D.H. Lawrence powerfully conveys conflict not physically but emotionally between men and women in the short story “Odour of Chrysanthemums,” by using figurative language and symbolism. Just as the title represents the whole story, the significance of the story, the idea that the smell of the flower might be good but it might not always represent the best situations.
First, D.H. Lawrence portrays conflict between the wife, Elizabeth Bates, and husband, Walter, by using figurative language. Lawrence uses similes to describe the anger Elizabeth feels towards her husband. [“Never mind. They’ll bring him when he does come-like a log.” She meant there would be no scene. “And he may sleep on the floor till he wakes himself. I know he’ll not work tomorrow after this!”](Chapter 1, Pg 6) With this quote the reader can infer that the wife does not really care about the husband, that the husband does this most of the days and she, the wife, is used to this kind of scenario. Another idea that the reader can infer from this quote is that the author might be pointing out that the husband does not spend as much time as he is suppose to spend with his wife. Walter is most of the time out of the house spending his time in the mines working or out drinking. The simile D.H. Lawrence uses is very significant because of the way that the wife describes her husband, a log. The log gives an impression that the husband means nothing; the lack of description towards him may show that the wife does not like him. Another technique the author uses is symbolism. Symbolism is very important to help create and elaborate on the conflict between men and women because of how Lawrence represents the conflict. In this case, the chrysanthemums themselves may symbolize the conflict between Elizabeth and Walter. “No,” she said, “not to me. It was chrysanthemums when I married him, and chrysanthemums when you were born, and the first time they brought him home drunk, he’d got brown chrysanthemums in his button-hole.” (Chapter 1, Pg 6) The flowers can represent the relationship that the wife has towards her husband. Just as how the flowers have started the relationship, they have also ended it. At first the relationship between them was great the flower was pink with color and life but as the story continued, the flower started to slowly die instead of blossoming, just like Elizabeth slowly realizes that her relationship is dying, her feelings, and her thought towards her husband start to change. Just like the flower may represent beauty it can represent death. In addition, there comes