Preview
Preview

Essay about Symbolism in The Chyrsanthemums

:: 3 Works Cited
Length: 1247 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Symbolism is the use of symbols to represent ideas or qualities. In literature, we find symbols as a way of better understanding a story. Symbols allow one to understand the story overall on a deeper level. In John Steinbeck’s “The Chrysanthemums,” symbols play a key role in understanding the story.
John Steinbeck was born in 1902 in Salinas, California, the third of four siblings. He studied at Stanford University where he majored in English between 1919 and 1925. Though he devoted six years to college, he never obtained his degree. While starting out writing fiction, Steinbeck worked as a lab assistant and a fruit picker to make ends meet (“The Chrysanthemums” 1).
In “The Chrysanthemums,” Elisa Allen is a strong, independent woman, who is unhappy and feels trapped in the current life that she lives. The first major symbol is the chrysanthemums that are Elisa Allen’s pride and joy. The chrysanthemums represent her children though she has none. She is tender and caring towards her chrysanthemums like a mother is to her children. Elisa cherishes the flowers like a mother protecting her son or daughter. She goes to the extent of surrounding her chrysanthemums with wire fencing (“Kassim” 1). During the day, it is pertinent for Elisa to keep the area clean. She also strives to keep the chrysanthemums clean and neat. “Her terrier fingers destroy such pests before they can get started,” this means she is cleaning the area around her precious “babies.” As a mother protecting her child against an unknown force, she fights off nature from harming her precious flowers (“Kassim” 1). Elisa treats these flowers as her pride and joy only for them to go unnoticed. She feels unappreciated by her husband Henry Allen, who feels she should use her a...


... middle of paper ...


...she is heading straight for what she has known which is loneliness. When on the way to dinner she sees the Chrysanthemums she so happily gave the tinker in hopes he would use them. Though they were neglected and thrown out as if they were useless the feeling Elisa feels within her life. There is a direct correlation between Elisa and the Chrysanthemums which are both held in pots. Elisa sees her hopes shattered and begins crying like an old woman a revelation within herself when she sees this is her life now and in the future.




Works Cited

Kassim, Elizabeth. "Symbolism in "The Chrysanthemums"" Symbolism in "The Chrysanthemums" Lone Star College, n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2014.
Shmoop Editorial Team. "Pots in The Chrysanthemums." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 11 Feb. 2014.
"The Chrysanthemums." SparkNotes. SparkNotes, n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2014.



Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Symbolism in The Chrysanthemums by John Steinbeck Essay - Symbolism in The Chrysanthemums by John Steinbeck At first glance John Steinbeck's "The Chrysanthemums' seems to be a story of a woman whose niche is in the garden. Upon deeper inspection, the story reveals strong symbolisms of children, vulnerability, and connection--being the most important, of the main character. Elisa Allen is the main character who is at her strongest and most proud in the garden and weakened when she becomes vulnerable and loses her connection to the outer world. Elisa shows a new aura of confidence when she makes this connection to a peddler, who also is the cause of her realization of reality and her crying....   [tags: Papers Chrysanthemums Steinbeck Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
706 words
(2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Symbolism in The Chrysanthemums by John Steinbeck Essay - Symbolism in The Chrysanthemums by John Steinbeck "A symbol is an act, person, thing, or spectacle that stands for something else, by association a usually broader idea in addition to its own literal meaning" (Cassill & Bausch, 1728). John Steinbeck's "The Chrysanthemums" may seem as a story describing a simple day with the Allen couple. It begins with Elisa Allen working in her garden and her husband, Henry Allen, negotiating with two suited business men that want to purchase steers. They seem to engage in conversations and go about their day as they normally would do....   [tags: Chrysanthemums Steinbeck Literature Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1189 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Symnbolism in the Hound of the Baskerville by Arthur Conan Essay - Symbolism is when authors use items to signify certain ideas by giving them a meaning that is different from what it literally represents. Most authors use this literary device in their books, because it adds to the deepness of the book. Symbolism allows the author to give a deeper meaning to a concept. In the classic mystery, The Hound of the Baskerville by Arthur Conan Doyle, symbolism is utilized. The three items that Doyle applied symbolism to were the moor, the hound and Stapleton’s nets. The moor is portrayed as darkness and eeriness....   [tags: moor, hound, nets, symbolism]
:: 1 Works Cited
571 words
(1.6 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Use of Symbols and Symbolism in John Steinbeck's The Chrysanthemums Essay - Use of Symbols and Symbolism in John Steinbeck's The Chrysanthemums            John Steinbeck's short story "The Chrysanthemums" is about a proud, strong woman named Elisa Allen who feels frustrated with her present life. Her frustration stems from not having a child and from her husband's failure to admire her romantically as a woman. The only outlet for her frustration is her flower garden where she cultivates beautiful chrysanthemums. Steinbeck uses chrysanthemums as symbols of the inner-self of Elisa and of every woman....   [tags: Chrysanthemums Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
955 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Effect of Symbolism and Gender Roles in “The Chrysanthemums” Essay - From all areas of the world, people have been changing their forms of government in an attempt to decide on what’s best for their country. Apart from most, Communism is targeted toward making all equal, and it eliminates the concept of a dictator. The contradictory fact is that the concept fails when people cannot reach an agreement themselves, and then they realize a leader is needed to make the final decisions. Of course, with greed to be on top, people do not stray from this empty position for long....   [tags: Literary Analysis ]
:: 5 Works Cited
1674 words
(4.8 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Use of Symbolism in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson Essay - In the short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, once a year a person from town as to be sacrifice for a good harvest. Kids gather stones and put them in their pockets and they head towards the center of the town with the other villagers. As they gather around Mr. Summers brings a black box, in this box it is filled with many papers. Only one paper has a black dot. This dot will determine the family that would be chosen to be sacrifice. Wait I am not quite done, if a family is chosen they would have to draw again between each other to see who in the family would be stoned to death....   [tags: Symbolism, Symbols]
:: 5 Works Cited
1529 words
(4.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Symbolism in The Chrysanthemums by John Steinbeck - Symbolism in The Chrysanthemums by John Steinbeck "The Chrysanthemums", one of John Steinbeck's masterpieces, describes a lonely farmer's wife, Elisa Allen. Elisa Allen's physical appearance is very mannish yet still allows a hint of a feminine side to peek through. John Steinbeck brings symbolism into play to represent Elisa Allen's frustrations and hidden passions. Isolation is another representation through symbolism found in "The Chrysanthemums." Elisa's failing detached marriage is represented through two symbols....   [tags: Papers] 1560 words
(4.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Symbolism in John Steinbeck's "The Chrysanthemums" - Symbolism in John Steinbeck's "The Chrysanthemums" In "The Chrysanthemums" John Steinbeck develops a theme of limitations. The story is essentially a man in the mirror story where the rigid Elisa sees herself for the first time as trapped. Although Elisa has recognized her life as limited and confining, she sadly accepts her life as is and does nothing to rectify her situation. In John Steinbeck's "The Chrysanthemums" symbolism of the fence, the garden, and the chrysanthemums help illustrate the story by striking an emotional chord with the audience....   [tags: American Literature] 412 words
(1.2 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Symbols and Symbolism - Flowers as a Symbol in John Steinbeck's The Chrysanthemums - Flowers as a Symbol in The Chrysanthemums by John Steinbeck       In romantic or sexual context, a woman is often said to be as beautiful as a flower. In John Steinbeck's short story "The Chrysanthemums", Elisa Allen never receives this recognition. Although she is a strong woman, she is frustrated because her husband will not admire her romantically in any way. This frustration only deepens because she is childless and feels the need to be a mother. She discovers an outlet for her frustration in a flower garden where she cultivates beautiful chrysanthemums....   [tags: Chrysanthemums Essays Papers]
:: 1 Works Cited
984 words
(2.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Symbolism and Realism Essay - Symbolism and Realism Symbolism and Realism were distinct but parallel literary movements that swept Europe and much of the world in the late 19th century. Social order was one of the main concerns of Symbolists and Realists, which reflects the unprecedented growth of the middle class and its values across Europe during that time period. Morality and ambition were homogenized – and, in some cases, institutionalized – to a degree never before seen in civilized society, and many intellectuals and artists saw this homogenization as a conformist social force that threatened individual perspective....   [tags: Symbolism Realism Literature Essays] 1261 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]