Sons and Lovers

by

D. H. Lawrence

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Louisa Lily Denys Western Character Analysis

Louisa Lily Denys Western is a secretary in London and William’s fiancée before his death. Louisa is a shallow, immature girl, who has been spoiled by her indulgent upbringing. She comes from a wealthy family and, though she only has low-paid secretarial work, she feels superior to William’s family and treats them like servants when she comes to visit. Louisa is an extremely careless woman who spends extravagantly and often loses expensive items that William provides for her. William treats Louisa badly because he finds her stupid and vain. He will not leave her, though (he feels sorry for her because her parents have recently died), and he believes that she cannot manage without him. At the same time, however, he believes that she would forget him immediately if he were to die. This suggests that Louisa is not hopeless without William, but that William enjoys controlling her and enjoys the fact that she relies on him because she is irresponsible and lazy and does not like being independent. Louisa gives the impression, however, of being harmless and oblivious; she does not mean to take advantage of William but does not seem to know how to act otherwise. Mrs. Morel even feels sorry for her because William is so unkind to her and calls her stupid to her face. After William’s death, Louisa makes an effort to stay in touch with the family for a short period but, as William predicted, she quickly loses interest and marries another man.

Louisa Lily Denys Western Quotes in Sons and Lovers

The Sons and Lovers quotes below are all either spoken by Louisa Lily Denys Western or refer to Louisa Lily Denys Western. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of Sons and Lovers published in 2006.
Chapter 5 Quotes

Mrs. Morel wondered, in her heart, if her son did not go walking down Piccadilly with an elegant figure and fine clothes, rather than with a woman who was near to him. But she congratulated him, in her doubtful fashion. And, as she stood over the washing tub, the mother brooded over her son. She saw him saddled with an elegant and expensive wife, earning little money, dragging along and getting draggled in some small ugly house in a suburb.

Page Number: 116
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6 Quotes

William opened his eyes and looked at her. In his gaze was a certain baffled look of misery and fierce appreciation. “Has he made a sight of me?” she asked, laughing down on her lover. “That he has!” said William, smiling. And as he lay he continued to look at her. His eyes never sought hers. He did not want to meet her eyes. He only wanted to look at her, not to come together with her in her gaze. And the fact that he wanted to avoid her was in his eyes like misery.

Related Characters: William Morel (speaker), Louisa Lily Denys Western (speaker), Paul Morel
Related Symbols: Flowers
Page Number: 158-159
Explanation and Analysis:

“If you want to say these things, you must find another place than this. I am ashamed of you, William. Why don’t you be more manly. To do nothing but find fault with a girl—and then pretend you’re engaged to her—!” Mrs Morel subsided in wrath and indignation.

Page Number: 163
Explanation and Analysis:
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Louisa Lily Denys Western Character Timeline in Sons and Lovers

The timeline below shows where the character Louisa Lily Denys Western appears in Sons and Lovers. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
William sends Mrs. Morel a photograph of Louisa Lily Denys Western, the woman he is having a relationship with, but Mrs. Morel dislikes... (full context)
Chapter 6
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
William is engaged to Miss Louisa Lily Denys Western and spends a great deal of money on her. He has bought... (full context)
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
The family are very deferential towards Louisa and she is uncomfortable and does not quite know how to act with them. Although... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
...pained and slightly embarrassed on her son’s behalf. William asks his mother if she likes Louisa and Mrs. Morel says she does. William complains that Louisa is affected and “puts on... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
The next morning, Louisa sleeps in very late, to the amazement of Mr. Morel, who is always up early.... (full context)
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
That evening, William and Louisa stay up late together, and Mrs. Morel waits up in a separate room and insists... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
William comes home again for his Easter break but this time he does not bring Louisa. While he is there, he complains to Mrs. Morel that he does not really like... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
William has another holiday from work and brings Louisa home again. Paul notices that William does not talk to her much and only tells... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
Although the young couple are “tender” with each other, William, at times, despises Louisa and often snaps at her. He finds that she still treats his family like her... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
Louisa listens miserably and Mrs. Morel tries to defend her. William feels that he hates Louisa... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
In private, William complains bitterly to his mother. He says that Louisa is stupid and relies on him for everything. Mrs. Morel encourages him to break off... (full context)
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
William continues to be unkind to Louisa throughout the rest of their stay. He claims that she has “been confirmed three times,”... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
Mrs. Morel walks to the train station with William and Louisa on the day they leave. On the way, William complains to his mother that Louisa... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
...him getting better, she begins to feel hope for the future again. She hears from Louisa for a while but, just as William predicted, the girl moves on with her life... (full context)