Sons and Lovers

by

D. H. Lawrence

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Paul Morel Character Analysis

Paul Morel is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Morel and the brother of William, Annie, and Arthur. Paul is a serious and reflective child and Mrs. Morel worries about him extensively because she feels he is fragile and because he is prone to “fits of depression.” However, despite Mrs. Morel’s fears, Paul grows into a vigorous and intelligent young man. Although he is not as athletic as Mr. Morel or William, Paul enjoys physical activity and likes to “lose himself” in it. He loves to be outdoors in nature and feels a sensuous connection to the natural world. He is very interested in art and ideas and is a talented painter. He is successful and popular at work and is attractive to women. However, his tendency towards abstract thought and his introspective temperament sometimes lead Paul into trouble. Although he is a deep thinker, he is not able to easily recognize his emotions or understand what he wants or needs from a situation. He is accidentally cruel to his lovers, Miriam and Clara, because he cannot decide what he wants from them and he tends to be self-absorbed and think about himself before he considers their feelings. He feels uncomfortable about sex and is deeply ashamed of his desires. This often makes him hate his lovers because he blames them for causing his shame. Paul is extremely close to Mrs. Morel, especially after William’s death, and wishes that he and his mother were not related so they could be lovers rather than mother and son. He plans his life and career around pleasing and supporting his mother and prioritizes her over his girlfriends, of whom she is very jealous. Paul is devastated by his mother’s death and loses all interest in life or his own future. He feels that his mother was his real companion and has no desire to go on without her. Despite this, however, Paul is a determined character and his love of physicality and the material world push him to survive even when he is left desolate at the novel’s conclusion.

Paul Morel Quotes in Sons and Lovers

The Sons and Lovers quotes below are all either spoken by Paul Morel or refer to Paul 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

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

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:
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:

Paul was treated to dazzling descriptions of all kinds of flower-like ladies, most of whom lived like cut blooms in William’s heart, for a brief fortnight.

Related Characters: William Morel, Paul Morel
Related Symbols: Flowers
Page Number: 73
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

He watched with wicked satisfaction the drops of wax melt off the broken forehead of Arabella, and drop like sweat into the flame. So long as the stupid big doll burned, he rejoiced in silence. At the end, he poked among the embers with a stick, fished out the arms and legs, all blackened, and smashed them under stones.

“That’s the sacrifice of Missis Arabella,” he said. “An’ I’m glad there’s nothing left of her.”

Which disturbed Annie inwardly, although she could say nothing. He seemed to hate the doll so intensely, because he had broken it.

Related Characters: Paul Morel (speaker), Annie Morel
Page Number: 83
Explanation and Analysis:

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

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:

He waited grimly, and watched. At last Miriam let the bird peck from her hand. She gave a little cry, fear, and pain because of fear, rather pathetic. But she had done it, and she did it again.

Related Characters: Paul Morel, Miriam Leivers
Page Number: 157
Explanation and Analysis:

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:

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 7 Quotes

She wanted to show him a certain wild-rose bush she had discovered. She knew it was wonderful. And yet, till he had seen it, she felt it had not come into her soul. Only he could make it her own, immortal … By the time they came to the pine-trees Miriam was getting very eager, and very tense. Her bush might be gone. She might not be able to find it. And she wanted it so much. Almost passionately, she wanted to be with him when she stood before the flowers. They were going to have a communion together, something that thrilled her, something holy.

Related Characters: Paul Morel, Miriam Leivers
Related Symbols: Flowers
Page Number: 195
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 11 Quotes

Her big brown eyes were watching him, still and resigned and loving; she lay as if she had given herself up to sacrifice: there was her body for him; but the look at the back of her eyes, like a creature awaiting immolation, arrested him, and all his blood fell back … She was very quiet, very calm. She only realized that she was doing something for him. He could hardly bear it. She lay to be sacrificed for him, because she loved him so much. And he had to sacrifice her. For a second, he wished he were sex-less, or dead. Then he shut his eyes again to her, and his blood beat back again.

Related Characters: Paul Morel, Miriam Leivers
Related Symbols: Darkness
Page Number: 333-334
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:
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Sons and Lovers PDF

Paul Morel Character Timeline in Sons and Lovers

The timeline below shows where the character Paul Morel appears in Sons and Lovers. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2 
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...She fears for the child’s future and decides, on impulse, that she should name him Paul. (full context)
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...and he storms out to the pub. She sits up waiting for him with baby Paul and thinks bitterly about her situation. She wishes she could control her anger with her... (full context)
Chapter 3
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...home has dissipated. Mrs. Morel hardly notices him even when he tries to assert himself. Paul, who is a toddler now, is afraid of his father and will not let Mr.... (full context)
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Domestic life continues as usual for the Morels. Paul grows into a rather wan, delicate child, who occasionally has “fits of depression.” One afternoon,... (full context)
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...He has many girlfriends, whom 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... (full context)
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...bakes him a cake as a leaving present and, while she is cooking, William shows Paul his love letters from all the various women who have fallen for him. William brags... (full context)
Chapter 4
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Paul is a quiet child who looks like his mother. As a small boy, he is... (full context)
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Although none of the children are close to their father, Paul particularly dislikes Mr. Morel and always sides with his mother. He remembers coming home from... (full context)
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When William was a child, the family moved to a new house, and so Paul grows up in a house which overlooks the valley and has an old tree outside.... (full context)
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As a child, Paul prays for his father’s death and hopes Mr. Morel will be killed in a mining... (full context)
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...tells them stories about the pit and the other miners, which they love. One winter, Paul is ill for several weeks with bronchitis. Although his father tries to soothe him, he... (full context)
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...is short on money, the children love to help by foraging berries for their mother. Paul walks miles to find these berries so that he will not let Mrs. Morel down,... (full context)
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Once William and Annie have both found jobs, it becomes Paul’s responsibility to go to the public house and collect Mr. Morel’s wages. Paul hates to... (full context)
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When Paul gets home, he complains to his mother about this and tells her that he will... (full context)
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On Friday nights, Annie and Arthur go out with their friends, but Paul prefers to stay in and wait for Mrs. Morel to return from the market and... (full context)
Chapter 5
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...the hospital, Mrs. Morel travels back and forth on the train to visit him and Paul helps her with the housework at home. Paul takes pride in being the man of... (full context)
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After he has sent out a few applications, Paul is offered a job in a factory which makes elastic stockings and wooden legs. He... (full context)
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When they arrive, the pair explore the town together and Paul grows nervous about his interview, afraid he will be rejected. It takes them a while... (full context)
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Mrs. Morel is delighted, but on their way out, Paul complains about how “common” Mr. Jordan seems.  Mrs. Morel assures him that he will likely... (full context)
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After they have eaten, Paul and Mrs. Morel take a leisurely walk around the shops. Mrs. Morel is delighted by... (full context)
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Paul buys a “season ticket” for the train the next day, so that he can travel... (full context)
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The day for Paul to start his new job arrives, and he sets off for the train station on... (full context)
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Mr. Pappleworth is a youngish man who is older than Paul and quite friendly. He gives Paul the job of copying out the letters, which contain... (full context)
 Nature and Industrialism Theme Icon
...curt with the girls and tells them to start work on the orders. He takes Paul back to the office and gives him paperwork to do for the rest of the... (full context)
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Later on, a girl brings Mr. Pappleworth and Paul a heap of newly made garments and, after examining them, Mr. Pappleworth gathers them up... (full context)
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Paul finds the rest of the workday long but not unpleasant. Mr. Pappleworth goes home for... (full context)
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Paul grows to like Mr. Pappleworth and gets on well with the women who work on... (full context)
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When the other girls learn that Paul is an artist, they suggest that he should draw Fanny because she has such lovely... (full context)
Chapter 6
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...a job as a teacher, so Mrs. Morel finds that she relies even more on Paul. She tells him her worries and thoughts when he gets home in the evening. (full context)
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...family. Louisa is only a secretary in London, but she acts like a grand lady. Paul, however, is very struck by her, much to the annoyance of Mrs. Morel. When the... (full context)
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...of his money on her and has very little left to give to the family. Paul gets a pay rise at Christmas, however, which helps the family somewhat. (full context)
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Although Paul likes his job, his health is poor because of the long hours spent indoors. In... (full context)
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Mrs. Morel fusses with the housework before they set out until Paul teasingly drives her from the kitchen so that she can get ready. She returns wearing... (full context)
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...a long walk through 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... (full context)
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Paul waits outside while his mother and Mrs. Leivers catch up and he sees the young... (full context)
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...farm. Not long after, the younger boys, Geoffrey and Maurice, arrive home from school and Paul chats with them about his job at Jordan’s. The group go outside, and the lads... (full context)
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Miriam is embarrassed and storms inside and Paul follows the boys into the orchard. They climb trees and swing from the branches together,... (full context)
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...once she is used to it, she seems relieved and pleased with herself. She takes Paul back inside, but she is self-conscious and irritated by the thought that Paul may think... (full context)
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William has another holiday from work and brings Louisa home again. Paul notices that William does not talk to her much and only tells her things about... (full context)
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...Morel is horrified to hear him speak like this. When she gets home, she tells Paul that, although she feels sorry for Louisa, she wishes that the girl would die “rather... (full context)
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...about William all summer; she fears that he is about to ruin his own life. Paul tries to reassure her, but Mrs. Morel will not be comforted. William continues to write... (full context)
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Paul goes to fetch Mr. Morel from the mine. Paul cannot comprehend that fact that William... (full context)
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Paul and Mr. Morel arrange the furniture so that there will be space for the coffin... (full context)
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Paul desperately tries to bring his mother back to herself. Every night, while she sits silently... (full context)
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The doctor explains that Paul has pneumonia and Mrs. Morel is furious with herself and wishes she had kept Paul... (full context)
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Although he is ill for a long time, Paul begins to recover. His mother stays with him through his recovery and, when she sees... (full context)
Chapter 7
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Paul spends a lot of time at Willey Farm with the Leivers family. Although he is... (full context)
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...Mrs. Leivers), and is extremely reserved. At sixteen she is quite beautiful and thinks that Paul is handsome, like a hero in a novel. When she hears that he is ill,... (full context)
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Miriam greets him and Paul remarks on some daffodils which are growing in the garden and which he thinks must... (full context)
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...Miriam must be strong enough to bear their complaints and to “turn the other cheek.” Paul thinks it is strange to bring religion into everyday interactions, but Mrs. Leivers seems highly... (full context)
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Paul finds the boys slightly awkward too. Although they are rude and seem to disdain their... (full context)
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After dinner, Paul and Miriam walk across the fields with Mrs. Leivers. Miriam admires Paul’s love for nature... (full context)
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It takes Paul longer to get to know Miriam. One afternoon, during one of his visits, she takes... (full context)
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As time goes on, Paul becomes good friends with Edgar and with Mrs. Leivers. He often spends time with Miriam... (full context)
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Still, Paul and Miriam fall into a habit of going for walks together. One day, he asks... (full context)
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Miriam’s bitterness unnerves Paul, and that night, he asks his mother if she ever wanted to be a man.... (full context)
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Although Paul tries to keep his temper, he finds Miriam’s slowness infuriating and is often cruel with... (full context)
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Paul continues to paint during this time and feels most inspired when he works in the... (full context)
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Paul returns to work at Jordan’s, but the workdays are shorter, and he is given Wednesdays... (full context)
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One wet night, after checking out their books, Paul walks Miriam halfway home and the pair discuss religion. Paul says that he used to... (full context)
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Miriam is delighted by Paul’s ideas and hurries home feeling inspired and revitalized. Paul, meanwhile, worries that his mother will... (full context)
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On their next walk together, Paul tells Miriam he must go home at nine o’clock. Miriam dismisses his concerns, however. She... (full context)
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Mrs. Morel is irritated with Paul when he returns home. She disapproves of Miriam, who she feels will leech Paul’s manhood... (full context)
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Although Paul and Miriam spend so much time together, they do not think they are in love.... (full context)
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On Good Friday weekend, Paul arranges a walk to Hemlock Stone with Miriam and some of his friends. Miriam’s brother... (full context)
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During the walk, Miriam feels cut off from Paul and finds that she does not fit in with the others. She only feels comfortable... (full context)
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Paul stops because his umbrella has broken, and Miriam goes back to join him. Paul is... (full context)
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...the decrepit tower where Mary Queen of Scots is supposed to have been kept prisoner. Paul gathers ivy for Miriam from the side of the tower. Miriam daydreams romantically about the... (full context)
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...tower, built on the windy high point which overlooks the surrounding country. As they walk, Paul and Miriam intertwine their fingers through the string of the bag Miriam carries. By early... (full context)
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...deeply focused on status and appearance—ideas that seem trivial to Miriam. Both the girls like Paul and watch for his arrival from the bedroom window while they are getting dressed. (full context)
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Paul comes into the yard and Miriam hears him pet the old horse they keep. As... (full context)
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Miriam goes downstairs, but she is so embarrassed to see Paul, after her revelation, that she leaves him with Agatha. After this, Miriam and Paul stop... (full context)
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When Paul is twenty, the family can finally afford to go on their first ever holiday. Paul... (full context)
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...and talkative 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... (full context)
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Paul only spends time with Miriam in the evenings, while he works on his drawings. They... (full context)
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One night, as Miriam and Paul walk back from the shore in the dark, they are startled by the appearance of... (full context)
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When they get back to the cottage, Paul feels irritable and is annoyed that Miriam has spoiled his composure. He snaps at his... (full context)
Chapter 8
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Paul is vaguely amused and thinks that this is not so bad for Arthur; it will... (full context)
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When Mrs. Morel returns home, she tells Paul that she cannot help Arthur out of the army but, although he is sad to... (full context)
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One day, when he is walking up to the exhibition, Paul runs into Miriam and a friend of hers, Clara Dawes. Miriam introduces them and Paul... (full context)
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Paul dislikes Baxter Dawes. He met him on his first day at Jordan’s and found him... (full context)
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When Paul goes to see Miriam next, he asks her about Clara. He wonders why Clara married... (full context)
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Paul tries to playfully put berries in her hair, but Miriam pulls away. Paul complains that... (full context)
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When Paul makes to leave the farm that evening, he notices that his bike has a puncture... (full context)
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...a while, 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... (full context)
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Paul still goes out for his evening walks with Miriam, but his mood is ruined because... (full context)
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One night, when Miriam and Paul are talking, he tells her that he feels “disembodied” with her, as though she wants... (full context)
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At work, Paul is successful and well liked; he is promoted when Mr. Pappleworth leaves. Annie has moved... (full context)
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...table and, grumbling that it is less than she expects, heads out to the market. Paul is left in charge of the bread she has put in the oven to bake.... (full context)
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...called Beatrice arrives. She is a friend of the family and is very familiar with Paul. She teases him and makes snide comments to Miriam about the state of her shoes,... (full context)
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Annie, Leonard, and Beatrice leave together, and Paul gives Miriam a French lesson. Every week, Miriam writes a journal entry in French and... (full context)
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Paul walks Miriam home and does not get home until after eleven. His mother sits silently... (full context)
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Paul sits up with his mother and it is very tense in the room. He is... (full context)
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Paul pleads with her to believe him and moves over to her chair to kiss and... (full context)
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Mr. Morel falls into a chair and Paul kneels beside Mrs. Morel and brings her back to herself. She wakes up gradually but... (full context)
Chapter 9
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Paul is very terse and irritable with Miriam that spring. Although she loves him deeply, she... (full context)
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Miriam is hurt by his words and does not understand them. Paul ignores her through most of the afternoon and then is sulky and bitter when they... (full context)
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Reluctantly, Paul tells Miriam that he thinks they should not see each other anymore. Miriam assumes that... (full context)
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Paul is aware that his mother is a driving force in his life and that a... (full context)
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Paul does not go to see Miriam for a week and, when he finally does go,... (full context)
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After dinner, Paul and Miriam return to the same spot on the hillside and Paul again tells Miriam... (full context)
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Paul rides home, very distressed after the evening’s events, and does not care if he falls... (full context)
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...back under her influence. They discuss religion together on their way back from church because Paul needs someone else to approve his opinions before he can believe in them himself and... (full context)
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Miriam can see that Paul is unhappy and that he yearns for something else. She has noticed that he becomes... (full context)
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Paul is very courteous to Clara – much to Miriam’s chagrin – and asks her if... (full context)
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Eventually, tiring of Clara’s contempt, Paul goes out to meet Edgar, who is at work on the farm. Edgar is pleased... (full context)
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Paul complains that men are paid more because they support families and he complains that Clara... (full context)
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After dinner, Miriam, Paul, and Clara go for a walk together. Looking around the beautiful evening in the country,... (full context)
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...woman, who seems intense and grateful for someone to talk to. As they walk away, Paul and Miriam agree that she unnerves them and that she is going mad with loneliness... (full context)
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They stop to admire a beautiful field full of flowers and Paul tries to offer some that he has picked to Clara. Clara refuses and says that... (full context)
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Not long after this, Paul goes to Lincoln on the train with Mrs. Morel. He is excited to show her... (full context)
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...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 has recovered, they go on... (full context)
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Over tea, Paul tells Mrs. Morel about Clara Dawes. He explains that Clara lives with her mother, who... (full context)
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...dismisses this and tells him that he will marry when he finds the right girl. Paul dislikes this idea and says that, if he does get married, his wife will have... (full context)
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Soon Paul is the only child left at home and he remains torn between Miriam and Clara,... (full context)
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...is horrified as she watches this and thinks that she may lose the fight for Paul’s affections; he may choose “lesser” over “higher” things. The next time they go out walking,... (full context)
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Paul writes Miriam a letter for her twenty first birthday in which he says that she... (full context)
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...could have had a beautiful love affair, if it were not for one small misunderstanding. Paul sends her another letter, which vaguely admits that he has treated her cruelly and that... (full context)
Chapter 10
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When Paul is twenty-three, a letter arrives one morning which tells him that he has won another... (full context)
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Paul gets an invite to a dinner party at Mr. Jordan’s and Mrs. Morel gets William’s... (full context)
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Paul is no longer as religious as he once was and is more interested in life... (full context)
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Mrs. Morel tries to convince Paul to meet a younger woman; someone his own age who is uncomplicated and unattached. Paul... (full context)
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Paul, however, spends very little time with Miriam now. Arthur and his wife have a baby... (full context)
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The house is small and dingy, and Paul is invited in and offered a drink by Clara’s mother, Mrs. Radford, a formidable but... (full context)
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Paul asks if making lace is hard work and Clara answers that all women’s work is... (full context)
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Paul realizes that Clara is extremely miserable living with her mother. Although he has found her... (full context)
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...reserved, and the other girls do not like her much. She spends the afternoons with Paul when he is painting. He despises her opinions about his work, which she often criticizes.... (full context)
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Clara has gained an education through her association with the women’s movement and Paul sometimes finds her superior and is annoyed by her lack of interest in him. He... (full context)
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At work, Paul teases and abuses Clara. When he sees her wearing a flower, he reminds her about... (full context)
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...Clara. She timidly accepts but is generally confused by his behavior. The other girls love Paul but, like Clara, they are often startled by his erratic moods or afraid of his... (full context)
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At dinner time, Paul is surprised to find that Clara has not gone home to eat as she usually... (full context)
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...bitterly that the town is “unnatural” and that unnatural things are always ugly and unpleasant. Paul asks her what she means, and she replies that “everything man has made” is unnatural.... (full context)
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Paul asks Clara what is bothering her and Clara replies that she feels left out by... (full context)
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The same week, Clara sends Paul a book of poetry as a birthday present. After this, the pair become friends and... (full context)
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Paul feels slightly lost during this conversation and asks Clara if she ever let Baxter get... (full context)
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Miriam, meanwhile, is still convinced that Paul will return to her. She feels that he will grow tired of Clara and that... (full context)
Chapter 11
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As the spring comes around again, Paul feels himself once more drawn towards Miriam. He wishes that he wanted to marry her,... (full context)
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One afternoon, as Paul watches Miriam sing while Annie plays the piano, he feels that she looks like a... (full context)
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During an evening at Willey Farm, Paul tells Miriam that he hopes to get married when he turns twenty-five. Although he says... (full context)
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...She dislikes physical contact, but she goes to him nonetheless, willing to make a sacrifice. Paul begins to kiss her, but, when he sees the look in her eyes, his desire... (full context)
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Miriam broods all summer and struggles with the thought of accepting Paul’s proposal, even though she loves him. Paul acts like a lover to Miriam and tries... (full context)
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One evening, at Willey Farm, Paul climbs into the cherry tree at sunset and watches the sky change color as the... (full context)
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Afterwards, they lie together under the trees, and Paul feels very forlorn. He knows that Miriam has been separate from him “all the time.”... (full context)
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...to visit her daughter and Miriam stays behind in the cottage for a few days. Paul cycles over to see her, and the pair make dinner together. After dinner, they go... (full context)
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...of the week together, but their relationship grows strained. At the end of the week, Paul presses her to tell him why she never wants passion between them, and Miriam says... (full context)
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Paul returns home and tells Mrs. Morel that he will not see Miriam much anymore. Mrs.... (full context)
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Paul does not break things off with Miriam entirely, however, and they remain together another year,... (full context)
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When Paul goes back inside, he tells his mother that he is going to end things with... (full context)
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...Clara. She complains that this has been their whole relationship, him fighting against her, and Paul feels bitter and furious that she has known all along something he has only just... (full context)
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Miriam leaves and Paul watches her go. He feels that a large part of his life has been made... (full context)
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Over dinner, Paul tells Mrs. Morel that Miriam has not been disappointed because she never thought that it... (full context)
Chapter 12
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Paul does well with his painting and his designs and believes that he can be a... (full context)
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As soon as he has broken up with Miriam, Paul begins to spend time with Clara. He flirts with her at work and then, finally,... (full context)
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When Monday finally arrives, Paul rushes down to the spiral room to see Clara and confirm their date. She tells... (full context)
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When Clara arrives, Paul buys her a red flower to wear in her coat. They catch a tram out... (full context)
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As they trudge along under the soggy canopy of trees, Clara asks Paul if he ever wants to get married. He says no, and she asks how old... (full context)
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Paul asks Clara if she will climb down to the water’s edge with him and she... (full context)
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They are almost at the spot Paul has chosen when they come across two fishermen. They slink past the men but find... (full context)
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They hike back up the hillside to rejoin the path. Paul stoops in the road and cleans Clara’s boots of mud. They stop for tea in... (full context)
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That night, Paul tells Mrs. Morel about his walk with Clara. Mrs. Morel rebukes him and says that... (full context)
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Paul still sees Miriam after church and often walks home with her. That weekend, he tells... (full context)
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Paul is certain, though, that Clara and Baxter Dawes had “real passion.” Miriam asks if it... (full context)
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Paul tells Miriam that Clara is coming to meet his mother on Sunday and Miriam feels... (full context)
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Clara does arrive on the train and is just as apprehensive and excited as Paul. They have a lovely walk through the fields and, when they arrive at the house,... (full context)
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After tea, Clara helps Mrs. Morel wash up. Paul wanders into the garden and Clara feels confined and strained to be left in the... (full context)
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Paul is not surprised to see Miriam and does not feel awkward as he walks the... (full context)
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Paul sees Miriam off and then heads back to the house. As he enters, he hears... (full context)
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After the service, Paul feels slightly guilty as he says goodbye to Miriam. At the same time, however, he... (full context)
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Clara asks about the time – she wants to catch her train – and Paul reluctantly tells her. He is annoyed that she wants to go but, when she insists,... (full context)
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Not long after, Paul invites Clara to the theatre. He buys tickets and arranges to wear a suit for... (full context)
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Paul misses his train and plans to walk home, but Clara insists that he should come... (full context)
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Clara eats quietly, embarrassed by her mother, but Paul spars with Mrs. Radford and gradually placates her to a slightly friendlier tone. Clara goes... (full context)
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Finally, Mrs. Radford says that they should go to bed and Paul gives in, hiding his hatred of the woman. Paul is sent upstairs to Clara’s room;... (full context)
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...down, then he creeps into the living room. Clara is crouched before the fire, naked. Paul approaches her and finds that she looks ashamed. Paul strokes her shoulder and the pair... (full context)
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Mrs. Radford wakes Paul early the next morning by bringing him a cup of tea in bed. Although the... (full context)
Chapter 13
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Not long after his night out with Clara, Paul goes to the “Punch Bowl” for a drink and runs into Baxter Dawes, Clara’s husband.... (full context)
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Paul goes back to his conversation and Baxter makes a spiteful comment about him getting his... (full context)
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Paul does not tell Mrs. Morel about this altercation. He is frustrated because he keeps no... (full context)
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Paul suggests that Baxter could have been a good man. Clara thinks that Paul blames her... (full context)
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A few days later, at work, Paul bumps into Baxter on the stairs. Paul apologizes and goes on with his work, but... (full context)
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Although he and Clara still get on, Paul feels a sense of coldness or indifference for her creep in. He agonizes over this... (full context)
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Paul and Clara often spend the evenings together and then they are like lovers and get... (full context)
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Although Clara is hurt by his words, she can tell he is suffering. Paul begs her not to plan for the future, but, instead, to live in the moment.... (full context)
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The next morning, Clara feels desperately in love with Paul and knows she wants something “permanent.” Paul, however, wakes feeling satisfied and content and feels... (full context)
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The next spring, Paul and Clara rent a cottage at the seaside and stay there together for some time.... (full context)
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That afternoon, Clara and her mother go into town and Paul goes out to draw. Clara can sense that he is pulling away from her and... (full context)
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...she does not want to divorce Baxter because she feels like he “belongs to her.” Paul says that Clara treated Baxter badly because she believed he was something he was not... (full context)
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...Clara feels fulfilled by the relationship. She feels satisfied with the passion between her and Paul and has gained back her confidence and self-assurance through the liaison. They are destined to... (full context)
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...mother have moved from the town), they pass a man on the road who reminds Paul of Baxter. Paul makes a joke to Clara as the man passes. Paul wonders who... (full context)
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Paul is taken aback, but Clara continues and says that, although Baxter would not let her... (full context)
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One night, when Paul leaves Clara’s and has to rush to catch his train, he is ambushed by Baxter,... (full context)
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Paul lies still for a short while, dazed and bruised after the fight. Eventually, he drags... (full context)
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When Paul is healed, he begins to avoid Clara and to spend more time with his male... (full context)
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At the end of his time in Blackpool, Paul travels to Sheffield to join Annie and Mrs. Morel. He is in good spirits and... (full context)
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Paul hopes that the tumor can be cured but, later, when he has dinner with Annie,... (full context)
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Paul goes to speak to the doctor himself. The doctor tells him that the lump may... (full context)
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Paul finds his father well but thinks that he looks very old and sad as he... (full context)
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The next day, Paul must return to Nottingham for work and Mrs. Morel implores him not to worry about... (full context)
Chapter 14
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While Paul is in Sheffield with Mrs. Morel, he hears that Baxter Dawes is in a hospital... (full context)
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Baxter is sulky when Paul arrives, but he gradually softens up as the pair discuss Mrs. Morel’s illness. Baxter has... (full context)
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Paul rarely sees Clara now and the next time he does, he tells her about Baxter.... (full context)
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Although Paul and Baxter are still rivals, Paul goes to visit him often and feels a close... (full context)
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...talks about her marriage. She despises her husband and cannot forgive him for the past. Paul hates to listen to this and feels as though his life is being dismantled. He... (full context)
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Paul is distant and unhappy on this trip and he talks often of his mother’s death.... (full context)
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Back in Nottingham, Paul goes to see Baxter and tells him about his trip away with Clara. Baxter says... (full context)
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As he walks home that night in the dark, Paul feels that he is walking away from earth and towards death but that this path... (full context)
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Paul has a letter from Miriam and goes to see her. Miriam tries to comfort him... (full context)
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Paul does his best to comfort his mother, but she remains determined not to die. Sometimes,... (full context)
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A few nights later, Paul crushes the remaining morphia tablets into a glass of milk. Annie giggles hysterically when she... (full context)
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The next morning, she is still the same and Paul sends Mr. Morel to work as usual. Paul is horrified as he watches his mother... (full context)
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The undertaker is called, and Paul goes into his mother’s room to wait. He weeps over the sight of her body... (full context)
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Paul goes to Nottingham to see Clara and Clara is pleased to find that Paul is,... (full context)
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Baxter Dawes, meanwhile, has recovered in a hospital in Skegness. Paul goes out to visit him at Christmas. He and Baxter have become close friends and... (full context)
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Paul admits that he feels more lost than Baxter. Baxter assures Paul that he will be... (full context)
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The next morning, Paul walks on the beach and feels that he is “cutting himself off from life.” He... (full context)
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From time to time, Clara glances at Paul, but she thinks, looking at him beside her husband, that there is something meagre and... (full context)
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The trio have dinner together and Clara feels irritated with Paul because she feels that he is deliberately absenting himself from the circle and leaving her... (full context)
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Paul leaves Clara and Baxter after dinner and goes to catch his train. When he has... (full context)
Chapter 15
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Paul feels lost and friendless. Clara is gone, and he and his father part ways and... (full context)
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Paul is determined not to die, but he cannot get in touch with life. He feels,... (full context)
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...and, as he watches her sing the psalms, he thinks she looks like a saint. Paul approaches her after the service, and she is very surprised to see him. She tells... (full context)
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Paul goes to fetch them coffee and Miriam looks around his room. She finds it grim... (full context)
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Paul thinks that it is a waste for her to work. He tells her that while... (full context)
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...she cannot handle in him if she does so. She remains kneeling there and, eventually, Paul takes her in his arms and comforts her. (full context)
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Paul feels that Miriam is not strong enough to support and contain him. She is willing... (full context)
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Miriam admires the flowers on Paul’s table, and he gives them to her. He accompanies her back to her cousin’s house,... (full context)
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Paul leans against a stile and feels himself surrounded by the night. He feels that time... (full context)