When William leaves the house to take a high-paying job in London, he is excited, but Mrs. Morel is grief-stricken over his parting. Being his mother, she should be proud of him, but she is not. Rather, she fears losing him and holds even more tightly onto her other son, Paul. This shows her inability to mother her sons correctly beyond their childhood. Instead of showing her love for William by letting him go proudly, she shows her insecurity and fear by coddling her other son more.
While at first, Mrs. Morel is intolerant of her husband's drinking and bad behavior, as she begins to disconnect with him and connect more with her children, she cares less what he does. Though it used to give her grief and frustration to see him drunk and in poverty, she no longer has an investment in his well-being or success, so she becomes more tolerant of his misgivings.
The fact that Mrs. Morel shuns her husband and turns all her love to her children is actually detrimental to them. Although Morel is a drunkard with a bad temper, it would be more to their benefit to be able to relate to him than to feel as though they too must shun him as their mother does. This twisted relationship can be linked to the Paul's insecurity around men, such as when he goes into town to pick up money for his father. It is also the reason for the confusion that the children feel; at times they want their father to die, and at other times they pray that he will not hurt himself. If Mrs. Morel really had her children's best interests at heart, she would allow them to open themselves up to their father.
Mrs. Morel's lack of fulfillment...