Comparing Maturation in Sons and Lovers, Out Of The Shelter and The Rachel Papers

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Comparing Maturation in Sons and Lovers by D.H Lawrence, Out Of The Shelter by David Lodge and The Rachel Papers by Martin Amis

Each of these three novels Sons and Lovers by D.H Lawrence, Out Of The Shelter by David Lodge and The Rachel Papers by Martin Amis, examine the transition between childhood and adulthood of the three main characters in each of the texts. Each author represents this transition by showing how all the characters deal with significant stages or events in their lives. The problems which they encounter lead to the maturation of each character which finally leads to the process of growing up taking place. Although each book is set in a different era, where social conventions are very different, many of the
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Miriam, who is Paul's 'first love', is sweet and gentle and kind and it is for these reasons that Paul is attracted to her at first. Mrs Morel tries to discourage Paul from developing his relationship with Miriam because to her Miriam poses a huge threat to her relationship with Paul.This is apparent when Mrs Morel tells Paul,

"... she exults so in taking you from me - she's not like ordinary girls."

Clearly Miriam is an ordinary girl and it is in fact Paul's mother and her relationship with him which is not 'normal'. Paul's relationship with Miriam is more mental than physical and it is this that Mrs Morel cannot accept. She cannot come to terms withthe fact that someone else might know, love and be as close to her son as she is. His mother is such a dominant force in his life that eventually he ends his relationship with Miriam. His mother's domination has a suffocating effect on Paul which prevents him from being able to develop both as a person and an artist. This is reflected in the setting of this novel which is a dark and suffocating coal-mining community. We are made aware of this from the very beginning of the book where the opening line reads,

"'THE BOTTOMS' succeeded to 'Hell Row'."

This means that from the moment the story begins it is clear that the main character, Paul Morel, will face not only the ordinary problems and difficulties which are linked with growing up, but also those associated with living in a repressed and stifling

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