Odour of Chrysanthemums Essay

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In the following excerpt, Hudspeth discusses ways that Lawrence presents a history of the Bates's married life through depicting Elizabeth Bates's state of mind as she waits for her husband, not knowing he has been killed.

"Odour of Chrysanthemums" develops from an apparently simple, recurring conflict between a young collier and his wife, now pregnant with their third child. The husband is given to regular drunken sprees, which the wife bitterly resents. Through the narrative, Lawrence reveals the complexity in their lives: the husband's drunkenness is a result of intense frustrations that the wife has never understood; these frustrations emerge as basic, ineluctable human realities for Lawrence. The story is formally divided into two sections, each reinforcing and clarifying the other. The first section dramatizes the woman's anger and frustration as she waits for her husband to return from the mine. From her resentful anticipation of the evening's...

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This section contains 2,531 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Odour of Chrysanthemums Study Guide
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