Sons and Lovers
Art and Culture Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
He was quite a clever painter for a boy of his years, and he knew some French and German and mathematics that Mr. Heaton had taught him. But nothing he had was of any commercial value. (5.61)
Paul's really well-versed in the arts, but when it comes to getting a job, all of his cultural knowledge doesn't get him very far. Nothing he knows is of any "commercial value." As people who love literature, we have to say: we've heard this argument before, Shmoopers. Cover your eyeballs—there's some Humanities bashing afoot in this passage.
To console his mother, Paul did not go much to Willey Farm at this time. And in the autumn exhibition of students' work in the Castle he had two studies, a landscape in water-colour and a still life in oil, both of which had first-prize awards. He was highly excited. (8.83)
When he wins his first couple of art prizes, Paul is ecstatic. It's no coincidence that these successes in painting come at the same time that Paul stops visiting Miriam at Willey Farm. We get it, Lawrence, we get it—love really can stand between you and your own accomplishments.
"Name—Paul Morel—First Prize."
It looked so strange, there in public, on the walls of the Castle gallery, where in her lifetime she had seen so many pictures. And she glanced around to see if anyone had noticed her again in front of the same sketch. (8.100-8.101)
At first, Mrs. Morel doesn't quite know how to react to seeing her son's paintings exhibited in a public place. Actually, she doesn't even realize that the paintings she's staring at are her sons' paintings. The fact that she can't find any faults with them as an objective observer tells us that Paul's paintings are probably pretty good.