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Sons and Lovers

Sons and Lovers

by David Herbert (D.H.) Lawrence

Technology and Modernization Quotes Page 1

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Then, some sixty years ago, a sudden change took place. The gin-pits were elbowed aside by the large mines of the financiers. The coal and iron field of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire was discovered. (1.2)

From the very first page of this book, Lawrence puts modernization in the spotlight. See, smaller mines used to operate in the Morels' neighborhood, but that doesn't mean that working in those mines was any more fun than working in modern ones. If anything, Lawrence's tone feels a bit disinterested here. Why do you think that is?

Quote #2

To accommodate the regiments of miners, Carston, Waite and Co. built the Squares, great quadrangles of dwellings on the hillside of Bestwood, and then, in the brook valley, on the site of Hell Row, they erected the Bottoms. (1.5)

In the early 20th century, mining companies constructed entire cities so that their miners would be able to live close to work. Each neighborhood had a specific company backing it, and this connection between companies and housing demonstrated the slave-like level of control that companies could have over their workers. Scary stuff.

Quote #3

Paul looked at the picture of a wooden leg, adorned with elastic stockings and other appliances, that figured on Mr. Jordan's notepaper, and he felt alarmed. He had not known that elastic stockings existed. And he seemed to feel the business world, with its regulated system of values, and its impersonality, and he dreaded it. (5.85)

The fact that Paul's introduction to wage labor comes through a picture of an artificial leg shows us how unnatural modern industry is. As the narrator says, the leg represents how the 9-5 grind mutilates people's humanity. That's why Shmoop recommends you become a private detective instead.

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