Sons and Lovers Questions
Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
- In your opinion, does Paul have a healthy relationship with his mother? If you were Paul's friend, how would you advise him about changing this relationship?
- For a while, it looks like William Morel is going to be our main character. Then Lawrence just ditches him and throws Paul into the book to take his place. What do you think William Morel's main purpose was in this story? Why did Lawrence pull this bait-and-switch on us?
- Why does Mrs. Morel disapprove of Paul's relationship with Miriam? Do you think her objections to Miriam are valid, or do they mostly stem from jealousy? Use specific examples from the text to support your answers.
- How does Lawrence's writing style affect your reading of the book? When does he tend to write in a straightforward manner? How about a poetic and emo manner? What is the significance of these shifts in writing style?
- Do you have any sympathy for Walter Morel (the father character)? Does the text seem to want you to have any sympathy for him?
- Why does Paul come to value his relationship with Baxter Dawes? What does the relationship mean to Baxter?
- Why does Lawrence try to capture the Nottinghamshire accent when he's writing dialogue for Walter Morel? Is it annoying for you as a reader, or do you find it an effective strategy for rooting you in the environment of Lawrence's homeland?
- In your opinion, should Paul settle down with Clara, Miriam, or neither? Use examples from the text to support your claim.
- Why is Lawrence so intense when he writes about nature? If nature were a character in this book, what kind of character would it be? How does Lawrence want us to think about nature?
- In your opinion, is Paul going to end up a boozer just like his father? Why or why not? How will his life be different from Walter's? How will it be the same?
- Why does Lawrence write this book from a third-person omniscient perspective, rather than a first-person perspective (through the eyes of Paul Morel) or third-person limited perspective (filtered through Paul's worldview)? What do we gain by having direct access to all of the characters' thoughts and motives? What might we lose?
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