Oudor Of Chrysanthemums Essay, Research Paper
In D.H. Lawrence s Odour of Chrysanthemums, is about the symbolization of chrysanthemums; the feeling Elizabeth Bates has towards her husband. Elizabeth waits anxiously for her husband to return for dinner. After a day down the pits, she is concerned for his safety and at the same time angry at the trouble he has made for her by coming home late, and drunk, so often. She ponders their poor relationship and tries to keep up appearances with her two young children. After unsuccessfully trying the pubs and neighbors, the word comes that there has been an accident and that her husband has been killed, It was chrysanthemums when I married him
and chrysanthemums when you were born When John, her son, “tears at the ragged wisps of chrysanthemums and dropped the petals,” she feels sorry for the flowers and for herself and taking a twig of flowers she “held them against her face” in fond memory of the way the marriage used to be. And the, “instead of laying the flower aside, she pushed it in her apron-band.” She wears the flower as an emblem to their now useless familiar relationship just as some people wear armbands at a funeral. Yet, when the daughter is excited about the mother keeping a flower in her apron, Mrs. Bates is sarcastic, saying, “Goodness me! One would think the house is afire” and she “irritably . . . took the flowers out from her apron-band.”
and the very first time they ever brought him home drunk, he d got brown chrysanthemums in his button hole. Near the opening of the story, Mrs. Bates is described as “imperious.” “Imperious” means domineering and arrogant, and it portrays Mrs. Bates as a woman in full command. As she stands looking at the miners going home, she seems like an army commander surveying her troops. Her “definite” eyebrows and hair “parted exactly” reinforce the image of her as a no-nonsense commander. The way she talks sternly to her son and daughter also conveys her authoritative attitude. It is only at the end of the story, when she is humbled by her husband s death, that she is “countermanded” (no longer “in command” and her authoritative attitude is replaced by humility and submissiveness.
There was a cold, deathly smell of chrysanthemums in the room. The miner’s mother arrives, increasing the sense of doom. The wife’s thoughts are for her family, the mother’s for the lad her son had been. Wondering why he should have turned out to be the “trouble” he has – she seems to be shifting some of the blame onto the wife with the words, “You’ve had a sight of trouble with him Elizabeth, you have indeed. But he was a jolly enough lad wi’ me, he was, I can assure you.” When the women have stripped the man and washed him they each see something very different in his nakedness. To the mother he is the still “clear and clean and white, beautiful as ever a child was made.” But the wife sees that she has never really known this man. She tries to reach him, but he is impregnable. She who has been impregnated by this “stranger” feels that the child in her womb is turned to ice. She realizes that whilst she has been fearing, living and sleeping with this man, she has not been actually realizing *this* man. And the thought creeps into her mind – was she to blame too? The story ends, with Lizzie’s realizations that she is, in fact, powerless to control her life. “Life is her immediate master.” And the future? She winces “from death, her ultimate master.” There was a cold, deathly smell of chrysanthemums in the room.