though he does not always realize that this is an impediment to his romantic life. Mrs. Morel is everything to him, in the sense that she is his best friend, the controller of his life, the only true love. He imagines himself buying a beautiful house and taking her there to live together. In the second half of the book, the life and decisions of Paul are the main focus. His uncertain, childish type of love for Miriam is present till the final pages of the book. Towards her he is misogynistic, immature; he has to repress any romantic feelings that he might have for her, so that she will not replace his mother. He never allows himself to truly love her and he always chooses Mrs. Morel, which is an obvious evidence of the Oedipus complex. Paul does not give himself wholly to her. He can give to her only half to himself, because the other half to him belongs to his mother. Although he knows that she loves him deeply and sincerely and that she is his soul mate, he keeps pretending that they are only friends. Every touch of her annoys, irritates him, he doesn’t want her but he needs her. He oscillates between love and hatred for all the women in his life. He definitely doesn’t know what he wants, he doesn’t understand how love works and how relationships should be. By rejecting Miriam, he feels he is faithful to his mother. In his mind he believes that getting romantically involved with a woman is a betrayal towards her. Later in his life appears Clara Dawes, a married woman separated from her husband, a few years older than he, and who makes him discover the physical type of love. He is fascinated by her, but he knows this is the only type of love that he can get from her. His desire for the sensual Clara is not a threat to Paul’s oedipal fixation to his mother. There is no danger of her taking his mother’s place. He cannot take responsibility; he constantly sees his life according to the relationship with his mother.