Elizabeth Bates lives in a bleak setting: a small industrial coal-mining town. In front of her house, trucks “thumped heavily” past her house. The smoke from the train settled on the grass. The leaves were withered fell to the ground.
As the story “The Odour of Chrysanthemums” by D. H. Lawrence begins, Elizabeth picks up a branch of the last of the chrysanthemums, holds it to her cheek, and places it in her apron. Turning and watching the men trudge home from work, she looks for him, but Walter does not come.
Elizabeth’s house was small but neat. The table was set with the tea set and a nice tablecloth. The children and Elizabeth wait on their father, but he does not come. Looking at their son, Elizabeth sees her sullenness in her son and his father’s silence and bullheadedness.
Her daughter notices the flowers in her apron. To Elizabeth, these flowers represent the life that she wishes that she had. Elizabeth tells her daughter:
“It was chrysanthemums when I married...
(The entire section contains 1105 words.)