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The Odour of Chrysanthemums by D.H.Lawrence

The Odour of Chrysanthemums is a renowned short story written by D.H.Lawrence. The novel pictures the life of Walter Bates, living in a mining district during the early twentieth century.

About the Author

D.H.Lawrence is an English novelist, poet, and playwright. Most of his works His collected works reflect the dehumanizing impacts of modernity and industrialization. This story of the Odour of Chrysanthemums presents the socio-economic themes in the context of industrialism and mechanization of human life. Lawrence is well regarded for his linguistic skills.

About the Book:

The story presents the life experiences of a small family, living in mining region. Walter Bates is a drunken collier and he lives with his wife, Elizabeth Bates. They have their children, John and Annie with them, along with Bates’ mother and father. The story focuses on Elizabeth, who struggles hard for her dreams, fighting the reality of life. She is a proud and determined wife, who is desperate to get Bates’ love and commitment for family.

However, his drinking behavior and lack of bonding with the family makes her disappointed. Since Walter is the only breadwinner for the family, she faces much bitterness. However, things take a disastrous turn in their life when Walter meets an accidental death. Her life and emotions seems to take drastic changes. She realizes the reality of life and changes her mind to accept the fact of her life. She also understands how her expectations and refusals have spoiled her relationship with her husband.

She finally understands him as a common man and loving husband, instead of dwelling on him as a burden. She also understands that she is the only one responsible for her life’s happiness and misery. With such an epiphany, Elizabeth starts her new life dedicated to her family and children. By the end of the story, she gets mortified for her mistakes and submits to life with a new perspective.

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