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Essay on The Opening of DH Lawrence's Short Story Odour of Chrysanthemums

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The Opening of DH Lawrence's Short Story Odour of Chrysanthemums

In the opening of the short story, "Odour of Chrysanthemums", DH
Lawrence talks about how industry is dominating nature. He tells us
how mankind cannot stand in industry's way and that it is like a
monster we created, which we cannot defeat. The mood Lawrence tries to
create in the opening is gloomy and lifeless which suggests that the
story will be sad and tragic. The words he uses to achieve this are
mostly negative.

The title is rather unusual. Lawrence does not use words that are
usually associated with the smell of flowers, like "fragrance" or
"scented". Instead, he chooses the word "odour" to indicate the smell
of chrysanthemums. This suggests that they are starting to wilt
because they tend to give off an unpleasant smell when they decompose.
From these words, we have a sense that something is wrong and that it
might be unpleasant or unhappy. It also suggests that the story might
be related to death.

The opening of the story starts by depicting the engine. It describes
it with negative words like "clanking, stumbling" which is associated
to noisiness and clumsiness, to make it sound dangerous and ugly. It
is not accomplishing the promise to mankind to be fast as it only
appears to have "loud threats of speed". Even the colt, which was
frightened by it, ran faster. Lawrence is trying to acknowledge that
nature is threatened by industry although it is much more beautiful.
We humans cannot do anything to stop it, as Lawrence said, "she stood
insignificantly trapped between the jolting black wagons and the
hedge" when the women was walking up the railway. It i...


... middle of paper ...


...ace" suggesting that
chrysanthemums are a remembrance of someone very close to her. This
once again relates to the title, "Odour of Chrysanthemums". "Odour"
suggesting death, tell us that the person who she is trying to
remember is dead. This person could be the person she was expecting
earlier, when she was watching the miners pass by.

The opening of the story begins and ends with the engine, which
represents industry dominating people's lives. Nature and industry are
contrasting antitheses, suggesting that there will be conflict between
them. By talking about them, suggests the story will be tragic. The
title suggests something dying and there is a lot of tension in the
mother and child relationship. The story will be sad because of the
negative words used for the house, the nature, the people and the
industry.


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