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Sample text

Paul and Clara feel themselves part of the larger movement of the cosmos; we start to see them as we see Tom Brangwen, and Lydia, and Will, in The Rainbow, as inhabitants of another world beside 'the world of life' (R 81 ). But Sons and Lovers is a novel concerned with ·creating a tragically damaged hero; it relegates such experiences to the class of 'passion', simply, and they are not allowed to stand between Paul and his tragedy. The novel's structure and argument demand that such a next step be denied almost as soon as created.

Is answered only by the language of native caution; the novel stops trying to impress us, and creates a human situation, caught between disaster and comedy. And we forget, for a moment, the controlling hand of the author. For that is, perhaps, the most significant weakness of the novel: Lawrence's authorial presence as aesthete, psychologist and tragedian. Not only does Siegmund speak with the voice of his creator; so does the Doppelganger Hampson, and there is a third authorial presence in Cecil Byrne.

We Rnow that he responded gratefully both from the contents of the finished novel, and from the summary of it he sent to Garnett as soon as he had finished it; this states a new idea for the book which, despite its familiarity, must be examined: I tell you it has got fornr-form: haven't I made it patiently, out of sweat as well as blood. It follows this idea: a woman of character and refinement goes into the lower class, and has no satisfaction in her own life. She has had a passion for her husband, so the children are born of passion, and have heaps of vitality.

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