Notes on Sons and Lovers Themes

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Sons and Lovers Topic Tracking: Industrialism

Industrialism 1: The mining company has set up villages in the valley for the miners and their families. The well-to-do families and the poor families each live in the valley designated for them: Bestwood for the well-to-do, and slums of "Hell Row" for the poor.

Industrialism 2: Mrs. Morel despises the dreary and monotonous life she leads as a poor miner's wife. She wishes that she could leave this little provincial town for something bigger and better. Mrs. Morel cannot wait for her children to grow up so that she can escape the slums of this town when they are older.

Industrialism 3: Mrs. Morel, confident that William will achieve a better profession than mining, is adamant that he will not become a miner like his father. She knows that William is capable of more than her husband ever was, and wants William to pursue all that he can achieve.

Industrialism 4: Now that Paul is of age to work, the valley he has loved and cherished so much as a child has become a place of work. He can no longer view the valley in the same way he once did: the valley loses its appeal of freedom, independence, and innocence.

Industrialism 5: Paul finds a job at a company that makes surgical appliances. He is becoming part of the great industrial movement of England. Paul can now finally earn money for his family, for his mother especially. He feels proud that he can work and earn a salary like an adult.

Industrialism 6: Paul enjoys himself at work. He finds companionship in the factory girls and his boss. However, he begins to witness a significant gender difference in men's and women's work. He sees that the men represent the work ethic and the women do not.

Industrialism 7: The trains that transport Paul to work every day, along with many other people living in the countryside, symbolize the industrialized and non-established parts of England. The factory where Paul works is just one of the many places in industrialized Nottingham that represents culture and sophistication.

Industrialism 8: Paul likes the feeling of men working, especially of men sitting on trucks. He feels that the physical work of men is thrilling and impressive, and makes him feel more invigorated and alive to see men at work.

Industrialism 9: Arthur, the youngest Morel child, gets a job at Minton Pit, doing electrical work. He, as with Paul, enters the work force, doing a profession that requires skill and technical knowledge. That Arthur joins the industrial work force suggests the intensity of work in the industrial field.

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