Sons and Lovers

by: D.H. Lawrence

Chapter 5: Paul Launches into Life

Summary Chapter 5: Paul Launches into Life

The next Monday morning, Paul goes off to work on the train. He arrives at the factory and is introduced to his boss, Pappleworth. Pappleworth shows him how to fetch and copy letters, to write out orders and invoices, and to make up parcels for shipping. He also introduces him to some of the other people who work in the factory, and Paul gets along best with the women, like Polly, the overseer of the sewing crew, and the hunchback Fanny, who works in the finishing-off room. He becomes friends with many of the women and grows to like his job at Jordan’s.

We can see the way the narrative perspective has shifted from that of Mrs. Morel to that of Paul through the way Mrs. Morel’s trip to the hospital is narrated. The narrator describes Mrs. Morel leaving for the hospital, and then he describes her returning; the events that happen outside of the house seem to be outside the narrative field of vision. However, this is not the case later in this chapter, when Paul goes to Nottingham to work. This suggests that Paul has become the primary focus of the narration.

This chapter contains further examples of the identification between Paul and Mrs. Morel: Paul comforts her, and talks to her every day. It seems as if their identification is extended to the point that they are sharing the same life, and this is a motif that will continue through the rest of the novel.

We also see further evidence of Mrs. Morel’s disappointment in William, her favorite, in this chapter. She has been previously disappointed in William when he takes up dancing, and here she is disappointed that he does not send them money. She also disapproves of the girl he is seeing and the pictures that she sends.

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