The Significance of Epiphany in D.H. Lawrence’s Short Story “The Odor of Chrysanthemums”

Aycan Gökçek


The aim of this study is to point out to the significance of epiphany experienced by the character Elizabeth in “Odour of Chrysanthemums” with an eye on the social realities of the time in which the story was written. With the analysis of the story, this study challenges the claims that D. H Lawrence is a sexist by feminist critics such as Kate Millet. In the line with these, after a brief information on D. H. Lawrence and his stories that are similar to “Odour of Chrysanthemums” and social, cultural and financial realities of British Industrial society, the story has been handled. In the end, it has been observed that by portraying the main character Elizabeth as a woman who seems to have a sadistic pleasure of her husband’s death in the story, Lawrence criticizes not femininity but 20th century British society which imposes unbearable responsibilities on women. In addition to these, the study also criticises industrial society and helps the reader to have an idea concerning its social facts especially on the role of a woman in the working-class family.


Industrialization, D.H. Lawrence, 20th Century British Society, Social Realities about Women, Epiphanic Moment, Feminism, Kate Millett

Full Text:



Kalnins, Mara (2002). “‘Odour of Chrysanthemums’: The Three Endings” EBSCO, 471-479.

Kearney, Martin (1998). Major Short Stories of D.H. Lawrence: A Handbook. New York and London: Garland Publishing, Inc, 3-21.

Lawrence, D. H. ed. by Brian Finney (2010). “Odour of Chrysanthemums”, Selected Short Stories: D.H. Lawrence Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Brian Finney. New York: Penguin Books, 88-105.

Pinion, F.B. A.D.H. (1978). Lawrence Companion: Life, Thought and Works., Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire and London: The Macmillan Press Ltd.

Schapiro, Barbara Ann (1999). “The Short Stories” D.H. Lawrence and the Paradoxes of Physical Life. New York, State University of New York Press.

Schulz, Volker (1991), “D.H. Lawrence’s Early Masterpiece of Short Fiction: “Odour of Chrysanthemums” Newberry College 28:3 363-370.

Millet, Kate, Sexual Politics. (1970). Urban and Chicago: University of Illinois Press.

Feinstein, Elaine (1993). “Introduction”, Lawrence’s Women. London: Harper Collins Publisher, 9-12.

Moore, Harry T. and Roberts, Warren (1966). D.H. Lawrence and His World. New York: The Viking Press.

Thornton, Weldon (1993). D.H. Lawrence: A Study of the Short Fiction, New York: Twayne Publishers.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2010-2022 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

Advances in Language and Literary Studies

You may require to add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.