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The Influence of Unidentified Characters in Sons and Lovers

Dissertation explaining a reason for sons and Lovers remaining so long on the syllabuses of so many academic boards

Enter the text of your essay here.








Stanley T. Hedges
Sowley Green Cottage, Gt. Thurlow, Suffolk. CB9 7JR


The primary argument stems from a hypothesis that the continued inclusion of D. H. Lawrence?s Sons and Lovers in the English canon, and thereby in the syllabuses of so many schools, colleges and universities today, is due mainly to Alfred Kuttner?s observations in 1915, whereby he first pointed out the parallel to be drawn between this novel and the relatively new and contemporary Oedipal psychological theories of Sigmund Freud. The hypothesis arose from a personal inquiry, the writer?s investigation into his changing responses to the novel over a number of readings separated by many years.
Three important questions are raised and discussed. First, as Freud?s theories were still controversial at the time of publication, why did Lawrence and his publishers ignore the opportunity to exploit this? Second, the tone and register of the novel provokes the question of the intended audience or readership. Who is the target reader; the working-class general reader, or the middle-class educated, intellectual reader? Lastly, whichever class of reader Lawrence had in mind, it is the writer?s belief that the novel?s initial reception among male general readers was not such as to guarantee the work?s status today. What is the explanation?
A detailed argument is presented in Part One. In Part Two, as an apologia, the background to the writer?s early negative impressions and responses are outlined briefly. In Part Three appears a selection of contemporary and later criticism from the corpus of accepted literary critics. Part Four compares the early adverse readings of the writer against his current knowledge and beliefs, and Part Five summarises and formulates conclusions.

Abstract i

Contents ii

Part One The Argument 1 - 7

Part Two Reading Sons and Lovers in 1958 8 - 15

Part Three Selections from Corpus of Literary Criticism 16 - 22

Part Four A ?Dual? Analysis 23 - 29

Part Five Conclusion 30 - 35

Appendices ?A? Letter from Dr Michael Black
?B? John Worthen, Biography of D. H. Lawrence



The Argument
Immediately one hears the question: ?What unidentified characters? Surely there are no unidentified characters of any importance in Sons and Lovers?? One hastens to reply, ?Of course not.? Manifestly, if Lawrence achieves nothing else, the informed reader will not deny that each of the main characters certainly acquires a definite, positive identity in the sense of being 'rounded' or 'fleshed out'. But even the manner in which one leaps to re-assure the reader of this becomes part of the argument that follows. It is a defensive act. But if one has read Sons and Lovers several times and can admit to not enjoying it the first time is this a reason to be defensive? Yes, because one is acutely aware that after eighty-six years of more or less continued popularity, this novel still ranks high on the required-reading list of many schools, colleges and universities, and I once numbered it among my most boring books.
My initial response was based on the 1913 edition, now sometimes referred to as ?the Garnett edition?. However, having re-read this same edition several times over many years, my admiration for the work gradually increased until, now, I agree with most critics that Sons and Lovers merits its place as a minor masterpiece. Over successive readings, I came to realise that Lawrence was an artist with astonishing psychological acuity.
Curious to investigate why my opinion altered dramatically over time, I recently recalled the young man who first read it. It was 1958; I was twenty-three, newly married and still childless. Now I am a sixty-four year old grandfather, twice married, and the father of four children ?three daughters surviving, and a son who died suddenly in his twenties.
That which follows is the result of this personal enquiry and, as such, will be of little interest to those outside the field of literary criticism. There it may possess a certain curiosity value for those interested in reader-response theories and the history of perception, though it is offered without pretence to any thorough knowledge of critical theory.

First, taking account of the early life conditioning the state of my ethics in 1958, I concluded that my reasons for disliking the novel initially had been sound enough. Surely, I asked myself, if my response had integrity, was honest, reflecting my beliefs at the time ?and no matter how meagre? it must hold some literary value? But are literary responses valid simply because they are honest?
Whether or not, notwithstanding any improved skill in literary appreciation, the consequent exercise in comparative reader response had demonstrated the effect of a lifetime's experience and acquired responses, and that had a value. May I remind the reader here that, according to M. H. Abrams, Wolfgang Iser distinguishes
between the "implied reader," who is established by the text itself as one who will respond in specific ways to the "response-inviting structures" of the text, and the "actual reader," whose responses are inevitably colored [sic] by his or her accumulated private experiences (Abrams, 1993, p.269).
I take this to mean that an infinite number of interpretations can be applied to any text. Yet if a response is to be valid, then a reading (or perhaps mis-reading?) of many years ago must be justifiable not only to oneself, but also to others. This raises another important question.
If agreed, one must accept the corollary that, following the initial reading, all successive readings differ in relation to the amount, quality, and psychological effect of the individual?s subsequent experience. Now this begs the question of whether the acquisition of experience invalidates all earlier impressions, condemns all previous personal readings to the status of mis-readings. Astute readers will grasp the implications immediately, it is tantamount to asserting that all literary criticism becomes invalid in due course, owing to the cumulative effect of experience ?even upon the professional critic. And this would be absurd. Or would it?
According to Rick Rylance,
one major change in criticism since Leavis has been an eagerness to see such issues in historical rather than individual or moral contexts? (Rylance, 1996, p.2).

In one sense this might be said to relate to part of what is attempted here, i.e. to remember as much as possible about reactions to a first reading, then, taking account of the ?historical context?, validate them.
The first complication arises when I remember that in a recent interview with Dr. Michael Black, author of Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, (1992), he made the following comment: ?To be honest is not necessarily to be right.? And later, in a letter to me, (included as appendix ?A?), he asserts that ?[A]ll readings are personal; they are not equally ?valid? (unless ?valid? has no meaning).? This I find difficult to refute.
Nevertheless, if one asks another question, why did Lawrence write this book, the question raised simultaneously is for whom was it written? Writers are advised to keep a target audience in mind. Who were the imaginary readers to whom Lawrence hoped to communicate the embedded implications of his sub-text? And so, as the parts played by the ?unidentified characters? of Freud and Oedipus also troubled me, these questions become integral to my hypothesis.
In approaching this novel, a variety of readings are justified, (Rick Rylance points out that one thinks of Gender Studies, the Bild?ngsroman, the K?nstlerroman [Rylance, 1996, pp.2-3], though one might also add the Industrial novel, Psychological, Autobiographical, Town and Country, and so on), but of all readings, the Freudian remains the most prevalent. Therefore it seems reasonable to ask if this could be the major factor contributing to the novel?s continued support among the academic establishment. If the book?s ?response-inviting structures? can be seen to have ?failed? in the academic sense ? that is, ?mis-read?? by the semi-educated working class male, (I stress male, for it would be presumptuous of me to imagine being capable of giving the text any other interpretation), and if the author is concerned to express a felt need to communicate the state of his moral beliefs for the benefit of others, is not the ?failure? partly his responsibility?
More and more I began to feel that this could be so. One might go so far as to say that without academic support ?or, more specifically, without the Oedipus element in the novel? the unthinkable was possible: negative sales returns might have consigned this masterpiece to the ?out of print? category long ago. It might not have survived if left to the general male reader of the early part of this century; that is, readers like my younger self.
With no knowledge of Freud?s psycho-sexual theories, na?ve male readers of 1913 (or for that matter, 1958) might have found artistic portraits of ordinary domestic affairs and familiar sensations ?Paul?s and Miriam?s sexual frustration, for instance? rather uncompelling. Instead of reading the book as an exposition on the consequences of sexual repression, a plea for new understanding between men and women in their physical relationships, these readers might easily feel the novel comprises nothing more than the effusions of a romantic sentimentalist. In other words, at best, this type of reader might think it a pleasant enough story but little else.

Like all great novels, Sons and Lovers faithfully reproduces the human condition, an accepted essential ingredient of fiction since the time of Aristotle; and, of course, it is the style and manner in which this is achieved that distinguishes the great novelist from the mediocre. But is Sons and Lovers realistic because Lawrence, so to speak, ?spells it out? for us? Some will argue that he does, and he may well do, but I would contend that it is no longer possible for the modern informed reader (perhaps of either sex) to make this assertion comfortably because we live in an age where there is widespread understanding of Freud?s Oedipus theories. One with this knowledge, I would submit, might find it impossible to escape a Freudian reading. The reader may justifiably ask why this should interfere with the modern reader?s ability to judge a narrative as realistic. My contention is that any knowledge of Freud?s Oedipus Complex inevitably interferes with reader-response processes at a sub-conscious level in ways which an uninitiated reader of 1913 would not have been subjected ?one like myself as late as 1958.
And so, after discovering later that Duckworths made no attempt to capitalise on the parallels between Lawrence?s manuscript and Freud?s psychosexual theories (still controversial at date of publication ?especially the Oedipus complex), one began to ask why. Publishers are notorious for recognising potential opportunities in gaining free publicity. There are those who actually exploit topicality. So why did Duckworths not capitalise on this controversial contemporary issue? Had they simply not made the connection? Here, my interest grew.
I then discovered that on publication Sons and Lovers did not receive unqualified, universal acclaim from the major critics. In view of the novel?s reputation among academics, I found this surprising. As will be seen from examples given in the third part of this essay, the critics were favourable without being over-generous, or fulsome. All appeared to have reservations, and none spoke of it as great fiction, much less a masterpiece. Growing curiosity then led to the discovery that William Heinemann, Lawrence?s existing publisher, originally rejected the work. Now Heinemann had already published Lawrence?s first two novels, The White Peacock and The Trespasser, yet saw fit to reject Sons and Lovers partly on grounds of lack of unity, which some would describe as literary incompetence. A damning indictment from so knowledgeable a person as Heinemann; publishers dealing with their young, aspiring authors are not likely to make critical observations of this nature without considerable forethought and deliberate intent. Yet upon reading the ?final? draft of Paul Morel in June 1912, (i.e., before Lawrence's later revisions and consultations with Frieda Weekley, and the subsequent change of title), among other adverse comments in his letter of acknowledgement dated 1st July, Heinemann writes:
?I have read Paul Morel with a good deal of interest and, frankly, with a good deal of disappointment [?]
I feel that the book is unsatisfactory from several points of view; not only because it lacks unity, without which the reader?s interest cannot be held?? (Lawrence, 1994, p.444. [My italics]).
It seems clear from this that anyone less erudite than he would be almost certain to reject the book. In other words, the mass of ordinary readers, not simply male.
If accepted, disregarding any assumption that Lawrence did not direct himself to such an audience, what would he, the ordinary male reader of 1913, have made of it? Would he find the characters 'rounded' because Lawrence provides all the information and architecture necessary? Or is the modern (informed) reader not in a position of advantage in being able to complete the process through inference, imagination, and speculation based on elementary knowledge of psychology? In order to discover if Lawrence intended his reader to participate through the imaginative use of experience, one needs to subject the text to this other reading, one which assumes no knowledge of Freud or his theories.
If the reader can imagine a mind ignorant of Freud?s theories, do the characters remain rounded? Does one relate to them? Do they engage our sympathy? Does the story have a beginning, a middle and an end? Does it satisfy the expectations of the na?ve mass of general readers buying and borrowing books in post-Edwardian England? Does unity permeate the whole in Heinemann?s sense? In other words, does the novel still succeed? This essay hopes to show that these questions should at least be considered in the modern debate.
However, as my first reading of Sons and Lovers was conditioned by early life and influences, I am unable to substantiate my hypothesis unless I first acquaint the reader through a brief outline of the determinants.

Reading Sons and Lovers in 1958

Born into a very poor family within a mile of the Royal Group of Docks in London?s East End five years before World War II, and after being deserted by our unemployed dissolute father in 1940, I was the youngest of three sons raised single-handedly by a courageous but poorly educated mother. Between 1940 and 1944, three of our meagre homes were destroyed by bombing. On these occasions, Mother enjoyed emergency relief for short periods, but with no state benefit system for women in her situation, at other times she lived by her wits, mostly as a singer/barmaid. Being handsome, she naturally attracted admirers. As much from economic necessity as from a natural predilection to feel ?loved?, she took advantage of her looks. Some admirers were kind, some violent, some drunken, some drunken and violent. None of her relationships ever bore the remotest trace of spiritual or romantic love. At times her struggle seemed impossible, always on the verge of putting her sons into voluntary care. But Mother survived and somehow succeeded in holding us together as a family.
A prime target, London?s docks sustained heavy bombing almost throughout the war. However, in consequence of severe plane losses, after 1940 the L?ftwaffe resorted to night-raids almost exclusively, with consequent increased inaccuracy. The area where we lived suffered badly, whole streets destroyed in a single raid, with schools frequently closed for emergency repair. Always irregular, for several months education ceased altogether during 1944, when the V1 and V2 rockets began falling on London indiscriminately, destroying hundreds of square metres at a single strike.
Nevertheless, with Germany defeated in May 1945, I sat the ?Scholarship? in June and found myself selected for the local grammar school which, under the Education Act of 1944, was now free to those accepted.
Unfortunately, continued poverty meant my giving up this privilege when, at Mother?s request, I left school at the legal age of fifteen, a year before School Certificate examinations were taken. And so, in 1949, without qualifications of any kind, I became office-boy to a firm of tea brokers in the City of London. A year later, craving adventure, I left to join the Merchant Marine.
During a period of shore leave in 1952, I met the girl who was later to become my wife. Consumed with infatuation, I abandoned the sea. On leaving the Merchant Marine, I became eligible for National Service and, in June that year began three years? service in the army. After secretarial training, I then spent two years as secretary to the commandant of an officer cadet training establishment in Aldershot.
Here I was able to get home most weekends to see my fianc?, but ?unremarkably for the times? our physical relationship remained virginal until we married a few months after my leaving the army. With immense numbers of bombed houses still derelict, accommodation was desperately short and couples without children were not eligible to join council housing lists. ( Even then, families waited several years for ?a place with the council?). We took rooms with my grandmother and began saving for a house of our own. Having little money to spare, I naturally made full use of the local library. Fortunately, the charming, though seemingly austere, lady librarian (whom I later discovered had once been a ?New Woman?) took an interest in guiding me towards the English canon, still then dominated by Romantic and Victorian writers like Scott, Wordsworth, Dickens, Thackery, Tennyson Hardy, et al.. One day my lady mentor urged me to read Sons and Lovers. In her words, I was ?mature enough?. In truth, I was simply a general reader with little more than average intelligence.
Knowing little of Freud, only that he was connected with psychology ?a subject of which I knew nothing? I had no pre-formed ideas about the book. Of Sophocles or Oedipus I knew even less, only names among numberless hosts of individually unidentifiable Greeks. (Ben Jonson might fairly have said I had 'scant Freud and less Sophocles'). However, when reading Sons and Lovers for the first time, I can ?with due modesty? say that, at that time, I was probably better read than most of my family and friends. Yet still I remember making a positive effort to complete that reading ?notwithstanding a recognition that Paul Morel's background shared certain cultural parallels with my own. For where were the great heroes and heroines? Where were the great quests? What trials or dangers threatened the futures of these characters?
The first part was chillingly familiar, though far less culturally or spiritually barren than my own experience of impoverished home life. (Today, of course, one would regard such a concrete response as a tribute to the author; i.e., his brilliant depiction of realism ?taken further than ever before). However, the novel began to seem pointless; a negative tale set around ordinary working-class lives lived in fairly ordinary fashion; lives as dull, colourless and unfulfilled as my own. Sadly, Lawrence seemed to offer no hope to other intelligent, working-class people. Thus, it filled me with ennui, forcing a struggle to prevent his apparently inconsequential and unlovable characters deterring me from the importance of adding another of my mentor?s recommended books to the list.
Also, when I considered how I too had been a bright boy with artistic leanings from a working-class background ?though, as can be seen, raised in even poorer conditions than he and, moreover, witness to greater upheaval, drunkenness and violence, as well as suffering physical abuse by way of beatings? I remember feeling little sympathy for Paul Morel. For my part, he was fortunate in having parents who remained married; and, moreover, hard-working, respectable, intelligent parents. To a man who spent his boyhood craving a father to brag about (like the other boys) this was hard to understand, and irritated me.
Apart from these personal considerations, the ?classics? had led me to expect a growing degree of suspense from a novel, followed by a climactic denouement. Here there was none. At the end, everything just peters out, no plot worth recording. Wanting no further painful reminders, by the end of part one I had lost interest in poetic descriptions of all that I wished to forget about my own poverty-stricken, sexually-frustrated adolescence. Here, it may help the reader to remember that even the word 'sex' was taboo throughout my youth, while the subject itself was unmentionable in respectable mixed company ?even between a good many husbands and wives. As an example, grandmothers and aunts were always at pains to remind my brothers and me habitually that ?despite our parents? we came from a ?decent?, ?respectable? working-class family. And so, for all my apparent experience of life?the merchant marine, the army? I had gained little positive experience or understanding of sexuality and its associated emotions before marrying.
And so I must confess to feeling somewhat betrayed and annoyed to find that, all those years before me, Paul Morel had had his way with Clara, a woman to whom he was not married. Not only that, but he?d gone on to 'spoil' the innocent girl whose love and adulation remained faithful throughout his exasperating tantrums, self-adulation, and priggishness. It should be remembered that before the ?swinging sixties? respectable girls followed virtual vows of chastity imposed upon them by parents and family. They were under no illusion: sexual intercourse before marriage was inexcusable. Fear of unwanted pregnancies was very real; girls in that situation did not expect sympathy from parents. Unless marriage was arranged immediately, the girl often left home in disgrace. Therefore, if her partner proved tractable, a 'nice' girl preferred to reach the altar virgo intacta. It was thus hard to understand why Paul Morel, raised by the same standards, found this 'admirable' quality in Miriam so annoying. Why blame her for his physical and emotional frustration? What had it to do with her? A 'good' girl could not behave otherwise than she did during the period of the story, and decent boys knew this perfectly well. Yet still this Paul Morel showed no gratitude for his early sexual enlightenment, taken not only without subscription to society?s expectations, but gained without making a personal commitment of any kind. Moreover, at the end of the story he is free to wander the far horizons. A very poor example to other young men, I thought. No, the aunts and grandmothers of my generation still called such men 'bounders' and 'cads'.
Not surprisingly, therefore, along with these other finer feelings, I experienced another strong reaction. Unlike the classic writers of the nineteenth-century, the author took no pains to avoid sexuality; sexual activity being implied if not described explicitly. Though no more prudish than others of my generation I found this rather shocking. No, a 'decent chap' could not recommend this book to the females of his acquaintance. Naturally, they?d be offended. And this leads naturally to considering the literary expectations of the general reader of 1913; or, for that matter, 1958.
Perhaps the book was too innovative for most readers, readers accustomed to the strict proprieties and plot complexities of nineteenth-century novels. (For it could be argued that Sons and Lovers is rather thin in areas of action, dialogue, and plot). Nor does it have a ?tidy ending?, as readers steeped in earlier fiction had come to expect. Here we have a ?modern? ending, an early example of ?Modernism?, a tale unresolved by the teller, a denouement which mimics life itself, the future unknown. Seen in that tradition, the novel may have lacked unity for readers of the time unaccustomed to this type of ending, feeling dissatisfied that, in this way, the story is left ?unfinished?.
Being familiar with the conventions, Lawrence certainly knew precisely what readers expected. His story starts conventionally enough: an omniscient narrator sketches in the history of Bestwood, providing good spatial descriptions of setting and background, followed by gradual filling-out and establishment of the Morel family. In other words, all the essential detail anticipated by the general reader of the time. Nothing radical here, nothing extraordinary, no ?gaps? for the reader to fill. All that comes later. But later, I suggest, the reader either recognises and locks into the underlying psychological tensions building within the various relationships, or becomes more and more disinterested. Undoubtedly, (as I did myself in 1958), the sensitive mind would still appreciate the finest sections of lyrical prose ?those passages which might qualify as prose poems in themselves. One thinks, for example, of the episode when, soon after Paul is born, Gertrude, still maddened by Walter?s coarse manner in front of Mr Heaton, takes the baby in her arms for a self-consoling walk in the early evening:
She went over the sheep-bridge and across a corner of the meadow to the cricket ground. The meadows seemed one space of ripe, evening light, whispering with the distant mill race. She sat on a seat under the alders? and fronted the evening. Before her, level and solid, spread the big green cricket-field, like the bed of a sea of light. Children played in the bluish shade of the pavilion. Many rooks, high up, came cawing home across the softly woven sky. They stooped in a long curve down into the golden glow, concentrating, cawing, wheeling like black flakes on a slow vortex, over a tree clump that made a dark boss among the pasture (Lawrence, 1994, p.37).

But, beautiful as they are, by themselves such passages cannot sustain readers? interest throughout a novel; for that, they look for action and incident, dilemmas, ironies, suspense, all portrayed through the forward movement of human affairs and endeavour. Apart from this, most readers are conditioned to seek re-assurance that love is a blessed state ?devoutly to be wished?, not part of general human suffering where love and hatred become enigmatic conditions, always in flux, never pure and singular but co-existing, for so seldom is either condition mentioned without relation to the other. (Indeed, so obsessed is Lawrence by this concept that he carries it over into his next book, The Rainbow). And the na?ve reader of 1913 or 1958 would not be alone in finding this repetitive motif invasive and monotonous. After making a similar connection, Lascelles Abercrombie (writing in ?The Manchester Guardian?, 2 July 1913), observed,
The constant juxtaposition of love and hatred looks like an obsession; and, like all obsessions, soon becomes tiresome?. ?Odi et amo? does marvellous well in an epigram; in a novel of four hundred odd pages it is a bore (Lawrence, 1994, p. 447).

I wish here to move briefly to the Oedipal dimension. In his essay on ?Lawrence and His Critics? contained in the primary text used here, the editor, MacDonald Daly, tells us that
[t]he second half of Abercrombie?s review, however, as if precisely to embody the contrary passions which it identifies, praises Lawrence?s novel highly. It is one of the most intellectually poised of the early responses, and, in its recognition of the ?well-known psychological fact? [of this love/hate relationship] which the novel dramatises, it anticipated much later criticism (p.447).
I believe MacDonald Daly is referring to the Freudian connection first observed by Alfred Booth Kuttner, for he writes later that ?Kuttner was the first critic to relate Sons and Lovers to a body of theoretical knowledge, in a review of the novel in the New Republic of April 1915? (p.450).
However, recognising that any hypotheses can only be substantiated through the text itself , the fourth part of this dissertation will concentrate exclusively on the analysis of selected passages; selections which it is felt the semi-literate general reader of 1913 ? 1958 might have found difficulty interpreting in agreement with established criticism. And so, the attempt will be made to illustrate this by way of a ?dual? reading: comparing past with present impressions. It is hoped by this to justify ?or at least explain? the response of the ?na?ve? reader ?myself in 1958? even when compared with the more enlightened response of the same reader forty years later.
But before then, in order to place those commentaries in perspective, it will be appropriate to remind ourselves of a few of the important observations already contained in the established corpus of literary criticism.
Selections from the Corpus of
Established Literary Criticism

Seen from the end of the century he did so much to unsettle,
D. H. Lawrence does not add up. He gives to the sexual act a
weight it will not bear?. In his fiction and poetry too,
he allowed himself to produce a great deal of bad work. ?Few
celebrated writers,? Noel Annan has said, ?even Wordsworth,
have ever written worse? (Maddox, 1994, p.1).

Not even the fiercest anti-Laurentian today could place Sons and Lovers amongst his worst writing. At the very least it ranks with The Rainbow and Women in Love in
belonging to his greatest achievements. Nevertheless, however popular it still is today, the novel did attract adverse criticism before and after publication. The views of William Heinemann have been alluded to, but even Edward Garnett, Lawrence?s friend and reader for Duckworth?s, felt he could not present the MS to his editors until Lawrence was persuaded to undertake further revision. According to Helen and Carl Baron, (writing in the Cambridge Edition), while Lawrence and Frieda Weekley were abroad in 1912, Garnett cut around ten percent of Lawrence?s final draft, around 2050 lines (Baron, 1992. p.ilix) . We know too that Jessie Chambers was very unhappy with Lawrence?s final draft. However, her private view was unknown to the public for many years and can be considered outside the parameters of this essay.
However, when we turn to contemporary professional reviews appearing soon after publication we find a diversity of opinions ranging from mild enthusiasm to grudging praise through to high praise: neither outright condemnation nor unanimous acclaim. I will shortly remind readers of some well-known pieces culled from various collections of discrete criticism devoted to Sons and Lovers, but first I wish to bring in the name of F. R. Leavis, Lawrence?s arch-interpreter, defender and apologist.
In his definitive work, D. H. Lawrence: Novelist, Leavis devotes enormous attention to the two works he considers to be Lawrence?s greatest achievements, The Rainbow and Women in Love, but gives Sons and Lovers an almost perfunctory dismissal on page 27:
Remarkable as it is, its qualities and achievement, on the one hand, are obvious enough, and, on the other, they are not, I think, such as to suggest that the author [Lawrence] was going to be a great novelist (Leavis, 1978, p.27).
Surely this is tantamount to saying that Sons and Lovers was not written by a great novelist, but a potentially great novelist? If so, this strengthens my argument that the novel was not necessarily destined to become extraordinarily admired by academics from the very beginning, but only potentially so. (I would say, of course, after Kuttner?s essay of 1915).
Next I want to draw attention to a passage from Frank Kermode?s brilliant appraisal of Lawrence. In his prologue there appears the following:
Much has been said of the relation of Sons and Lovers to Freud: its theme is Oedipal, and in the later stages of composition Lawrence had learned something about Freud from Frieda?his first contact with a thinker he was repeatedly to attack [i.e. Freud, not Frieda]. The degree to which the personal relationships in the novel comply with Freud?s account of mother-fixation is surely a tribute to the accuracy of Freud?s generalisation rather than a proof of Lawrence?s indebtedness (Kermode, 1979, p.20).
Without in any way detracting from Kermode?s purpose in writing his book ? a quite unambiguous celebration of Lawrence as an artist? I include this passage simply to add weight to my assertion that it is academics who do, and have done, most to keep alive the Oedipal reading, thereby sustaining its inclusion in the English canon.
Turning to accepted anthologies, before turning to the later edition of 1996, edited by Rick Rylance, I begin with the earlier Macmillan Casebook, D. H. Lawrence: Sons and Lovers, (1969), edited by Gamini Salgado.
In his introduction, Salgado draws attention to the Freudian reading and owing to its relevance, I quote it at some length. After agreeing its validity, Salgado goes on to advise caution in regarding this reading as the dominant interpretation:
Practised with the proper regard for the unity and texture of the novel itself, this kind of approach can yield insights that would not otherwise be easily obtained?. But there seem to be at least two dangers to which this sort of criticism is unusually susceptible. First, it often ignores the palpable surface of the novel, what is really there, in its eagerness to get at what is really there. It smooths awkward details in its effort to cut the novel into the size and shape that fits the theory. Secondly, it tends to use the theory as a criterion by which to judge the [novel?s] value? (that is, the more the novel endorses the theory, the better it is)?. Sons and Lovers continues to invite this kind of critical approach rather more than most other novels? (Salgado, 1969, p.14).
I am particularly interested in his parenthesis: ?? the more the novel endorses the theory, the better it is,? for it coincides with my own view.
Next we have two extracts from contemporary critics which represent a certain level of criticism for the novel?s narrative unity. The first appeared in ?Athenaeum?, June 1913.
Mr Lawrence?s new novel is a fine, but not altogether a well-made piece of work. A certain distortion arises from the fact that, while all the other characters are drawn, as it were, in the third person, the hero is drawn in the first. The pronoun ?I? is not, indeed, employed for him, but the author has lived so completely within his creation that the narrative reads like an autobiography ? and, as discerning readers know, autobiographies are less likely than biographies to produce a lifelike portrait. We are not? left understanding the nature of the man? (?Athenaeum?, 21 June 1913. Salgado, p.55).
This bears on my hypothesis that whichever class or type of reader Lawrence had in mind, he might easily have failed. In his deprecation of the autobiographical nature of the narrative, the anonymous critic ?whom one can assume from his language, tone and register to be someone of the middle-classes? affirms this by implying that he is a ?discerning reader? and therefore the character of Paul Morel is, for him, not sufficiently rounded or ?lifelike?. The implication is that for other ?discerning readers? the novel might not meet their level of expectation. Of course, if we apply some form of deconstructionist reading to his comments, he may be implying that Lawrence could not have had middle-class readers in mind, but that if he did, then he should have been more circumspect in his mode of composition. Paradoxically, and in fairness to Lawrence, he goes on to say that ?we are held captive from the first page to the last, and certain figures will, we think, remain engraved upon the memory? (Salgado, p. 54), which seems to indicate a certain confusion, or ambivalence, with regard to Lawrence?s ability or failure to draw rounded characters. One is therefore left wondering if the piece warrants any merit; but it adds a certain piquancy to my argument, and so I leave the reader to judge.
Conversely, ?P. G.?, (writing in the ?Bookman?, August 1913), places Lawrence alongside Galsworthy and other famous contemporaries in having
enriched the literature of today with work which is? esoteric, claiming acknowledgement and understanding from a limited circle of readers rather than from that general public for whose accommodation the circulating libraries have their being (Salgado, p. 58. My italics).
Even allowing for this critic?s arrogance, we are left in no doubt that the novel is placed unequivocally beyond the understanding of working-class readers. One is always reluctant to treat such bigotry seriously, but on this occasion it does actually accord with my own experience of 1958, and so it seems fair to include it.
Included also, (pp. 69-94), is Alfred Kuttner?s famous ?Freudian? essay of 1916, in which he enlarges on his original Oedipus connection, and which Lawrence later repudiated:
I hated the Psychoanalysis [sic] Review of Sons and Lovers. You know I think ?complexes? are vicious half-statements of the Freudians: sort of can?t see wood for trees (Salgado, pp.26-27).
I take this as evidence that the contemporary psycho-sexual debate among intellectuals of the period almost certainly did not play a part in pre-launch discussions between publisher and author, and that Duckworth?s were not alive to its possible implications for future sales; thus further evidence that the Freudian element may later have come to override any adverse literary criticism in becoming the dominant factor in the novel?s future popularity among academics.
I turn now to the 1996 edition.
In his Introduction, Rick Rylance also dwells at length on aspects of the Freudian reading. Indeed, the importance he attaches to this is attested by his inclusion in the collection of Freud?s essay, ?The Most Prevalent Form of Degradation in Erotic Life? (Rylance, 1996, pp. 28-39). Of the Oedipus reading, Rick Rylance explains how a debate exists today regarding the validity of non-literary theories being applied to literary texts, how those favouring it are opposed by those who say that ?literature does not need systematic meanings? (Rylance, 1996. p.7) owing to its unique ability to communicate on more than one level ?its multi-layered dimension? concluding the paragraph with the following:
In this sense, Sons and Lovers might be thought to put as many questions to Freud, as Freud?s essay provides ways of ?explaining? the novel (Rylance, p.7).
Among the essays is another by Sir Frank Kermode, who reminds us that Lawrence was, in a sense, altering his MS as he went along, taking advantage of new experience as it presented. He writes:
There is in consequence an abundance, even a confusion, of life; one cannot feel that the published version is the last possible rehandling of the tale; and this openness is not the consequence of inefficiency (Rylance, p.21).
This reminds us that Lawrence was, after all, (astonishingly) still in his mid-twenties during the years of writing the novel (1910-1912), and at a particularly emotional and tempestuous period in his life. We should contrast this with the conception of novelists who, while creatively engaged, exclude themselves from society (as well as the works of other authors), only returning to the mainstream of life between novels. While writing this novel, Lawrence fell under the influence of at least four women; his mother, Jessie Chambers, Louie Burrows (a model for Clara Dawes, according to Jessie Chambers) and Frieda Weekley. Self-evidently, he did not cocoon himself with past experience; that is, sitting down to write a pre-planned scenario with pre-formed ideas, but exposed himself to powerful new experiences, producing the novel during an organic process of emotional and mental development. (One is tempted to examine the fictional aspect of this novel from this new dimensional standpoint, along the lines of a journal or record of current experience commingled with past. But that also lays outside the nub of this piece). What does seem relevant is that the limited knowledge of Freud that Lawrence gained through knowing Frieda came too late to play any part in Sons and Lovers, for then we can understand why neither he nor his publisher took advantage of the public controversy.
I make no excuse here for reminding the reader that part of my argument is to establish a reasonable case for maintaining that it was the (later) ?Freudian? disclosures which have had most to do with the book?s continued success and, by using selected episodes and applying to them a ?dual? analysis to highlight changes in my perspective between early and late readings of the novel, in the next part I hope to show how this might be so, but concentrating solely on the primary text.
The ?Dual? Analysis

As everyone has noticed, part 1 of the novel (the first third of the book, concluding with the death of William) is written in the manner of Victorian realism: the omniscient narrator, working with firm control, sets forth the facts objectively (Louis L. Marz in Bloom, 1988. p.48).

Reading this today, one is almost ashamed to admit that, forty years ago, it was the first five chapters ?leading to the death of William at the end of chapter six? which least impressed me. Yet Louis Marz seems to be describing the kind of Victorian classic which was quite familiar to me. But the ones I could remember enjoying, such as Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, Tess of the d?Urbervilles and so on, had all contained established well-developed plot lines before a third of the way in. Or so it seemed to me. As I recall, my disappointment of forty years ago stemmed precisely from the impression that Lawrence had failed to establish an acceptable, cohesive ?plot? by the end of chapter five. My will to continue had been sorely wounded long before reaching the ?Rubicon? of chapter six. For my part, Lawrence?s attention to the minutia of the Morel?s domestic lives did not constitute a ?plot?. Where was all this leading, I kept asking myself. Was the continuation of this simple, sentimental nostalgia all there was?
Yet this section is generally held to be the stronger of the two , and ought to be if it is true that authors look to engage the reader?s uncritical attention as early as possible; that is, persuade them to ?suspend disbelief?, or ?come on board?, so to speak. Thus, at the beginning of my new, ?comparative? reading, I felt it important to pay particular attention to this. Why had I not ?climbed on board? early?
Na?ve readers like myself forty years ago would have been unaware that, page by page, Lawrence was painstakingly preparing an elaborate frame on which to hang his masterpiece. For it is here that Paul?s emotional dependencies, the bonds and links, are being forged and established by the artist. My early experience indicated that some readers are so na?ve as to become impatient with such elaborate attention to detail, always seeking development of ?the story?, like the first two readers described by Forster. As a reader, I fell into his first category, the one Forster respected and admired ?ironically ?the one who ?is quite good-tempered and vague, and probably driving a motor-bus? paying no more attention to literature than it merits? (Forster, 1974. p.40). I would say now that any ?mis-reading? by this type of reader is due to the unawareness that clever use of foreshadowing and crafting of character are admired aspects of the ?literary? novel form. But here we touch upon a question of whether or not Lawrence had a target reader in mind as he wrote and I intend to say more on this in my Conclusion.
I can distinctly remember being irritated, even disturbed, in 1958 to read that the fourteen-year-old Paul allowed his mother to accompany him at his interview with Jordon?s. You may ask why, and the explanation is quite simple.
In August 1944, prompted by news of the indiscriminate rocket attacks on London already referred to, a previously unknown cousin of my father?s, living in Stafford, wrote to my grandfather kindly offering a place of safety to any young boy of the family that Grandfather cared to nominate. The writer added that the one chosen would have the company of his own six-year-old son. Thus, as a boy of ten, armed only with a brown-paper parcel containing my belongings, plus a list of directions, I found myself despatched by bus, tube and train to the Midlands. During wartime, passenger trains were of the lowest priority, frequently shunted off into sidings to allow essential munitions and troop trains to pass through; consequently, my journey took upwards of fifteen hours. (As it happened, I shared the carriage with a jolly bunch of soldiers and sailors going home on leave and was given my first taste of brown ale). However, four months later, after receiving a sad and homesick letter from me, Mother scraped my fare together, enabling me to make the return journey. Needless to say, this too was accomplished alone. I may also say that due to frequent changes of house and home, (mainly through poverty but also because of bombing), I attended ten different schools between the age of five and eleven. Only once did Mother accompany me or come within sight of any of them, and that was the day I started school, 4th September, 1939 ?the day after World War Two broke out. On that day I remember being left at the school gate with the words, ?Be a good boy and do as you?re told or you?ll get a good hiding.? Add to this that much later, at about the same age as Paul Morel, I was enterprising enough to obtain and attend interviews in order to gain employment as an office-boy in the City of London without the least help from Mother, and perhaps the reader can understand that when Paul Morel ?in his fifteenth year? was escorted to Nottingham, some few miles from home, and then walked into Jordon?s accompanied by Gertrude, my respect for him as a young man received a hard blow. I never recovered from this early disappointment in the lad. After this I found myself seeking confirmation that Paul was a ?sissy? and Lawrence had lost me as a sympathetic reader.
However, at that time I was nothing if not a conformist, and therefore able to persuade myself that there were justifiable reasons for my disgust, based on sound social practice ?a conclusion which deserves some clarification.
Looking back at the East End working-class milieu of 1958, it seems to me that male society was dominated by a kind of universal warrior code or conditioning; men conditioned to believe that the importance of preserving one?s ?manly dignity? was paramount, and must be maintained at all costs. Brought up in this atmosphere, one tended to stifle one?s gentler feelings, thinking of them (rather guiltily) as a form of personal aberration which would be wise to conceal. For instance, one felt that any serious display of interest in art, literature, drama, music, and so on, might invite ?if only tacitly? accusations of effeminacy. So, raised on a wartime moral diet of ?we stand alone? and ?stiff upper lip?, I could have no sympathy for what I perceived as Paul Morel?s effeminacy. (Here it is relevant to remind readers that homosexuality was still a criminal offence in 1958, and all illusion to it anathema to most heterosexuals).
But now, as I reconsider my feelings then, I can admit that it is almost certain that ?far from resenting Paul?s weakness in having his mother take such an interest in his affairs? I was suffering repressed feelings of jealousy in the form of anger or resentment at being once more confronted with the depravations, neglect, and emotional upheavals of my own youth and early childhood.
My next criticism arises from Paul hating the job of going to the pit on Friday afternoons to fetch Walter?s wages. I found this odd forty years ago, remembering how proud I?d been the day Mother told me I was old enough to take over the weekly task of visiting the pawn shop to deposit or retrieve her wedding ring, or her ?best sheets? once my elder brother became a working lad. But Paul resented taking over from his older brother and sister, and for reasons I could not understand. He felt he did not fit in with his father?s co-miners. Any boy of my generation would have been glad to see a glimpse of the grown-up world of men at work, feeling proud that his father was among them. For it seemed to me then that every boy I knew was proud of his father, no matter if the man was soldier, sailor, airman, boilermaker, plater, riveter, shipwright, painter, caulker, docker, drayman, driver, plasterer or plain labourer. And I envied them their pride. I would have been immensely proud to say my father was a miner. So Paul was not only effeminate, he was also a snob.
Now of course one recognises that, through his mother?s genes, an inherited talent for art had made him inexpressibly aware that he wanted something different from the coarse and degrading life of his father, thus creating a confused mind torn between admiration and revulsion. In his essay, ?The Artist as Psychologist?, Daniel J. Schneider writes:
?? the novel reveals Lawrence?s early meditations on the question that had become, by 1912, an obsession: how can the individual, single, separate, unique, enter into any relationship with other human beings and with society without sacrificing his individuality and without destroying his creative, purposive energies?? (Bloom, 1988. p.144).

In seeking a vantage point from which to take in a number of further issues, I can make several observations if I take a stand at the end of chapter six, the end of the first part.
At this stage I had already decided that Morel was a much misunderstood man: a simple but naturally warm, jolly, good-natured fellow who had been seduced and then mentally destroyed by a shrew. I felt I understood him, whereas Gertrude?s
unforgiving nature, and her crusade to split the children from their father for reasons of spite had alienated me from her, even while conscious this went against the author?s intention. She had failed to recognise and develop the one talent Walter did possess, an ability to enjoy life and people. It was only after the wedding that, through a neighbour, she learned he had run a dancing class for five years before meeting her, so modest was the man she met. As customary for the times, the young husband played his part, giving his wife housekeeping money, then shielding her from all other responsibility. It was only after discovering that, in order to buy furniture for the home, Walter was in debt to his mother, and that his mother?s two houses were not yet his, that ?her manner had changed towards him. Something in her proud, honourable soul had crystallised out hard as rock? (Lawrence, p.15). Some might think that a wife determined to make a success of her marriage might one day recover from so slight a shock. Gertrude could not. And it is after this that her frigidity drives him to drink and subsequent paranoia, finding himself too simple and weak to overcome an intelligent, determined woman like Gertrude.
But when Paul goes to the pit to inform his father of William?s death, and that Mother requires him in London, if my feelings towards the boy were ambiguous until then, they set hard against him after learning of his callous insensitivity to Walter?s grief:
As they came out and went along the railway? Morel said in a frightened voice:
??E?s niver gone, child??
?When wor?t??
?Last night. We had a telegram from my mother.?

Morel walked on a few strides, then leaned up against a truck-side, his hand over his eyes. He was not crying. Paul stood looking round, waiting. On the weighing machine a truck trundled slowly. Paul saw everything, except his father leaning against the truck as if he were tired (Lawrence, 1994. pp.135-6).

I recall being horrified. Though under no illusion about the negative relationship between Paul and his father, his lack of outward sympathy for Morel?s distress here was damning. The boy had lost his soul. This boy was his mother?s son; had capitulated, succumbed to her wickedness, her wooing, and was beyond redemption.
More humble today, I can find alternative interpretations for Paul?s behaviour and demeanour that day, as well as sympathy for Gertrude?s predicament. The lad?s loyalty to his mother was instinctive, unpremeditated, and he could not help himself. Also, his apparent callousness towards his father could also be seen as repressed emotion manifested by immature embarrassment at discovering his father was as tender and vulnerable as any other. Such behaviour should be seen as normal for a fourteen-year-old boy in the circumstances; regrettable, but not unusual, and one is therefore able to appreciate that descriptive narrative of this quality is among the finest examples of the writer?s craft.

In seeking to strengthen an argument that Alfred Kuttner?s Oedipal connection has done most to establish and maintain Sons and Lovers in the English canon ?at least among academics if not the general public? records of book sales for the period 1913 ? 1920 would have been invaluable. Unfortunately, despite extensive enquiries, the writer has so far been unable to obtain any. However, in his opening paragraph, Michael Black asserts that ?[a]lthough he [Lawrence]and his publishers were disappointed with its sales, it confirmed his growing reputation?? (Black, 1992, p.1). So, if initial sales were disappointing, then something must account for the novel?s later success, for if my own experience had been typical, a high proportion of readers would have found the book disappointing and not recommended it. But nor were the critics of the day ?who arguably could have done most to promote public interest? in united agreement, except perhaps in agreeing to its esoteric nature. So how do we account for its present position?
Lawrence undoubtedly wrote about the things he knew, and in this he followed the advice given to all young writers. But only minds in sympathy with his own would appreciate this, which leaves two questions: why did he write Sons and Lovers, and for whom? As every writer is advised to keep in mind an imaginary reader, one asks which type of reader Lawrence had in mind in 1910-13. Alternatively, what type of reader would gain most benefit from understanding the implications that lay beneath his themes of empty marriages, unfulfilled endeavours, and the frustrated emotional deserts produced by sexual repression and ignorance among the working-class? Surely, the answer must be the working-classes themselves?
Taking the first question ?why? an important reason must be that he wished to open a debate concerning men?s perception of the true nature of the biological sexual function (and women?s, for that matter) and how ?within a close familial relationship? this can impact on the normal sexual drive. Writing to Edward Garnett in November, 1912, he says, ?It is a great tragedy?. It?s the tragedy of thousands of young men in England?? (Salgado, 1969, p.25). One might say he saw the social adjustments forced upon them through ignorance as being ?sacrificial?, thereby emotionally harmful. But as his literary style is self-consciously artistic, it would seem na?ve to imagine that such a work would appeal to every class of reader, therefore did he solely have the half-educated working-class reader in mind as he wrote, or the better-educated middle classes who made up the majority of perspicacious readers?
If only the working class, then my own experience seemed to indicate that he failed, and if only the middle classes, how could this benefit the working class of whom (and perhaps for the benefit of whom) he wrote? Even today there is little social contact between the two classes, in 1913 there was arguably less. How were the semi-educated to become enlightened? Did Lawrence believe the middle-class reader would crusade on his behalf? An idealist might believe this, but I neither was, nor am, an idealist.
My early experience suggests that Sons and Lovers could not have been written with the general reader ?especially the general working-class male reader? in mind. Lawrence was too immensely intelligent to delude himself that the majority of people from whence he came would read his novel in the way he hoped, appreciating its symbolism, various types of conflict, unspoken cries for self-affirmation, and, of course, the central paradox ?the lack in a socially and sexually repressed environment of any language to express, or distinguish between natural and ?unnatural? feelings and emotions.
In 1970, Raymond Williams touched on this in The English Novel from Dickens to Lawrence. Referring to the problem of writing about people hitherto unwritten about he said:
What I?ve stressed as the problem in this ?and it is a continuing problem? is the relation between the language of the novelist? always in some measure an educated language? as it has to be if the full account is to be given, and the language of these newly described men and women? a familiar language, steeped in a place and in work? different from the habits of education: the class, the method, the underlying sensibility (Williams, 1974. pp. 138-9).

Regrettably, if my argument is accepted, it could indicate that Lawrence was, in a sense, letting down the working class, for he knowingly wrote above and beyond the majority?s powers of perception and cognition. And Michael Black reminds us that Lawrence certainly thought about his audience: ?? what will the others say [he asked]? That I?m a fool. A collier?s son a poet!? (Black, 1992, p.2). Being from the working-class, Lawrence may be alluding here to the opinions of that class but, on the other hand, he could be referring to the middle-class intelligentsia which he hoped to join. Who then was Lawrence?s imaginary reader, and what was his purpose in writing Sons and Lovers?
As we have seen, if his intention was to enlighten the working-class my early experience indicates he failed. And if one feels this is simply because the semi-educated reader judges a literary work for its entertainment value only, then is this type of reading ?wrong?? If we condemn all na?ve readings as mis-readings simply because instruction in the intricacies of literary technique does not form part of an elementary education, is this not a form of arrogance? At the very least it becomes an elitist view. However crude or basic, the literately na?ve reader still judges what he reads by a standard which indirectly dictates the sale and purchase of books. It could be argued therefore that such ?mis-readings? should not be classed as such unless they outrage the accepted criteria of that class or level of reader, and not that of the esoteric few whose literary standards are, or rather may be, unknown to the general reader.
However, returning to Lawrence?s target reader, similarly, and tragically, if he hoped that by writing an artistic, intellectual account of ordinary working-class lives he would ingratiate himself and become a fully integrated member of middle-class literary society, to a large extent he seems to have failed here also. In his famous biography, John Worthen (see appendix ?B?) relates how, in 1909, through Hueffer, Lawrence
visited Wells, met Yeats and stayed with Pound: all the time conscious of his socially unpresentable boots and shabby schoolmaster?s suit.
At a stroke, he had been catapulted into the heart of contemporary literary intellectual circles. And yet in 1909, just as he would for the rest of his life, Lawrence felt distinctly uncomfortable. He did not fit in that world ? ?I am not a Society man ? it bores me? (from Letters I: 156. Worthen, Appendix ?B? p.2 [http://mss. nott. ac.uk/dhlbiog-chp2.html]).
The list of other contemporary literary giants whom Lawrence might have wished to impress included names such as Thomas Hardy, Henry James, Joseph Conrad, John Galsworthy, Arnold Bennett, Bernard Russell, E. M. Forster, James Joyce, Aldous Huxley, Katherine Mansfield, T. S. Eliot, and Virginia Woolf. And the last named did not read Sons and Lovers until after Lawrence?s death (Farr, 1970. pp.24-27). Of all these, only two befriended him or held his work in high regard: Aldous Huxley and E. M. Forster. F. R. Leavis reminds us that
Aldous Huxley?s name stands on the title page of the Letters, and his services to Lawrence during the last days are common knowledge. But [that] E. M. Forster?s generous championship is less well known. The force of my [Leavis?] ?generous? is made plain by the phrasing of his [E. M Forster?s]letter:
Now he is dead, and the low-brows whom he scandalized have united with the high-brows whom he bored to ignore his greatness. This cannot be helped: no one who alienates both Mrs Grundy and Aspasia can hope for a good obituary Press. All that we can do? is to say straight out that he was the greatest imaginative novelist of our generation (Leavis, 1978, p.11).
And, writing in 1926, E. M. Forster said:
?Lawrence himself is? the only prophetic novelist writing today? all the rest are fantasists or preachers: the only living novelist in whom the song predominates, who has the rapt bardic quality, and whom it is idle to criticize (Forster, 1980. p. 130).

I believe that Lawrence could not help himself but write what he did, and in the way that he did, feeling that he must write the book that was in him to write. Being an artist, he could not do otherwise; let the book sink or swim. And so, in conclusion, though a regrettable amount of helpful substantiating material within the text has necessarily remained untouched, I believe the evidence presented thus far indicates that, alas, Lawrence may have asked too much of the general male reader before the 1960s. On the other hand, I do not believe he addressed them, but only the small elite of literary intellectuals from whom he desired recognition most; but if so, he only half succeeded. One draws inevitably to the conclusion that Alfred Kuttner?s Freudian reading has probably contributed most to establishing the book as a masterpiece, and not any consistent pressure or insistence from the mainstream book-buying public; in other words, the continued inclusion of Sons and Lovers in the English canon is due almost entirely to the influence of the ?unidentified characters? of Sigmund Freud and Oedipus.
Nevertheless, those who possess more than superficial insight into literature and human nature will continue to regard Sons and Lovers as a masterpiece if for no other reason than that every line testifies to the author?s artistic integrity.

I, Stanley Thomas Hedges, declare that the above work is my own and that the material contained herein has not been substantially used in any other submission for an academic award.
S. T. Hedges
Anglia Polytechnic University, April, 1999.

In the production of this piece, I am immensely grateful for the incomparable assistance of Dr Nigel Wheale of Anglia Polytechnic University. Without his guidance, scholarship and unfailing wisdom, this essay would be of even less worth than it might be. I am especially conscious that without his singular patience and invaluable advice, it would not stand in its present form, for without his persistence and determination in helping me to find a unifying theme for my ideas, and then provide constructive advice for their expression, they could not have been formulated in any way satisfactory, either to the University or to myself.

Appreciation is also due to every member and employee of the English Department at APU. Their singular ability to work as a professional, unruffled, cheerful, courteous, and dedicated team has been of the greatest value and delight, contributing much to all the pleasures of studying at the university, and I thank them.

Special personal thanks are also due to Dr Michael Black, emeritus professor of Clare Hall, Cambridge. As author of Lawrence ?Sons and Lovers, (1992), published by Cambridge University Press in the Landmarks Series, he kindly responded to my request for advice and went on to give warmly and freely of his personal time and extensive knowledge. I am very grateful to him and extend my warmest wish for his continued enjoyment of a productive retirement.

Appendix ?A? Dr Michael Black?s letter, dated 17.2.1999
Appendix ?B? Extract from John Worthen?s biography of D. H. Lawrence, Part 2, courtesy of Nottingham University, MSS. (http://mss.nott.ac.uk.dhlbiog-chp2.html).


Abrams, M. H.. (1993). A Glossary of Literary Terms. (1957). Fort Worth:
Harcourt Brace College Publishers.
Black, M. (1992). Lawrence, Sons and Lovers. Cambridge: C.U.P..
Bloom, H. (1988). (Ed.), Modern Critical Interpretations: D. H. Lawrence?s Sons and
Lovers, U.S.A.: Chelsea House Publishers.
Farr, J. (1970). (Ed.), Twentieth Century Interpretations of Sons and Lovers New
Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc..
Forster, E. M. (1980). Aspects of the Novel. (1926). Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.
Kermode, F. (1979). Lawrence. (1973). London: Fontana/Collins.
Lawrence, D. H. (1994). Sons and Lovers. (1913). London: J. M. Dent, Orion
Publishing Group.
Leavis, F. R. (1978). D. H. Lawrence: Novelist. (1955). Harmondsworth : Penguin
Maddox, B. (1994). The Married Man: A Life of D. H. Lawrence. London: Sinclair-
Stevenson, Reed Consumer Books Ltd..
Rylance, R. (1996). (Ed.), Sons and Lovers: Contemporary Critical Essays.
Basingstoke: Macmillan Press, Ltd..
Salgado. G. (1969). (Ed.), D. H. Lawrence: Sons and Lovers: A Selection of
Critical Essays. Basingstoke: Macmillan Press Ltd..
Williams, R. (1974). The English Novel from Dickens to Lawrence. (1970).
St. Albans, Herts: Granada Publishing Limited.
Further Reading

The following recommended works are acknowledged in the preparation of this paper:

Bradbury, M. (1994). The Modern British Novel. (1993). London: Penguin Group.

Cirlot, J. (1971), A Dictionary of Symbols, (1962) Routledge & Kegan Paul, London.

Daiches, D. (1956), Critical Approaches to Literature, Longman's, London.

Daiches, D. (1970), The Novel in the Modern World, University of Chicago Press,
Encyclop?dia Britannica CD ROM Britannica CD, Version 98? 1994-1998.
Encyclop?dia Britannica, Inc.
Hitschmann, E. (1921). Freud's Theories of the Neuroses, trans. Payne, C.. London:
Kegan Paul, Trench, Turner & Co., Ltd..
Jung, C. (1978). Approaching the Unconscious. In C. G. Jung & M.. ?L. von Franz
(Eds.), Man and his Symbols.(1964). (pp. 1-94). London: Pan Books Ltd..
Lawrence, D. H. (1960). Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious. (1921). D. Trilling
(Ed.). New York: Viking Press.
Lawrence, D. H. (1960). Fantasia of the Unconscious. (1922). D. Trilling (Ed.). New
York: Viking Press.
Lawrence, D. H. (1977). The Prussian Officer and Other Stories. (1914). Middlesex:
Penguin Books Ltd..
Leavis, F. R. (1976). Thought, Words and Creativity: Art and Thought in Lawrence.
London: Chatto & Windus.
Murfin, R. C.(1987). Sons and Lovers: A Novel of Division and Desire. Boston:
Twayne Publishers.
Tedlock, E. W. (1971). (Ed.), D. H. Lawrence and Sons and Lovers U.S.A.: N.Y.
University Press.
The Oxford Companion to English Literature, (1985) ed. Drabble, M., O.U.P. Oxford.

Trotter, D. (1993). The English Novel in History: 1895-1920). London: Routledge.
Webster?s Third New International Dictionary, (1976), 2 Vols. G.& C. Merriam
Co. Mass., USA .

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