The Victorian novel was regarding love, its fulfilment and culmination, the modern novel, on the other hand spoke of love but the love was never realised leading to a breakdown of communication and hence a sense of alienation. In the Victorian novel, alienation was appropriated to highlight the importance of love and marriage but the modern novel merely confirmed it as a social condition. We see this pattern of the modern novel clearly followed in the Walter-Gertrude relationship as we see them fall in love, as well as witness the absence of the fulfilment of that love for either of them. The narrative of D.H. Lawrence’s “Sons and Lovers” is on one level a story of a marriage but at the same time it raises the question of whether it is…show more content…
This deliberate action on Lawrence’s part ensures that the female reader doesn’t identify herself with Gertrude in a romantic association, as well as assures a bit of sympathy for Walter being evoked in the reader. It brings into light the fact that Gertrude in due course despises Walter for the very reasons that she fell in love with him.
In the flashback episode there is moreover a mention to Gertrude’s former lover John Fields who abandoned her. This reference to John Fields can be seen as a kind of epilogue to the Morel marriage. Lawrence seems to be developing Gertrude as a character of romantic, impulsive disposition and hence proves her act of marrying Walter to be an act of sheer impulse and definitely not a wise one. The text consciously establishes her as a woman whose act leads her to unhappiness. The marriage vindicates the notion that deviations lead to unhappiness.
Emerging from completely different social classes the work both Walter and Gertrude perform are completely different-Walter’s work is physical as opposed to the intellectual work of Gertrude. Hence, their dispositions to life and activities they engage in are different at every level. Their attitude towards the working class is one such aspect. The conditions and lifestyle of the mining community that Gertrude greatly despises and does her best to keep her children away from seems to satisfy Walter and he seems to have accepted them with great ease. The views they have on