Masculinities in Sons and Lovers
|Course||English Language and Literature|
|Keywords||Sons and Lovers Morel William Paul masculinity complicit|
D. H. Lawrence is a distinguished British writer in 20th century. Sons and Lovers (SL) is his third and also the first important novel. The story happens in the industrialized England, and its background is a mining community called Bottom. It describes the family life of the miner Walter Morel and the growth experiences of his several children. Scholars abroad and home have thoroughly studied the novel in different perspectives, however, most of them are focused on psychoanalysis and textual analysis,and few papers are on the masculinities of the males in Morel family.Critics at home and abroad mainly pay their attention on the two main characters Paul and his mother Mrs. Morel, using psychoanalysis and textual analysis. In fact, Paul’s father Morel and his brother William are also very important figures in the novel, and they deserve equal attention.The life experiences of Morel and his two sons William and Paul are different histories of masculinity. Morel experiences a frustrated and bitter history of masculinity preserving. William experiences a thrilled and restless history of hegemonic masculinity constructing. Paul experiences an excited history on marginalized masculinity constructing.This thesis falls into three parts. The first part is the introduction. It offers a brief literary review of Sons and Lovers, and also provides research background, question, motivation, methodology, and organization of this thesis.The second part, including four chapters, is the main body of this thesis. It contains the introduction of masculinity and Morel’s history of masculinity preserving, William’s and Paul’s histories of masculinity constructing. Chapter one is a brief history of masculinity study, about the process of its emergence and its different manifestations in different historical periods; it also introduces Australian sociologist Connell’s different types of masculinity, and then it shows that Morel, William and Paul, the three males of Morel family, are respectively representatives of complicit, hegemonic and marginalized masculinity.Chapter two is on Walter Morel’s wounded masculinity. Firstly, it shows how Mrs. Morel tries to emasculate her husband, and how Morel tries his best to hold his complicit masculinity. Secondly, it shows, how the children of Morel’s, under the teachings of their mother, despise their father, and help their mother emasculate their father.Chapter three is on William’s effort in constructing hegemonic masculinity. William has ambition on hegemonic masculinity since he is a little boy. His mother cultivates and also encourages his ambition. William’s masculine model is in wanting, and also, he is not an independent man, emotionally and physically. He tries to break off the control of his mother and be self-independent, failed, he dies. Hegemonic masculine identity is only a dream.The last chapter is on Paul’s masculinity constructing. At first, Paul does not know what kind of masculinity he wants to obtain. Then he decides to be an artist and build a marginalized masculine identity. To be self-independent, he must get rid of the confinement of his mother and his two girlfriends, who resemble his mother in the emotional level and physical level respectively. So he breaks away from them three, leaves all the past in the past, and goes to city for a new life.The third part is a brief conclusion. Based on the analysis of the former chapters, this chapter will summarize the lessons learned in the process of masculinity preserving and constructing of Morel, William and Paul.