Bondage and Escape in Sons & Lovers Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 27 December 2016

Bondage and Escape in Sons & Lovers

A major theme in “Sons & Lovers” is bondage and escape. Every major character is held hostage by another character or by their environment. Her husband, her family and her anger at the family’s social status hold Mrs. Morel hostage. She has no friends to be seen or money of her own to use. Her escape from her bondage is her death. She was unhappy her whole life and lived though another human as a source of happiness. She essentially lived her life through William and, after his death, through Paul, which in a twist of irony, by doing so she is essentially keeping them in bondage.

She wants William to move to town to get a good job and a good wife to help up their social status. When he does move and bring home a woman, she thinks she has finally arrived, only to be pushed back down with his death. William, who found a good upper class woman with Lily, brings her back to his family’s home. He loves Lily, until he sees her behavior to his sister; Lily treats Annie like a servant. Although his mother likes Lily, he cannot stay with her and soon leaves her and then falls ill and dies. William’s death is his great escape from the bonds of his mother.

When William dies Paul replaces him as Mrs. Morel’s dummy; Paul leads his life as his mother wants him to, she keeps him in check, approves who he dates and even goes with him and speaks for him on his first job interview. The only thing redeeming Paul in this is that he knows that he is being tied down by his mother and is fighting a silent fight against her for his whole life. Although Mrs. Morel doesn’t like Miriam, he keeps his relationship with her. Although Mrs. Morel doesn’t want Paul to stay out late, on most occasions he breaks this rule also.

The only thing that ever releases Paul from Mrs. Morel’s grasp is her death. Mr. Morel’s captivity is the most literal. He is held captive by the mine; every day he must work in the mine and the harder and longer he works, the more money he makes. He is held captive by money and a blue-collar career. As a man, he ahs more options than Mrs. Morel, he can go to work, he can drink in the bar after work, he has his own money; but still the mine is always there, calling him back with the lore of making more money next week.

Miriam is held captive by Paul and by her own lofty hopes and dreams. Paul strings her along in their relationship, with no future for them in the relationship. This lack of future for them may be based on Mrs. Morel’s dislike of Miriam and by Paul’s willingness to always please Mrs. Morel above him. Miriam is also held captive by her own dreams; she envisions herself as a princess, not as the wife of an office clerk. She has aspirations that are unattainable, and therefore is kept down by her own refusal to settle with Paul.

Clara is held captive also, but for the opposite reason that Miriam is: Clara is levelheaded and stable and supporting herself with a job. She is too levelheaded though and will not allow herself to fall too much in love with Paul. She in the end seems to only head further into captivity, by going back with her abusive husband. In conclusion, everyone of the major character is held in bondage and not all are able to make an escape from their bonds.

Free Bondage and Escape in Sons & Lovers Essay Sample

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  • University/College: University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 27 December 2016

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