D. H. Lawrence Short Fiction Analysis
D. H. Lawrence’s early stories are set, except for “The Prussian Officer,” in the English Midlands; their plot and characters are a thinly veiled autobiography and are built on incidents that Lawrence would develop at length in other forms, notably the novels and plays that he was writing concurrently. Some readers prefer the stories over Lawrence’s longer forms, which they regard as too insistent and repetitious; his stories, like his poems, are more structured, their images more intense. Like the longer works, however, the stories reveal Lawrence’s central belief in a “fatal change” in the early twentieth century: “The collapse from the psychology of the free human individual into the psychology of the social being.” Lawrence tried always to see unity in the behavior of human beings and the historical changes through which ages lived. In the longer works and in many essays, he developed a didactic style appropriate to his sweeping interpretation of human history and types of personality. In the stories, he lyrically and more intimately explores how the quality of individuals’ lives is affected by their human relationships.
“Odour of Chrysanthemums”
A majority of the stories more frequently treat the failure of human relationships. “Odour of Chrysanthemums” is one of five accounts of such a discovery of lost human possibilities; other versions appear in three novels and a play, The Widowing of Mrs....
(The entire section is 3617 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of D. H. Lawrence Critical Essays. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!