Sons and Lovers
Men and Masculinity Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
"Let me take the rug," said Miriam over-gently.
"I can carry it," he answered, rather injured. But he yielded it to her. (7.13-7.14)
It's not easy for Paul to let Miriam carry something for him. After all, he figures he's supposed to be stronger than Miriam because he's a man. But he's recovering from an illness, so he gets smart and humbles himself here.
She looked at him, startled. This was a new tract of life suddenly opened before her. She realized the life of the miners, hundreds of them toiling below and coming up at evening. He seemed to her noble. He risked his life daily, and with gaiety. She looked at him, with a touch of appeal in her pure humility. (1.103)
When Gertrude first meets Walter Morel, she loves him because she thinks he's really manly—he's a miner who spends all his time underground smashing rocks. Come on. It's understandable that she would find this awesome. But, like many women who fall in love with "manly" young men, Gertrude eventually learns that there's a dark side to this kind of masculinity. Walter Morel turns out to be an abusive alcoholic. And he has no interest in ever talking about his feelings, or apologizing for anything he does.
"I could kill you, I could!" she said. She choked with rage, her two fists uplifted. "Yer non want ter make a wench on 'im," Morel said, in a frightened tone, bending his head to shield his eyes from hers. His attempt at laughter had vanished. (1.173-1.174)
Good ol' Walter decides that he doesn't want his son William looking like a little girl, so one day he cuts all the boy's hair off. Mrs. Morel absolutely loves every little hair on William's head, so when she finds out what happened, she totally loses it. This scene especially helps to show how Mr. Morel tries to work against nature for the sake of making his son seem more like a boy. Chill out, dude.