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## Freudian Oedipus Complex in Sons and Lovers ##

By: | Jan 06, 2012 07:28 PM

Oedipus Complex : The idea of the Oedipus Complex is derived from the legend of King Oedipus of Thebes in ancient Greece. Oedipus unknowingly killed his father and married his mother. He begot two sons and two daughters from her.


Freud, a German psychologist, used the term Oedipus Complex to signify the manifestation of the sexual desire of the child for the parent of the opposite sex i.e. sexual desire of the son for mother and conflict with father. Webster's Dictionary explain the Oedipus Complex as:


'The unconscious tendency of a child to be attached to the parent of the opposite sex and hostile towards the other parent: its persistence in adult life results in neurotic disorders.


Thus the sons in his every infancy is sexually attached to the mother. At the same time there is corresponding hatred of the father. The son when he is excessively attached too the mother develops the Oedipus Complex and suffers from mother-fixation.


'Sons and Lovers' is the first Freudian novel in the English literature. The Oedipus Complex is the centralized theme of the novel, It covers a large space and is a dominant factor in the novel.


Paul is too much emotionally attached to his mother, Mrs. Morel and suffers from mother-fixation and mother image often pops up to stand between him and the objects of his love(Miriam and Clara). The Oedipus Complex has been widely diffused over the canvas of the novel.


Lawrence and Oedipus Complex- It is a fact that Lawrence is suffered from the Oedipus Complex in his life. He was a victim of deep rooted mother fixation. His mother Lydia Lawrence had a very strong hold on him. He also love his mother passionately like a lover.


The mother was dissatisfied in her marriage and took great care of the son. The Son being sickly and weak depended on her and she gave him warmth of life, inspiration and love.


Owing to it he was never able to establish a happy emotional relationship with other women. He was a torture soul throughout his life and his suffering, his observation reflected in' Sons and Lovers'


Oedipus Complex in'Sons and Lovers " -


William and his Mother - In the novel the unhappy married life of Lawrence' s parents is reflected in the ill-matched and unhappy marriage between Walter Morel, a miner and Gertrude Morel, an educated and cultured lady. After the birth of the first son William, Mrs. Morel begins to alienate and hate her husband.


As William grows up he also begins to hate his father at the instance of his mother. Mrs. Morel is frustrated in her marriage and seeks emotional fulfillment in the son William.


William is handsome and a number of girls come to see him. The mother is possessive and does not want her son to make friendship with girls. She become jealous of them. She cannot tolerate William' s girlfriend Gyp and criticizes her. William is torn between his attachment for his mother and love for his beloved.


Paul and his Mother - After Williams' s death his place is taken by the second son, Paul wjo has already taken his father's place in the mother's heart.


The relationship between Paul and his mother runs throughout the novel. All other relationships are brought into contact with it and are subordinate to it. It is the central expression of the theme of the novel. Everything is ultimately referred to this mother-son relationship.


Paul and his Father: The Oedipus Complex leads to the envy of the father. Mrs. Morel mercilessly casts off her husband.


The mother encourages her son to hate his father. Paul looks upon his father as his rival in his monopoly over his mother's love. As a result, there develops a feeling of hatred and hostility between father and the son.


Paul, Miriam and Clara: Paul's unhealthy and abnormal relationship with his mother results in his failure to establish normal sexual and emotional relationship with other women. He fails in his relationship with Miriam and Clara mainly because of his love for his mother.


The mother-fixation in him is so strong that he cannot give himself freely and fully to Miriam. The Oedipus Complex in him has weakened him emotionally. He is glued to his mother spiritually and emotionally, if not sexually. Paul always seeks mother image in his woman.


Clara is simply rejected because he fails to find in her the mother-image. Miriam is only spiritual substitute of the mother. So being dissatisfied with both Miriam and Clara, he clings on to his mother.


Mrs. Morel, ' You haven't met the right woman.'


Paul replies, ' And I shall never meet the right woman while you live.' '


Paul stands in the web of the Freudian psychoanalysis as a fly and the mother, Mrs. Morel plays a spider, always praying upon him.


Her affection is just a mask. There are sinister forces underneath and these are the domain of the Oedipus Complex. Even in the death of the mother there is no release for Paul. He will be haunted by her soul for ever.


In the end Paul severs his connection both with Miriam and Clara and becomes indifferent to life and death alike. Thus the Oedipus Complex in the guise of mother-fixation is responsible for the other tragedy of Paul...



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