Freudian Slip: D.H. Lawrence and Odour of Chrysanthemums

Essay by guitarloser420University, Bachelor'sA+, December 2004

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The original intention of this paper was to be a character analysis of Walter's mother in D. H. Lawrence's short story, Odour of Chrysanthemums. However, as fate likes to taunt, the intentions became askew while nearing the end. The thought of why Lawrence would write such a character sat back, plaguing the back of my mind until it would not wait anymore and jumped to the forefront. Now, bestowed upon the reader is that very affliction.

The first piece of advice given to any aspiring writer is to write what you know. Even in fiction, one must base stories and characters around things that are familiar to them. D. H. Lawrence was no stranger to this. He wrote stories of colliers while his very father was a miner. He wrote of a lack of marital bliss, of which it is widely thought his parents experienced. Lawrence knew what he was writing.

But why would he write about a grief stricken mother so epically as to draw attention, granted the attention of a perpetual cynic and a self proclaimed realist, but attention nonetheless.

Perhaps it was only to show the distinction between the love of a mother and the lack there of from a wife. Perhaps he intended to show that an overzealous mother may have had something to do with the disparaged marriage. It is in this realist's opinion that none of these are the case.

The best theory is this; Lawrence wrote the mother the way he wrote her out of a desire that his own mother would weep so openly, with such humility, and yet with arrogance to be silenced by none. Lawrence wanted someone to feel so much loss by his own death. He wanted to know that someone he loved with all his heart and...