Odour of Chrysanthemums

John is Walter and Elizabeth's younger child. He wears grownup clothes that have been cut down to fit a five-year-old. John's behavior throughout the story is surly and stubborn, though Elizabeth is kind to him despite this, and he is said to resemble his father in his desire for more light in the house.

John Quotes in Odour of Chrysanthemums

The Odour of Chrysanthemums quotes below are all either spoken by John or refer to John. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Isolation of Individual Lives Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of Odour of Chrysanthemums published in 2008.
Part 1 Quotes

As the mother watched her son's sullen little struggle with the wood, she saw herself in his silence and pertinacity; she saw the father in her child's indifference to all but himself. She seemed to be occupied by her husband. He had probably gone past his home, slunk past his own door, to drink before he came in, while his dinner spoiled and wasted in waiting.

Related Characters: Elizabeth, Walter, John
Page Number: 77
Explanation and Analysis:
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"I canna see."
"Good gracious!" cried the mother irritably, "you're as bad as your father if it's a bit dusk!"
Nevertheless she took a paper spill from a sheaf on the mantelpiece and proceeded to light the lamp that hung from the ceiling in the middle of the room.

Related Characters: Elizabeth (speaker), John (speaker), Walter
Related Symbols: Light and Dark
Page Number: 80
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Part 2 Quotes

There were the children—but the children belonged to life. This dead man had nothing to do with them. He and she were only channels through which life had flowed to issue in the children. She was a mother—but how awful she knew it now to have been a wife. And he, dead now, how awful he must have felt it to be a husband.

Related Characters: Elizabeth, Walter, John, Annie
Page Number: 94
Explanation and Analysis:
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John Character Timeline in Odour of Chrysanthemums

The timeline below shows where the character John appears in Odour of Chrysanthemums. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1
Mother/Children Relationships Theme Icon
The woman is attractive, with exactly parted black hair and dark eyebrows. She calls for John, but there's no answer; finally, a child's sulky voice sounds from among the bushes. The... (full context)
Mother/Children Relationships Theme Icon
Wife/Husband Relationships Theme Icon
...table is set for tea, but it can't begin until her husband returns. She watches John, seeing herself in his silence and determination and seeing her husband in the boy's self-absorption.... (full context)
Mother/Children Relationships Theme Icon
Wife/Husband Relationships Theme Icon
...pub. She drops coals on the fire until the room is almost entirely dark, and John complains that he can't see. Elizabeth laughs at him, but lights the lamp that hangs... (full context)