Feminist Criticism In Shakespeare's Sons And Lovers

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Register to read the introduction… The extent of the bond established between mother and son is most vividly dramatised by the episode where Paul's mother cries at the thought of losing him to …show more content…
The first feminist critic to attempt this reversal of Sons and Lovers was Kate Millett in Sexual Politics. Despite obvious flaws such as partiality and selective dealing with the text, her views permanently altered subsequent reader's responses to the novel. The faults of selectivity and partiality have already been encountered in the failings of a psychoanalytic reading, and it also arises in Millet's interpretation when she accuses Paul of unrepentant cruelty towards Miriam when he attempts to teach her algebra, for example. Her feminist reading has acutely discovered a streak of sadism in Paul's sexual relationship with Miriam, which may have gone unnoticed, yet her reading is dependant on an extremely partial reading of the text. The novel expresses how Paul repeatedly vacillates between anger and shame at his loss of …show more content…
A psychoanalytic reading of Sons and Lovers conveniently overlooks passages which may contradict it's theories, and Freudianism doesn't account for individuality, since the characters do not exist in a social void, but essentially it has provided some of the most revealing critical observations since the text's publication. It does not just uncover the subtext (unconscious) of the novel, but focuses on symptomatic passages that illustrate the presence of the unconscious taking the text in its own direction, usually of repetition, as in the triangle between Paul, Clara and Baxter, mirroring that of Paul and his parents. Feminist readings have discovered overlooked women writers and promoted their study, and have enlightened this text in many places, but they can be selective, narrow, and unfair to male characters and the author. Characters are limited by both readings when they are transformed into stereotypes Paul does not act the way he does because he is simply male, or he is simply the victim of an Oedipus complex. Paul is alienated from his father, not just as a result of his complex, but because the father works as part of the traditional working class set-up, and does not spend as much time with the children as the mother. One single reading of the novel will inevitably prevent the student from seeing the

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