Odour Of Chrysanthemums Analysis

1297 Words6 Pages
Odour of Chrysanthemums – Born to be Different Gender issues have always been one of the most-discussed topics in the world of literature. For years, writers would like to feature gender differences, and putting them into their work. D.H. Lawrence's “Odour of Chrysanthemums” is one of the examples. In the story, male is represented by Walter Bates, his son John Bates, Mr. Rigley, Elizabeth's father, and the people from Walter's company; whereas female is represented by the protagonist, Elizabeth Bates, her daughter Annie Bates, Walter's mother and Mrs. Rigley. In this essay, I argue that the characters in the story depict not only diffrences between the two genders, and also within the same gender. The story featured a typical gender difference…show more content…
For example Mrs Rigley, a warm-hearted woman who is willing to help Elizabeth to look for Walter, with only one condition :take care of the children for her when she is away to seek help from her husband. On the contrary, Elizabeth's father clearly knows that Walter has been a trouble in his daughter's life, “I heard's got another bout on” (581), but he shows no care about Elizabeth. He might not be able to understand the bitterness of Elizabeth as he is relatively indifferent when compared to women. Besides, John Bates is also described as indifferent, just like his father Walter. When his sister Annie is making the fire, he compains “Make haste, our Annie” (584), but he just stands there and not lending a helping hand, proofing his…show more content…
Elizabeth is obligated by the social pressure, marrying Walter despite love does not exist between them. She admits that the marriage has brought her painful memories, as she said the that chrysanthemums do not smell good to her, because “it was chrysanthemums when I married him” and “the first time they ever bought him home drunk, he'd got brown chrysanthemums in his button-hole”. Chrysanthemums “symbolize ‘the cycle of birth, marriage, defeat and drunkenness, and death’s associated with the marriage” to her. (Bağlama, 2013) She realises “what a stranger he was to her” only after Walter's death, and she has been “fighting a husband who did not exist”. However, Annie as a little girl can already make little decisions that favor herself, for example, she asked her mother “let's have our tea” (582), without the father. In the traditional sense, male has the biggest authority at home and should not be left out to have tea without being noticed. However, Annie has decided not to wait for the father and have tea, showing that she is fearless of the patriarchal constraints. She has the courage to stand up and fight for what she likes; whereas Elizabeth is incapable of defending the social obligations, therefore, in my opinion, Annie is a more appropriate role model for the
Open Document