Odour of Chrysanthemums

Topics: Foreshadowing, Anxiety, Literary technique Pages: 3 (964 words) Published: April 17, 2011
A Hint of Death
In literature, foreshadowing is a warning or indication of a future event. Foreshadowing can tell you the possible outcome of a work of literature. In D. H. Lawrence’s “Odour of Chrysanthemums,” he uses the literary technique of foreshadowing to hint to the reader of the tragedy that Elizabeth Bates will soon learn happened to her husband Walter Bates. Throughout the story we follow Mrs. Bates at home with the children and gain knowledge of statements, descriptions, and objects that foreshadow Walter Bates’ death. The first time we see foreshadowing is when Mrs. Bates is looking for her son John, who appears out of the bushes. John is wearing “…trousers and a waist coat of cloth…” which appear to be “…cut down from a man’s clothes” (Broadview). This could foreshadow that in the future John will have to take over the role as the man of the house when his father dies. Also while the Bates’ are at the dinner table we learn that John is sitting “…at the end of the table” (Broadview). In most families the man of the house usually sits at the end of the table to indicate his role in the household as the caregiver and protector. The second example of foreshadowing is when we meet the Bates’ daughter Annie. She comes in from outside “…dragging a mass of curls, just ripening from gold to brown…”(Broadview). Mrs. Bates is described earlier as having “…smooth black hair…” whereas Mr. Bates “…was blond…” (Broadview). Annie’s hair changing from blond, which represents her father, to brown, indicating her mother, foreshadows that in the future Annie’s affections are going to be shifted towards her mother than her father because of his death at the coal mines. After everyone comes home except for Mr. bates, the children begin to ask their mother where their father is and when he will be home. The angry Mrs. Bates tells the children that their father is probably drinking and “ he will come home when they carry him” (Broadview). At the thought of her husband...
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