Sons and Lovers
How we cite our quotes:
[The house] was small, but convenient enough, and quite nicely furnished, with solid, worthy stuff that suited her honest soul. The women, her neighbours, were rather foreign to her, and Morel's mother and sisters were apt to sneer at her ladylike ways. But she could live perfectly well by herself, so long as she had her husband close. (1.107)
When she first moves into her new neighborhood, people think Mrs. Morel is totally stuck up. But she isn't going to change her ways just because nobody likes her. Everything will be fine as long as she has her husband… oh, wait. Walter becomes an abusive alcoholic faster than you can say, "I do." Interestingly enough, Mrs. Morel actually seems to get haughtier whenever the world tries to humble her. Her resulting lack of friends is definitely one reason why she lavishes too much attention on her children—girl doesn't have anything better to do, you know?
Her father, George Coppard, was an engineer—a large handsome, haughty man, proud of his fair skin and blue eyes, but more proud still of his integrity. Gertrude resembled her mother in her small build. But her temper, proud and unyielding, she had from the Coppards. (1.62)
We guess haughtiness is in Mrs. Morel's genes. It goes a long way back in her family, and even though she has no money, she comes from a family that was once rich. Chew on this: money can leave a family much more quickly than pride can.
Moreover, his mother suspected him of an unrecognized leaning towards Clara, and, since the latter was a married woman, she wished he would fall in love with one of the girls in a better station of life. But he was stupid, and would refuse to love or even to admire a girl much, just because she was his social superior. (10.72)
For the first time, the book tells us exactly what Mrs. Morel wishes Paul would do with his love life. She wants him to fall in love with an upper-class woman who will elevate him to a higher social status. Paul, however, has this annoying tendency to fall for farmers' daughters and married women. This desire on Mrs. Morel's part is no doubt connected to her obsession with social class and with acting better than other people.