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D.H. Lawrence's Odour of Chrysanthemums Essay

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“Odour of Chrysanthemums,” by D. H. Lawrence, tells a story of a woman named Elizabeth Bates, who is married to a man that works in the mines. The couple has two children, and they are expecting their third child. There is a lot trouble between them. The Bates family lives in poverty. The house where they live has no electricity and it needs to be lit up with torches. One night Mrs. Bates waits for her husband to come back home from work to serve dinner, but he never shows up. She thinks he may be drinking with his friends, and that maybe his friends are going to bring him back home drunk as usual. Time passes and Mrs. Bates does not hear from him. Later that night her mother in law arrives crying, then she begins suspect that something bad happens and her husband is dead. The central idea of liberation is expressed as the writer uses three elements of fiction to tell the story.
The setting use by Lawrence is physical. The story takes place in a community called Brinsley Colliery. Brinsley Colliery is a miner’s community: “The miners were being turned up…The engine whistled as it came into the wide bay of railways lines beside the colliery, where rows of trucks stood in harbour” (798). Elizabeth goes outside her home and watches when the miners passes the train track, but she does not see her husband among them.
The setting is very important to the story because it allows the reader to identify where the story takes place. The town is full of miners: “Miners, single, trailing and in groups, passed like shadows diverging home” (798). The miners are going back home after a hard day at work.
The writer uses third-person limited omniscient point of view to tell the story. The author can read through Elizabeth Bates’s mind and perc...


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...s a symbol. Mrs. Bates is aware that she and her husband are separated by death: “Now he was dead, she knew how eternally he was apart from her, how eternally he has nothing more to do with her. She saw this episode of her life closed” (811). Mrs. Bates feels that the death of her husband symbolizes the end of their marriage, and also the end of one chapter of her life.
Lawrence uses liberation as a central idea to write the story. The three elements of fiction use by the author facilitate the reader to recognize the unfulfilled life that Mrs. Bates is leaving with her husband. However, the reader can also appreciate how Mrs. Bates still fills respect for him no matter the circumstances; one of the reasons is because he is the father of her children. It also identifies how her husband is not part of their life anymore, because they are living people and he is not.



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