Posted at 10.11.2018
In the story 'Odour of Chrysanthemums', the protagonist Elizabeth Bates awaits the return of her coalminer spouse, blaming his drinking practices for his later return. She needs him to be brought home drunk "just like a log" and ironically, it turns out that he previously perished at the coal mine within an car accident and his body, stiff and lifeless, was later transported back by his coworkers. Upon finding that her husband is inactive, Elizabeth remains strangely peaceful and composed. The later part of the text sheds light on her cognizance of their marriage and how it is with his fatality that she was able to view her man in some other light. Through this report, D. H. Lawrence presents human condition as you filled up with despair and desolation, where despite the presence of elements of hope, the storyline ultimately leads to anguish and bleakness.
At the beginning of the history, D. H. Lawrence depicts a picture at Brinsley Colliery, the professional base of an English coal-mining town. Here, the conflict between Machinery and Nature models a build of bleakness and despair for this story. Lawrence's information of the mechanical world set resistant to the natural surroundings highlights the contrasts between the two. Similarly the locomotive engine seems full of life and vigour as it "[comes] clanking, stumbling down from Selston with seven full waggons". Alternatively, the areas are "dreary and forsaken", using its "withered oak leaves dropp[ing] noiselessly", with many of these interweaving in the "afternoon's stagnant light". The entire wagons contrasts the dreary and forsaken areas, the clanking, stumbling engine unit contrasts the noiseless oak leaves as the movement of the locomotive engine unit sets itself apart from the seemingly still and lifeless surroundings. It is seems that it is the release of the locomotive engine that gives go up to the tainting and damage of the surrounding landscape; the noises emitted by the mechanised world has blotted out the does sound of the natural environment and beauty it encompasses.
Having coated an austere field so filled up with desolation, D. H. Lawrence brilliantly establishes the tone of this story as both forlorn and melancholic. As one reads on, one wonders-is the human condition filled up with despair, and nothing but that?
"The night time was very dark.
In the fantastic bay of railway lines, bulked with trucks, there was no trace of light, only away again she could visit a few yellow bulbs at the pit-top,
and the red smear of the using up pit-bank on the night time. "
The sky gets darker with each moving minute as Elizabeth Bates awaits the come back of her husband. From the estimate above we accumulate that from where she stood outside the house, as she was about to leave searching for her spouse, it was almost pitch dark and the sole traces of light seem to be to be from the pit-top and pit-bank a relatively good distance away. Here, darkness symbolizes the fears that Elizabeth Bates has-the concern with the anonymous and of the unforeseen. The darkening of the night sky and the place adjustments exemplifies the intensifying of her worries. It creeps into her as darkness dropped and overwhelms her, to the degree that even her "anger was tinged with fear". The darkness, as well as her anxieties is juxtaposed by the warmth and light emitted from the near by properties as well as local bars. As she appears over towards that basic way, "she [sees] the lights in the houses; [and] twenty back yards further on were the wide home windows of the 'Prince of Wales' very warm and bright". The light she views represents a false sense of hope for her, for albeit at that moment it dished up to reassure her that her spouse was "merely having over there at the 'Prince of Wales'", she was not actually sure if Walter was in fact there. Seeing that "she faltered", chances are that she was basically endeavoring to pacify herself recover thought in mind. Darkness, which signifies the protagonist's doubts, serves to bring out the negativity of the situation by underscoring the despair and lack of hope.
Despite most part of the story taking place in darkness, you can recall that there surely is in fact the occurrence of light and ambiance:
"The kitchen was small and filled with firelight; red coals piled glowing in the chimney mouth. All of the life of the area felt in the white, warm hearth and the steel fender reflecting the red open fire. The towel was laid for tea; mugs glinted in the shadows. "
Nevertheless, through the eyes of the Elizabeth's youthful child, John-who, like his dad, seems to have an insatiable thirst for more brightness and warmness than his home provides-this light and the heat which it could provide seem to be very much insignificant and inadequate. We take note from Elizabeth's dialogue with her children that it is not uncommon for Walter to return home lamenting about how "there never is open fire whenever a man comes home sweating from the pit-a general public house is obviously warm enough". The exact sentiments are echoed in his son's words as John repeatedly whines in protest that "[he] canna see", when his mother "dropped piece after piece of coal on the red hearth, [till] the shadows fell on the wall surfaces, [and] till the area was almost in total darkness. "
The inadequacy of both light and ambiance within the house, which results in the dissatisfaction of Walter and John, or even Elizabeth, is seen as consultant of the trump of darkness over light, plus more significantly, despair over desire. D. H. Lawrence underscores the despairing and desolate human being condition of man by the use of imagery, which places large focus on darkness of the various settings in which the account unfolds. The distinction between darkness and light, apathy and warmness within the storyplot signifies the faint presence of expectation yet in the end, this element of desire remains only to be overpowered by the darkness.
"She silenced herself, and rose to clear the stand. "
While Elizabeth Bates may be able to suppress her feelings and remain in control of the things taking place within her family, such as making certain her routinely duties were carried out, at the end of your day she remains susceptible to larger forces that she cannot ever hope to control-those of life and loss of life. This insufficient control culminates into an overpowering fear within her, and we witness towards the finish of Part I, as "[her anger] tinged with fear", that she has already started to dread for the worse to come. Her apprehension blossoms from having less control of what is occurring around her and she begins to worry with the newfound knowledge that things might not exactly always go as planned or expected.
Yet, elements of anticipation linger on as the relatively negative aspect of the events which got unfolded themselves may in simple fact act as a confident catalyst, travelling the personas towards better, more hopeful circumstances. For Elizabeth, the fatality of her partner brings to her some kind of epiphany, and allows her to see him as well as view their matrimony in some other light. This can be seen from how "she was grateful to fatality, which restored the truth". For Walter, his death appears to have cleansed him of his misdeeds, stealing his his last breath yet leaving behind "a guy of handsome body, [with] his face show[ing] no traces of drink".
Perhaps death was not simply about sadness and loss, the biblical mention of Jesus Christ's previous words, "it is completed", appears to signify how fatality marks the approaching of a new beginning-a new way of taking a look at things and a new knowledge of their relationship. Not surprisingly, the promise of your move for the better ends only in increased uncertainty as Elizabeth remains enslaved and destined by her duties, for "she understood she submitted alive, which was her immediate master. But from death, her ultimate professional, she winced with fear and shame". This responsibility tips at how she actually is destined by her duties, both as a better half so that a mother, and that ultimately, she'd have to succumb to fate, and to Fatality. Through the inevitability of Life and Fatality, D. H. Lawrence's portrayal of Man as susceptible and insufficient underscores the despair and desolation of individuals condition.
Hope prevails, yet ultimately, despair prevails-this is perhaps what D. H. Lawrence is trying to convince the viewers of through 'Odour of Chrysanthemums'. Yet it leaves us to wonder-why would the individuals condition be as such?
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