Odour Of Chrysanthemums Critical Analysis

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Lawrence and The Odour of Chrysanthemums: An undervalued master of his time The aim of this paper is to do a critical analysis of the short story “Odour of Chrysanthemums” written by D. H. Lawrence. First of all I will summarize the story in order to prepare the background for further analysis. The story follows an evening of an English family that lives in a coal mining town. It begins with the protagonist, Elizabeth Bates, accompanied by her 5 year old son John, who meets with her father that comes around the corner of the street driving a small locomotive engine. They have a short conversation while she brings him a cup of tea and a piece of bread and butter, after which the father leaves and Elizabeth and her son go inside the house. The woman prepares the dinner while…show more content…
First of all, I would like to start by taking a look at the title of the story: The Odour of Chrysanthemums. These flowers are present throughout the story as a symbol and they are most of the time described in relation to Elizabeth. She has mixed feelings regarding Chrysanthemums as she relates them to both disappointing memories and happy events of her life, as the birth of her daughter. We can see that she likes the flowers when “she broke off a twig with three or four wan flowers and held them against her face” (Lawrence, 2), or by the simple fact that she has two vases of Chrysanthemums in her house. At the same time, as I previously said, the flowers remind her of bad events of her life as well, as for example when her husband was brought home drunk for the first time and he had “brown chrysanthemums in his button-hole” (Lawrence, 6). Therefore, these flowers can be understood as a symbol of life because it reminds her of her daughter’s birth, but also death as their “cold, deathly smell” (Lawrence, 11) invaded the room when Elizabeth was waiting for the arrival of Walter’s

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