Sons and Lovers

by

D. H. Lawrence

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Mrs. Radford Character Analysis

Mrs. Radford is the mother of Clara Dawes. She works as a lace maker and is a hard but kindly woman. Paul Morel meets Mrs. Radford when he stays at Clara’s after their night at the theatre and he enjoys her sharp wit and harsh, teasing banter. Mrs. Radford tries to prevent Paul and Clara from sleeping together (which she knows they are trying to do) because they are not married. She is a conventional woman and sits up with them so that they cannot go to bed together. However, she is also practical and finally resigns herself to her daughter’s relationship and takes herself off to bed. Although Mrs. Radford seems rough on the surface, it is implied she is good hearted and lenient underneath.
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Mrs. Radford Character Timeline in Sons and Lovers

The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Radford appears in Sons and Lovers. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 10
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
...small and dingy, and Paul is invited in and offered a drink by Clara’s mother, Mrs. Radford , a formidable but generous woman. Clara blushes when Paul is shown in and he... (full context)
Women’s Work and Women’s Rights Theme Icon
...if making lace is hard work and Clara answers that all women’s work is hard. Mrs. Radford shushes her daughter and says that women bring it on themselves when men mistreat them.... (full context)
Chapter 12
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
...and stay at hers and that her mother won’t mind. They enter Clara’s house and Mrs. Radford appears in the lounge and greets them suspiciously. Clara explains what has happened and her... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
Clara eats quietly, embarrassed by her mother, but Paul spars with Mrs. Radford and gradually placates her to a slightly friendlier tone. Clara goes to fetch Paul some... (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
Finally, Mrs. Radford says that they should go to bed and Paul gives in, hiding his hatred of... (full context)
Family, Psychology, and the Oedipus Complex Theme Icon
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
He sneaks downstairs and shuts the door to the kitchen loudly, so that Mrs. Radford will not come down, then he creeps into the living room. Clara is crouched before... (full context)
Christianity, Propriety, and Physicality Theme Icon
Mrs. Radford wakes Paul early the next morning by bringing him a cup of tea in bed.... (full context)