Sons and Lovers

by

D. H. Lawrence

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Sons and Lovers can help.

Mrs. Gertrude Morel Character Analysis

Mrs. Morel is the wife of Mr. Morel and the mother of William, Paul, Annie and Arthur. She is born into a middle-class family and marries Mr. Morel after she meets him at a country dance. Mrs. Morel is reserved and religious, but she is also an extremely practical and determined woman. Although she dislikes drink and is generally ascetic in her lifestyle, she is capable of passion and sensuality and this leads her to marry Mr. Morel, to whom she is instantly attracted. Mrs. Morel strives to make the best of her poverty and is proud and prepared to defend herself when her husband is abusive to her. She is never broken down by his temper, although he makes her fiercely angry—throughout their marriage she tends to dominate and overshadow him, as she is really the stronger of the pair. Mrs. Morel loves her children deeply and is genuinely well meaning towards them. Unfortunately, the strength of her love for her sons leads her to become jealous and possessive and she inadvertently restricts them as they try to develop their own lives; they have such a strong relationship with her that they feel guilty if they share their affection with another woman. Miriam, Paul’s long-term girlfriend, often feels that she must compete with Mrs. Morel and that he is under his mother’s influence. Overall, Mrs. Morel’s life is hard and unhappy, and the reader gets the sense that she has not been given the opportunity to use her full potential. She is an intelligent, organized and industrious woman, but the restrictions of her class and gender mean that Mrs. Morel misses out on opportunities in work and education that later generations of women would benefit from.

Mrs. Gertrude Morel Quotes in Sons and Lovers

The Sons and Lovers quotes below are all either spoken by Mrs. Gertrude Morel or refer to Mrs. Gertrude Morel. 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 1 Quotes

He was tipful of excitement now she had come, led her about the ground, showed her everything. Then, at the peep-show, she explained the pictures, in a sort of story, to which he listened as if spell-bound. He would not leave her. All the time, he stuck close to her, bristling with a small boy’s pride of her. For no other woman looked such a lady as she did, in her little black bonnet and her cloak.

Related Characters: Mrs. Gertrude Morel, William Morel
Page Number: 12
Explanation and Analysis:

Gertrude herself was rather contemptuous of dancing: she had not the slightest inclination towards that accomplishment, and had never learned even a Roger de Coverley. She was a puritan, like her father, high-minded, and really stern. Therefore the dusky, golden softness of this man’s sensuous flame of life, that flowed from off his flesh like the flame from a candle, not baffled and gripped into incandescence by thought and spirit as her life was, seemed to her something wonderful, beyond her.

Related Characters: Mrs. Gertrude Morel, Mr. Walter Morel
Page Number: 18
Explanation and Analysis:

Afterwards, she said she had been silly, that the boy’s hair would have had to be cut, sooner or later. In the end, she even brought herself to say to her husband, it was just as well he had played barber when he did. But she knew, and Morel knew, that that act had caused something momentous to take place in her soul. She remembered the scene all her life, as one in which she had suffered the most intensely.

Page Number: 24
Explanation and Analysis:

Mrs. Morel leaned on the garden gate, looking out, and she lost herself awhile. She did not know what she thought. Except for a slight feeling of sickness, and her consciousness in the child, herself melted out like scent into the shiny, pale air. After a time, the child too melted with her in the mixing-pot of moonlight, and she rested with the hills and lilies and houses, all swum together in a kind of swoon.

Related Symbols: Flowers, The Moon
Page Number: 34
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 2  Quotes

His ideas were quaint and fantastic, she brought him judiciously to earth. It was a discussion of the Wedding at Cana.

“When He changed the water into wine at Cana,” he said, “that is a symbol, that the ordinary life, even the blood, of the married husband and wife, which had before been uninspired, like water, became filled with the spirit, and was as wine, because, when love enters, the whole spiritual constitution of a man changes, is filled with the Holy Ghost, and almost his form is altered.”

Mrs. Morel thought to herself: “Yes, poor fellow, his young wife is dead; that is why he makes his love into the Holy Ghost.”

Related Characters: Mrs. Gertrude Morel (speaker), Mr. Heaton (speaker)
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:

She no longer loved her husband; she had not wanted this child to come, and there it lay in her arms and pulled at her heart. She felt as if the navel string that had connected its frail little body with hers had not been broken. A wave of hot love went over her to the infant. She held it close to her face and breast. With all her force, with all her soul she would make up to it for having brought it into the world unloved. She would love it all the more now it was here, carry it in her love.

Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:

She thrust the infant forward to the crimson, throbbing sun, almost with relief. She saw him lift his little fist. Then she put him to her bosom again, ashamed almost of her impulse to give him back again whence he came.

[…]

“I will call him ‘Paul’,” she said, suddenly, she knew not why. After a while, she went home. A fine shadow was flung over the deep green meadow, darkening all.

Related Characters: Mrs. Gertrude Morel (speaker), Paul Morel
Related Symbols: Darkness
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:

“And now,” he said, “you’ll see me again when you do.”

“It’ll be before I want to,” she replied, and at that, he marched out of the house with his bundle. She sat trembling slightly, but her heart brimming with contempt. What would she do if he went to some other pit, obtained work, and got in with another woman? But she knew him too well—he couldn’t. She was dead sure of him. Nevertheless her heart was gnawed inside her.

Related Characters: Mrs. Gertrude Morel (speaker), Mr. Walter Morel (speaker)
Page Number: 58
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3 Quotes

It seemed queer to the children to see their mother, who was always busy about the house, sitting writing in her rapid fashion, thinking, referring to books, and writing again. They felt for her on such occasions the deepest respect. But they loved the ‘Guild.’ It was the only thing to which they did not grudge their mother: and that partly because she enjoyed it, partly because of the treats they derived from it. The guild was called by some hostile husbands, who found their wives getting too independent, the “clatfart” shop: that is, the gossip shop. It is true, from off the basis of the guild, the women could look at their homes, at the conditions of their own lives, and find fault.

Page Number: 69
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

Then Paul fished out a little spray. He always brought her one spray, the best he could find. “Pretty!” she said, in a curious tone, of a woman accepting a love-token. The boy walked all day, went miles and miles, rather than own himself beaten, and come home to her empty-handed. She never realized this, whilst he was young. She was a woman who waited for her children to grow up. And William occupied her chiefly. But when William went to Nottingham, and was not so much at home, the mother made a companion of Paul. The latter was unconsciously jealous of his brother, and William was jealous of him. At the same time, they were good friends.

Related Symbols: Flowers
Page Number: 93
Explanation and Analysis:
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:

The mother and son walked down Station Street, feeling the excitement of lovers having an adventure together.

Related Characters: Mrs. Gertrude Morel, Paul Morel
Page Number: 118
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6 Quotes

Mrs. Morel was one of those naturally exquisite people who can walk in mud without dirtying their shoes. But Paul had to clean them for her. They were kid boots at eight shillings a pair. He however, thought them the most dainty boots in the world, and he cleaned them with as much reverence as if they had been flowers.

Related Characters: Mrs. Gertrude Morel, Paul Morel
Related Symbols: Flowers
Page Number: 151
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:

Paul was in bed for seven weeks. He got up white and fragile. His father had bought him a pot of scarlet and gold tulips. They used to flame in the window, in the March sunshine, as he sat on the sofa chattering to his mother. The two knitted together in perfect intimacy. Mrs. Morel’s life now rooted itself in Paul.

Related Symbols: Flowers
Page Number: 171
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8 Quotes

Spring was the worst time. He was changeable and intense and cruel. So he decided to stay away from her. Then came the hours when he knew Miriam was expecting him. His mother watched him growing restless. He could not go on with his work. He could do nothing. It was as if something were drawing his soul out, towards Willey Farm. Then he put on his hat and went, saying nothing. And his mother knew he was gone. And as soon as he was on the way, he sighed with relief. And when he was with her, he was cruel again.

Page Number: 231
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 12 Quotes

His mother looked at him. He had turned to her. She thought what a man he seemed, in his dark, well-made clothes. He was pale and detached-looking, it would be hard for any woman to keep him. Her heart glowed. Then she was sorry for Clara.

Page Number: 365
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 13 Quotes

He had a life apart from her—his sexual life. The rest she still kept. But he felt he had to conceal something from her, and it irked him. There was a certain silence between them, and he felt he had, in that silence, to defend himself against her. He felt condemned by her. Then sometimes he hated her, and pulled at her bondage. His life wanted to free itself of her. It was like a circle where life turned back on itself, and got no further. She bore him, loved him, kept him, and his love turned back into her, so that he could not be free to go forward with his own life, really love another woman.

Related Characters: Mrs. Gertrude Morel, Paul Morel
Page Number: 389
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 14 Quotes

He worked away again mechanically, producing good stuff without knowing what he was doing. Sometimes he came in, very pale and still, with watchful, sudden eyes, like a man who is drunk almost to death. They were both afraid of the veils that were ripping between them. Then she pretended to be better, chattered to him gaily, made a great fuss over some scraps of news. For they had both come to the condition when they had to make much of the trifles, lest they should give in to the big thing, and their human independence would go smash.

Related Characters: Mrs. Gertrude Morel, Paul Morel
Page Number: 429
Explanation and Analysis:

Sometimes, when it was lighter, she talked about her husband. Now she hated him. She did not forgive him. She could not bear him to be in the room. And a few things, the things that had been most bitter to her, came up again so strongly, that they broke from her, and she told her son. He felt as if his life were being destroyed, piece by piece, within him.

Page Number: 430
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 15 Quotes

The realest thing was the thick darkness at night. That seemed to him whole and comprehensible and restful. He could leave himself to it. Suddenly a piece of paper started near his feet and blew along down the pavement. He stood still, rigid, with clenched fists, a flame of agony going over him. And he saw again the sick room, his mother, her eyes. Unconsciously he had been with her, in her company. The swift hop of the paper reminded him she was gone. But he had been with her. He wanted everything to stand still, so he could be with her again.

Related Characters: Mrs. Gertrude Morel, Paul Morel
Related Symbols: Darkness
Page Number: 454
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Sons and Lovers LitChart as a printable PDF.
Sons and Lovers PDF

Mrs. Gertrude Morel Character Timeline in Sons and Lovers

The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Gertrude Morel appears in Sons and Lovers. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
Mrs. Morel is not pleased when she is forced to move from Bestwood to “The Bottoms.” At... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
...his excitement and rushes out after lunch, as soon as the “wakes” are set up. Mrs. Morel follows later with Annie, but she is unsettled by the noise and bustle of the... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
As Mrs. Morel leaves the fair, she passes the bar tent, the “Moon and Stars” and, hearing the... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
Mrs. Morel puts the children to bed and then goes into the garden and watches people pass... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
Mrs. Morel goes back inside to wait for her husband’s return. When he finally arrives home, he... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
Mrs. Morel comes from an industrious, middle-class family. Her father was an engineer but was poor and... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
Mrs. Morel and John Field were friends and he wanted to be a minister. Mrs. Morel encouraged... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
Mrs. Morel met Mr. Morel at a Christmas dance when she was twenty-three and he was twenty-seven.... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
Walter and Mrs. Morel are married not long after this meeting and, for the first few months, they are... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Walter is a very practical man and Mrs. Morel loves how “handy” he is around the house. However, she is shocked when she discovers... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Two years into their marriage, Mrs. Morel gives birth to their first child, a son called William. She is ill for a... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
Mrs. Morel is extremely proud of her son and loves his long, blonde hair. Mr. Morel is... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
Still, because Mrs. Morel is a religious woman, she does not give up on her husband but strives constantly... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
...the time when the fair comes to town, Mr. Morel is not earning much, and Mrs. Morel is trying to save money for the new baby. After the fair, there is a... (full context)
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
...to the city and, when they arrive, continue to drink and start to gamble. Meanwhile, Mrs. Morel passes a miserable day at home, caring for the children in the oppressive heat. (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
...back to “the Bottoms” and go to another nearby pub where they continue to drink. Mrs. Morel spends the evening at home; she prepares dinner and waits irritably for her husband to... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
Upset, Mrs. Morel shouts back at her husband and tells him that she would have left him long... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
Outside, there is a huge pale moon. Mrs. Morel is shocked by the sight of it and wanders blindly down the lane, replaying the... (full context)
Chapter 2 
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
...during the week, preparing his own lunch and rising early to leave for work before Mrs. Morel is up. He loves to walk across the fields to get to the mine, but... (full context)
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
Mrs. Morel appreciates that she is luckier than many of her neighbors to have a husband who... (full context)
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
One morning, not long after this, Mrs. Morel goes into labor and calls her neighbor to send for the midwife. She gives birth... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
While she recovers from the birth, Mrs. Morel lies in bed and daydreams about her children. She feels she has “no life of... (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
The young minister in the village, Mr. Heaton, sometimes comes to visit Mrs. Morel during this period and she enjoys his company and hopes that her husband will not... (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
...a point of sitting at the table in his pit clothes, dirtying the nice cloth Mrs. Morel has spread out for the minister, and complains about pains in his head. William, who... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
Sensing he is unwelcome, Mr. Heaton leaves, and Mr. and Mrs. Morel are left tense and angry together. Mrs. Morel complains about the dirty tablecloth and snaps... (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
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
One evening, after one of their fights, Mrs. Morel takes the children out of the house because Mr. Morel has lashed out at William.... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
...Morel is unusually bad tempered during this time and stomps about the house. One night, Mrs. Morel loses her temper with him and he storms out to the pub. She sits up... (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
When Mr. Morel does arrive home, he is very drunk and demands that Mrs. Morel behave like a proper wife and make him dinner. Mrs. Morel refuses and, in his... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
The next morning, Mrs. Morel tells the children that she bumped her eye on the edge of the coal bunker.... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
A week later, Mrs. Morel notices that Mr. Morel has begun to steal from her; he takes money from her... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
...upset to find that his father has left. He and Annie begin to cry, and Mrs. Morel tiredly berates them. As the evening wears on, Mrs. Morel grows anxious. Her fears are... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
Mr. Morel comes back later that night and tries to make Mrs. Morel feel grateful that he has returned. She softly remarks that the children can bring his... (full context)
Chapter 3
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
Over the next few weeks, Mr. Morel falls ill, and Mrs. Morel must nurse him and care for the household and the children alone. The neighbors make... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
...old self after a while, he feels that his “authority” in the home has dissipated. Mrs. Morel hardly notices him even when he tries to assert himself. Paul, who is a toddler... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
...into a rather wan, delicate child, who occasionally has “fits of depression.” One afternoon, when Mrs. Morel goes out to buy yeast from a man who is selling it in the lane,... (full context)
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
Around this time, Mrs. Morel joins the “women’s guild” in the town. She enjoys this because of the intellectual work... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
When William is thirteen, Mrs. Morel gets him a job at this Co-op. Mr. Morel objects to this and complains that... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
...a man, William remains close to his mother. They flirt playfully together, and William teases Mrs. Morel about the job she has done sewing up one of his work shirts. She claims... (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
...he compares to flowers and describes to his younger brother Paul, whom he nicknames “Postle.” Mrs. Morel disapproves of these girls and sends one away, believing she is a “brazen hussy,” when... (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
As William grows up, Mrs. Morel begins to worry about him and wonder if he will be as successful as she... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
Mrs. Morel is devastated by the news of her son’s departure. She loves to take care of... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
Mrs. Morel bakes him a cake as a leaving present and, while she is cooking, William shows... (full context)
Chapter 4
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
...to fight. Mr. Morel tried to taunt William into a brawl and only stopped when Mrs. Morel finally intervened. (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
...not come home on time, however, the evenings in the house are unbearably tense because Mrs. Morel worries, and the children pick up on her anxiety. Usually Mr. Morel comes in late,... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
...only be comforted by his mother, who often sleeps in the same bed with him. Mrs. Morel feels guilty during Paul’s illness, as she never expected him to live when he was... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
...their mother. Paul walks miles to find these berries so that he will not let Mrs. Morel down, because he cannot stand to disappoint her. The children find it very satisfying to... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
...that he will not collect the money anymore; he hates to be among “common” people. Mrs. Morel gently placates her son, but she is surprised by his anger because Paul is generally... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
...Arthur go out with their friends, but Paul prefers to stay in and wait for Mrs. Morel to return from the market and show him what she has bought. In the winter,... (full context)
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
...early and the miners are sent home to their wives, who grumble about the closure. Mrs. Morel is frustrated to have Mr. Morel under her feet all day. William, who is away... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
...Christmas Eve, the children walk down to the station to meet William from the train. Mrs. Morel waits at home, excited but tense in case something should prevent William from coming. The... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
...cruise around the Mediterranean during his two weeks break later that year, but, much to Mrs. Morel ’s relief, William returns home for the holiday instead. (full context)
Chapter 5
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
Mr. Morel is careless and accident prone and Mrs. Morel is never shocked when he is sent home from work with some minor injury. One... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
While her husband is in the hospital, Mrs. Morel travels back and forth on the train to visit him and Paul helps her with... (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
...in the city, has a job in a law firm, and is constantly socializing. However, Mrs. Morel notices that he never sends any money and, on top of all the socializing, he... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
...though the thought of a business “run on wooden legs” is faintly disgusting to him. Mrs. Morel goes with him to Nottingham to meet Mr. Jordan, the factory owner, and Paul is... (full context)
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
...ugly, dingy courtyard. Once inside, however, the factory appears pleasant and clean and Paul and Mrs. Morel are invited to talk with Mr. Jordan, the curt, snappish manager of the place. He... (full context)
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
Mrs. Morel is delighted, but on their way out, Paul complains about how “common” Mr. Jordan seems. ... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
After they have eaten, Paul and Mrs. Morel take a leisurely walk around the shops. Mrs. Morel is delighted by the front piece... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
...day, so that he can travel back and forth to Nottingham. It is expensive, and Mrs. Morel complains that William never sends her any money. Paul gripes that William spends a fortune... (full context)
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,... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
...On his walk there, he thinks that he would rather be out in the countryside. Mrs. Morel watches him set out and feels proud that she has sent two young men out... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
...his mother, and she loves this time between them and loves hearing about his life. Mrs. Morel feels almost as if the things he tells her also happen to herself. (full context)
Chapter 6
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
...of the house. Annie has already left, and has a job as a teacher, so Mrs. Morel finds that she relies even more on Paul. She tells him her worries and thoughts... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
...great deal of money on her. He has bought her an engagement ring – something Mrs. Morel resentfully recalls that she did not receive from her husband – and takes her out... (full context)
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
...she is polite, she cannot “realize” them as people, and instead sees them as “creatures.” Mrs. Morel has put out all the best things in the house, but Louisa finds the house... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
Mrs. Morel feels pained and slightly embarrassed on her son’s behalf. William asks his mother if she... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
...a grand lady. Paul, however, is very struck by her, much to the annoyance of Mrs. Morel . When the group go out for a walk, Louisa tries to send Annie back... (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 that she will not go to bed... (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
...but this time he does not bring Louisa. While he is there, he complains to Mrs. Morel that he does not really like Louisa when he is not with her, but that... (full context)
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
...long hours spent indoors. In May he gets a half day off and he and Mrs. Morel decide to walk over to Mr. Leivers’s farm to visit his wife, Mrs. Leivers. Paul... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
Mrs. Morel fusses with the housework before they set out until Paul teasingly drives her from the... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
...beautiful countryside and the pair are not sure of the way. Paul picks flowers for Mrs. Morel and helps her to climb over stiles. When they arrive at the farm, the first... (full context)
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
...is a “common girl” and not an important woman like “The Lady of the Lake.” Mrs. Morel is ready to leave, and they walk back across the fields in the dusk. Paul... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
...her carelessness (she loses another pair of gloves, which he bought her.) One night, when Mrs. Morel offers Louisa a book to read, William snaps that Louisa has never read a book... (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 because he is used to... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
...to his mother. He says that Louisa is stupid and relies on him for everything. Mrs. Morel encourages him to break off the engagement but William protests that he cannot leave Louisa... (full context)
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
...she does everything for attention and to “show herself off.” Louisa begins to cry, and Mrs. Morel berates William for his cruelty. William protests that Louisa does not know how to love... (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... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
Mrs. Morel worries about William all summer; she fears that he is about to ruin his own... (full context)
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
A few days later, Mrs. Morel receives word from London that William is sick. She travels up to visit him and... (full context)
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
...way to London to join his wife. The couple return a few days later and Mrs. Morel , who will hardly speak or acknowledge her other children, tells them that William’s body... (full context)
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
...Paul is shocked by the size and weight of his brother’s corpse. After William’s funeral, Mrs. Morel can barely be roused and loses all interest in life. She wishes that she had... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
The doctor explains that Paul has pneumonia and Mrs. Morel is furious with herself and wishes she had kept Paul at home and not let... (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
...the girl moves on with her life and forgets him and the family. Mr. and Mrs. Morel are kind to each other for a period after William’s death and, although Mr. Morel... (full context)
Chapter 7
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
...to make the dinner and Miriam did it wrong. Mrs. Leivers is very different from Mrs. Morel , who Paul thinks is “logical” and practical in her approach to household chores. (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
...and that night, he asks his mother if she ever wanted to be a man. Mrs. Morel answers wryly that she’d be a better man than most are, but she adds that... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
...paint during this time and feels most inspired when he works in the evening, while Mrs. Morel sits in the room with him and sews. However, he always takes his paintings to... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
...has stayed out so late and he rushes home when he and Miriam part ways. Mrs. Morel disapproves of their evening wanders together, so Paul resolves to leave Miriam earlier in the... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
Mrs. Morel is irritated with Paul when he returns home. She disapproves of Miriam, who she feels... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
...and Annie and Arthur go with them. That morning at breakfast, before they set out, Mrs. Morel calls Paul into the garden and delightedly shows him some flowers which have grown out... (full context)
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
...his mother select a cottage near the seaside for them all to stay in and Mrs. Morel is wild with excitement. Miriam is invited too, as she is still good friends with... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
...on the way and are delighted with the little house when they arrive. Paul and Mrs. Morel take charge of the trip – Paul is keeper of the money and Mrs. Morel... (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
...she accuses him of being late for dinner and is gruff and moody all evening. Mrs. Morel blames Miriam for the change that comes over Paul and thinks that she changes his... (full context)
Chapter 8
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
...the mines. Arthur is a boisterous, energetic young man who is always getting into scrapes. Mrs. Morel finds him tiring and worrisome. One day, a letter arrives from Arthur which tells his... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
...and thinks that this is not so bad for Arthur; it will teach him discipline. Mrs. Morel , however, is furious; Arthur has lost a good job, just as he was starting... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
When Mrs. Morel returns home, she tells Paul that she cannot help Arthur out of the army but,... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
...before their father rents a family pew, Miriam and Edgar attend church with Paul and Mrs. Morel and sit in their pew during the service. Mrs. Morel is silently resentful of Miriam... (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
...hates Miriam, but then he feels guilty for this because he does not know why Mrs. Morel rejects her; he feels torn between them both. Spring affects his mood wildly, and he... (full context)
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
...divide up their money and Mr. Morel slinks out with them when they are finished. Mrs. Morel takes the housekeeping money, which Mr. Morel has left on the table and, grumbling that... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
...in the oven. Beatrice manages to salvage some of it and, half joking, insinuates that Mrs. Morel will blame Miriam if the loaves are ruined. Annie arrives home with her fiancé Leonard,... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
...is angry with him. Annie, however, tells Paul that his mother is ill. Annie found Mrs. Morel sitting in her chair, very pale and exhausted, after carrying home the shopping. Annie accuses... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
...worried about her because she is ill and angry with her for turning on Miriam. Mrs. Morel grows upset and tells Paul that it is not sensible to walk so far at... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
...enraged by the sight of the mother and son. He helps himself to a pie Mrs. Morel has bought for Paul and she fires up against him. In a drunken fury, Mr.... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Mr. Morel falls into a chair and Paul kneels beside Mrs. Morel and brings her back to herself. She wakes up gradually but is faint and unwell.... (full context)
Chapter 9
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
...wants to show her that she is right in this and that he does too. Mrs. Morel hates Miriam, but also hates to see Paul so indecisive and suffering. (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Not long after this, Paul goes to Lincoln on the train with Mrs. Morel . He is excited to show her the cathedral from the train window but, as... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
As they walk up the hill to the cathedral, however, Mrs. Morel struggles for breath and Paul takes her into a bar to sit down. Once she... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Over tea, Paul tells Mrs. Morel about Clara Dawes. He explains that Clara lives with her mother, who is a lace... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Annie and Leonard get married soon after this, and Arthur travels up for the wedding. Mrs. Morel is sad to see her daughter leave home, but she likes Leonard and is glad... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Mrs. Morel dismisses this and tells him that he will marry when he finds the right girl.... (full context)
Chapter 10
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
...his paintings and that a customer has bought this piece of work for twenty guineas. Mrs. Morel is ecstatic with pride and Paul begins to grow ambitious as an artist. Paul insists... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
Paul gets an invite to a dinner party at Mr. Jordan’s and Mrs. Morel gets William’s old suit tailored for him to wear. He is very excited to tell... (full context)
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
...are to be found among the “common people,” whereas the middles classes have intellectual ideas. Mrs. Morel says that this is nonsense because there is just as much life and just as... (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
Mrs. Morel tries to convince Paul to meet a younger woman; someone his own age who is... (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
...his mind, and he does not understand it. He still spends time with Miriam, but Mrs. Morel is pleased because he sees less of the girl. (full context)
Chapter 11
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
...and that this is not fair because she has the quality of an eternal maiden. Mrs. Morel is shocked that he seems to have gone back to Miriam and their relationship sours... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
Paul returns home and tells Mrs. Morel that he will not see Miriam much anymore. Mrs. Morel does not ask questions, but... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
...her and she makes him feel guilty. One night, when he is sitting up with Mrs. Morel , he is drawn outside by the smell of the lilies drifting in on the... (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
...back inside, he tells his mother that he is going to end things with Miriam. Mrs. Morel thinks this is probably for the best. On Sunday, he goes to tell Miriam and... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
...flirts with some women who feed him chocolates and then returns home to his mother. Mrs. Morel listens to his story about the pub, but she is aware that he is putting... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
Over dinner, Paul tells Mrs. Morel that Miriam has not been disappointed because she never thought that it would work out.... (full context)
Chapter 12
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
...is in the room with him. While on a holiday to the Isle of Wight, Mrs. Morel suffers another bad fainting fit and, for a while, is ill. She recovers but Paul... (full context)
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
That night, Paul tells Mrs. Morel about his walk with Clara. Mrs. Morel rebukes him and says that he should have... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
...is coming to meet his mother on Sunday and Miriam feels bitter about this because Mrs. Morel has always disliked her. On Sunday, Paul can hardly believe that Clara is coming and... (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
...walk through the fields and, when they arrive at the house, Paul introduces Clara to Mrs. Morel . Clara is slightly intimidated because she has heard so much about her from Paul.... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
After tea, Clara helps Mrs. Morel wash up. Paul wanders into the garden and Clara feels confined and strained to be... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
...sees Miriam off and then heads back to the house. As he enters, he hears Mrs. Morel and Clara discussing Miriam. They both agree that they dislike her “blood hound quality” and... (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
Mrs. Morel is surprised when he arrives home in this state and thinks he has been drinking.... (full context)
Chapter 13
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
Paul does not tell Mrs. Morel about this altercation. He is frustrated because he keeps no secrets from his mother and... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
...a sense of coldness or indifference for her creep in. He agonizes over this to Mrs. Morel and complains that, although he cares about Miriam and Clara, he feels that he cannot... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
...with shock. Paul has dislocated his shoulder and comes down with bronchitis the next day. Mrs. Morel nurses him and Miriam and Clara come to visit, but he does not care to... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
...frustrated and pained by the way he treats her, and Paul begins to hate her. Mrs. Morel ’s health gets worse and Paul worries about her constantly. She has problems with her... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
...the end of his time in Blackpool, Paul travels to Sheffield to join Annie and Mrs. Morel . He is in good spirits and looks forward to seeing them. When he arrives,... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
...can be cured but, later, when he has dinner with Annie, she tells him that Mrs. Morel has a huge lump on her side. Annie discovered it when Mrs. Morel fell ill... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
...must do an examination to be sure. When Paul arrives back at Annie’s, he carries Mrs. Morel downstairs and feeds her brandy. He is horrified and weeps over how thin and weak... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
...will cover these things. He returns to Sheffield that evening to help Annie care for Mrs. Morel . (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
The next day, Paul must return to Nottingham for work and Mrs. Morel implores him not to worry about her. He tries his best to forget and goes... (full context)
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
After staying for two months at Annie’s, Mrs. Morel travels home. Her health has not improved and has, instead, grown worse, and the family... (full context)
Chapter 14
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
While Paul is in Sheffield with Mrs. Morel , he hears that Baxter Dawes is in a hospital nearby. The doctor tells him... (full context)
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
Baxter is sulky when Paul arrives, but he gradually softens up as the pair discuss Mrs. Morel ’s illness. Baxter has had typhoid but is almost fully recovered. He does not want... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
...rivals, Paul goes to visit him often and feels a close connection with the man. Mrs. Morel ’s health, meanwhile, steadily declines. Paul cares for her tenderly but they are timid with... (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
Sometimes, Mrs. Morel grows bitter and talks about her marriage. She despises her husband and cannot forgive him... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
...sick room.” As he approaches his house, he sees the firelight in the window of Mrs. Morel ’s room and thinks bleakly that when she passes away, the fire will go out.... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
...touch a torment and pulls away. Annie lives at home with him to care for Mrs. Morel , and in the evenings they often have friends come around, and are very fun... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
...though he is making an agreement that, if she dies, he will die too. However, Mrs. Morel will not die; her pulse grows weak and she cannot eat or drink, but she... (full context)
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
...Annie giggles hysterically when she sees this, and they take the drink to their mother. Mrs. Morel complains that it is bitter but drinks it down. Annie and Paul sit with her... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
...all day, terrified by the awful sound of her breath. At last, late that morning, Mrs. Morel dies. When Mr. Morel comes home, he does not notice that the blind is pulled... (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
...stoic and resigned to his mother’s death. The funeral is held during a rainstorm and Mrs. Morel is buried with William. After the funeral, Mr. Morel frets and cries to Mrs. Morel’s... (full context)
Chapter 15
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
 Death, Grief, and Self-Destruction  Theme Icon
...determined not to die, but he cannot get in touch with life. He feels, since Mrs. Morel ’s death, that he is nothing and that he has no future and nothing to... (full context)