Study Guide

Sons and Lovers Technology and Modernization

By David Herbert (D.H.) Lawrence

Technology and Modernization

Our cold, industrial modern world is rife with technology, from iGadgets to ATMs. But just as some older folks today feel that the technology we love is kind of evil, those people's parents and grandparents felt the same way about their own generations' innovations. It's a cycle, you know? So, in Sons and Lovers, the appearance of modern technology always represents some sort of alienation from a more idyllic past. For Lawrence, technology represents the enslavement of men by industry. And the only way to break outta these chains is to reconnect with nature.

Questions About Technology and Modernization

  1. What is this book's general attitude toward modernization? How has the "new" world done away with the old one, and what are the consequences of this shift?
  2. What does it mean when a fourteen-year-old Paul Morel feels like a "prisoner of industry"? Why does he look to painting as a relief from the industrial world?
  3. Is Paul's desire to live in a little cottage and paint a realistic one? In the end, does Lawrence offer us any sense of escape from regimented workdays?

Chew on This

In Sons and Lovers, Lawrence offers no opinion about whether modernization is good or bad. It's just a (somewhat depressing) fact of life that we all have to come to terms with.

Lawrence believes modernization is a great thing because it provides us with conveniences like trains and motor-cars.