Odour of Chrysanthemums Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 38 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Odour of Chrysanthemums.
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The theme of light and darkness is of signifi-cance since most of the story takes place late in the afternoon and at night, and the narrative focuses on the relationship of life and death. Elizabeth Bates awaits her husband as shadows lengthen, her son emerges from dark undergrowth, and her daughter returns late from school. The family huddles in the house where the light is insufficient for Elizabeth's son John, who, like his father, always craves more brightness and warmth than his home provides. The boy is even dissatisfied with his sister's tending of the fire as if he may lose that light. When Mrs. Bates goes out to her neighbors to seek her husband, "there was no trace of light," and even the helpful neighbors ominously suggest that their children, if unattended, may "set theirselves afire." Elizabeth has said earlier that her daughter's reaction to...

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This section contains 1,570 words
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Buy the Odour of Chrysanthemums Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Odour of Chrysanthemums from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.