Comparative Survey, Descriptive Research

  Comparative survey research is a type of descriptive survey where it aims to compare the status of two or more variable, institutions, strategies etc. This technique often uses multiple disciplines in one study.This does not only compare different groups but also same group over time.Few points are to be kept in mind before starting the comparative survey. ·        Comparison Points -The research should be very clear regarding the points to be compared. This can also be identified through review of literature and experience of experts. ·        Assumption of Similarities -  One has to be clear about the similarities the two variable hold. If the researcher do not find this there is no point of comparison. Criteria of Comparison - The researcher has to identify the criteria of comparison keeping in mind the fairness and objectivity. Appropriate tools has to be identified for measurement of criterion variables. Comparative survey research is carried on when the researcher cannot

Bring out the Autobiographical Elements in Sons and Lovers

Theme of Oedipus Complex                  Education vs Learning

D.H.Lawrence was considered a maverick when a series of novels- The White Peacock (1911), The Trespasser (1912), Sons and Lovers (1913), The Plumed Serpent (1926) and Lady Chatterly’s Lover (1929) written by him were published. He used the medium of novel as a vehicle for communicating his own vision of life. As a fiction writer he exhibited his genius but it was his prophetic vision that really created waves in the world. One of the most disputed men of genius in the history of modern English novel has been excessively praised as well as excessively abused. Eminent critics like T.S.Eliot have condemned him as an uncultured man insensitive to social morality. But, many of them in recent times have defended him against the charges of immorality.  
Sons and Lovers is an autobiographical novel, as autobiographical as Arnold Bennett’s Clayhanger and the first half of Charles Dickens David Copperfield. It has its roots deeper in Lawrence’s childhood and youth. It is replete with his haunting remembrance, recollections and relationships. Perhaps, the pen with which Lawrence wrote his masterpiece was certainly dipped in his own blood. John Middleton Murray rightly observes,

‘Sons and lovers’ appear as the gesture of a man who makes the heroic effort to liberate himself from the matrix of his own past.

If we make a comparative study we find, Paul Morel- the protagonist bears a clear and close resemblance with his own creator. Like Paul, Lawrence was also a weak and sickly boy and was brought very close to his mother when he suffered from pneumonia. The persistent atmosphere of disharmony and the regular bickering of the parents laid a great strain on Lawrence. Like Paul, Lawrence too was an introvert. He too had fits of depression and melancholy and a nameless horror filled his soul.  A striking similarity is found between the parents of Paul and those of Lawrence. Walter Morel is an image of his father Arthur John and Gertrude Morel is none other than his mother Lydia John.

The affair between Paul and Miriam has its roots in the affair between Lawrence and Jessie Chambers. Even Clara who is called as adaptation by many critics stands for a real human who came in contact with Lawrence and Jessie Chambers. Lausie Burrows is the model of Clara. She bears strong physical and mental resemblance. Lawrence writes about her in the letter,

When I think of her, I feel happy with a sort of warm relations….

The critics further points out that Sons and Lovers is autobiographical in other elements also. The story is set in Bestwood which is a close replica of Lawrencs’s native village Eastwood. The setting presented with a most powerful sense of atmosphere and of physical detail of the rhythm of work and life of miners is a realistic depiction of that of Eastwood. It also gives us the relation between an industrial future and agricultural past of the early 19th century England by presenting the very quality and reality of living. Graham Hough remarks,

Sons and Lovers is a catharsis achieved by hearing an actual experience-reliving it over and over again.

Considering the letter written by Lawrence in 1910, he describes his family life which echoes in the present novel. According to him, he was born hating his father and there developed a bond between his mother and him which was more than a relation between mother and son. Similarly, Paul Morel hates his father and shares a relationship with his mother more than that of a son. Moreover, the love triangle of Paul, his mother and father and then the triangle formed by Paul, his mother and Miriam can also be seen in Lawrence’s own life.

Graham Hough points out that,

Sons and Lovers is autobiographical not only because it mirrors Lawrence’s personal life but also it mirrors Lawrence’s relationship with the age, his relations too with his predicament and circumstances.

Hence, Lawrence is primarily drawn to this manner of presentation, not a man with his destiny but a man in a particular situation. His whole personality jostled with the age. He was rooted in a particular soil.

Sons and Lovers echoes the tension of the time, disintegration in human relations and a gradual disappearance of values due to over emphasis on science and industrialization. James Joyce in his autobiographical novel tries to construct a self contained world outside him whereas; Lawrence projects Sons and Lovers from the very centre of his passionate existence so that it may act sometimes tentatively, sometimes fiercely and sometimes desperately. Graham Hough again points out that without looking Lawrence’s personal life Sons and Lovers cannot be appreciated because,

Lawrence is like Byron in being a writer whose person can never be successfully dissociated from his works.

The White Peacock, Kangaroo and The Plumed Serpent contain long sections drawn directly from Lawrence’s own life. Woman in Love is full of recognizable portraits. The same sort of things occurs in his short stories as well. If Lawrence is incapable of writing straight autobiography he is also incapable of keeping himself and his friends out of his book. Sons and Lovers is so much representative of Lawrence that it may be taken as a disguised autobiography.


  1. Meticulously Complied and proficiently written blog on
    D.H.Lawrence's Autobiographical Elements
    in Sons and Lovers.

  2. Very lucid article on Sons and Lovers.
    It may be fruitful to others to give a slight touch on the personal life of Lawrence.


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