Chrysanthemums. Comment in detail on the way in which Lawrence’s use
of language creates a particular atmosphere and raises certain
The opening of ‘Odour of Chrysanthemums’ tells us about the domination
of industry over nature. It presents nature at its worst and the
dominance of technology, symbolized by the engine. The focus of the
story is on the engine, the people, nature and its description and the
mood of the story is gloomy, despondent. The struggle of the people
parallels that of nature, which highlights the story. The themes
revolving around the story are tension, struggles, dominance,
disappointment and loss.
At first glance, the title captures the attention of the reader with a
sense of irony. D.H. Lawrence used the title ‘Odour of
Chrysanthemums’ to set the tone of the story and provides a sense of
forewarning. The word ‘odour’ suggests a strong, bad smell but
chrysanthemums are not scented. Only when chrysanthemums are dead do
they give off a smell which is strong and pungent. This implies to
the reader that something terrible will arise soon after. And the
story starts with the locomotive ‘clanking, stumbling’, and moving
clumsily and noisily. It sets the basis of the story (industry,
machinery) which is antithesis with the title. This engine is shown as
something negative and imposing since it is destroying the
tranquillity of nature and taking over it. However, nature is
stronger and this is symbolized by the colt which ‘outdistanced it at
a canter’. The noisy engine which represents the industrial figure
and man-made is slower than the running colt which is created by
nature. The story also ends with ...
... middle of paper ...
...ance of the house gives the feeling that it is not somewhere
you would want to live in. “Winter-cracked trees, ragged cabbages,
dishevelled pink chrysanthemums”; even nature surrounding the house is
ugly. They are struggling to grow against the polluted atmosphere but
are fighting a losing battle. Also the environment in other parts
such as the fields which were “dreary and forsaken” and the “tarred
fowl house” tells us that nature is not at its best at the moment.
“Flames like red sores licking its ashy sides” is like an injury which
will take a long time to heel.
The miners which are unnamed “passed like shadows” is a simile to
describe how blackened they were from the coal. Anything to do with
mining seems to carry negative connotations. The miners being unnamed
shows how little of significance they are compared to the battle of
industry and nature.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- “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.... [tags: story and character analysis]
827 words (2.4 pages)
- Death in a Flower Ralph Waldo Emerson once said "Is not marriage an open question, when it isalleged, from the beginning of the world, that such as are in the institution wish to getout, and such as are out wish to get in?"(Brainy Quote). Emerson's expressions are alltoo true for many married people as well as those in serious relationships. It seems thatengaging in marriage is a step that many take only to find out it was a mistake. Nothingis ever perfect in relationships as well as in life and in death.... [tags: Biography Summary of Works]
1582 words (4.5 pages)
- John Steinbeck's 'The Chrysanthemums' and D.H. Lawrence's 'The Odour of Chrysanthemums' Women in the 1900s were given little attention. John Steinbeck and D.H Lawrence however have chosen to base their short stories on a single woman character and around a type of flower, which is the chrysanthemum. Though written by male writers, both stories give an insight of the feelings and actions of a female character in that time period and how chrysanthemums can mean an entirely different obsession towards the two main characters.... [tags: Compare Contrast Chrysanthemums Essays]
1511 words (4.3 pages)
- Use of Symbols and Symbolism in John Steinbeck's The Chrysanthemums John Steinbeck's short story "The Chrysanthemums" is about a proud, strong woman named Elisa Allen who feels frustrated with her present life. Her frustration stems from not having a child and from her husband's failure to admire her romantically as a woman. The only outlet for her frustration is her flower garden where she cultivates beautiful chrysanthemums. Steinbeck uses chrysanthemums as symbols of the inner-self of Elisa and of every woman.... [tags: Chrysanthemums Essays]
955 words (2.7 pages)
Exploring John Steinbeck's Short Story, The Chrysanthemums: Is the Grass Really Greener on the Other Side?
- John Steinbeck used his short story, The Chrysanthemums, as a visual illustration to answer the adage, “Is the grass “really” greener on the other side?“ During The Great Depression, the American dream had become a nightmare. What was once the land of opportunity was now the land of desperation. What was once the land of hope and optimism had become the land of despair. The American people were questioning all the maxims on which they had based their lives - democracy, capitalism, individualism.... [tags: The Chrysanthemums]
946 words (2.7 pages)
- In the short story “The Chrysanthemums” John Steinbeck uses symbolism to reflect the characteristics of his main character Elisa Allen. Elisa, a married woman uncovers her deeply smothered femininity in an inconspicuous sense. Her life in the valley had become limited to housewife duties and the only sustenance that seemed to exist could merely be found in her chrysanthemum garden. Not until she becomes encountered with a remote tinker-man out and about seeking for work, does she begin to reach many of the internal emotions that had long inhibited her femininity.... [tags: The Chrysanthemums]
961 words (2.7 pages)
- Odour of Chrysanthemums as a Classic The claim that "Odour of Chrysanthemums" is a well-crafted story is hardly brave or risky, for many would agree. For instance, the man who in a sense discovered Lawrence, English Review editor F. M. Ford, said this about "Odour of Chrysanthemums": The very title makes an impact on the mind. You get at once the knowledge that this is not, whatever else it may turn out, either a frivolous or even a gay springtime story. Chrysanthemums are not only flowers of the autumn: they are the autumn itself.... [tags: Odour of Chrysanthemums Essays]
2424 words (6.9 pages)
- Use of Language, Imagery, and Symbolism to Develop the Theme of To Be of Use In the minds of most people, the words, "hard work" and "heavy labor" carry a negative connotation. What these words imply is not something that is generally welcomed with enthusiasm but is often accepted either by force or obligation. Marge Piercy's poem "To Be of Use" conveys an opposing connotation about the idea of work. The central theme of the poem is that satisfaction, gratification, and self-fulfillment can be attained by using one's capabilities to serve a functional purpose in life, for it is the opinion of the speaker that an idle existence has no value or significance b... [tags: To Be of Use]
1171 words (3.3 pages)
- The Odor of Chrysanthemums The locomotive engine may be symbolic of Walter. It is an overwhelming thing, strong and powerful, the way that Walter is a huge part of her life. However, it is also impersonable and cold, just as her relationship to her husband is. Her moments with her husband, like "the winding engine" are hurried "with brief pauses" (2113). Lawrence describes their intimacy as an "exchanging of nakedness," but without any real connection for long periods of time. The color red seems to symbolize death.... [tags: Chrysanthemums Essays]
442 words (1.3 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Papers]
926 words (2.6 pages)