The Chrysanthemums And The Yellow Wallpaper

The Chrysanthemums And The Yellow Wallpaper

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As we read literature, we tend to overlook the details the author offers in the story. The setting is the most important part of the story, it gives the reader details of what the characters outcomes are going to be before the story even ends. From traditional works Hawthorne to more modern works of Carol Shields, the stories that we have read all have an underlying meaning that foreshadow and offer clues to help us see what the author is trying to express to us. The stories that we have read tell many things, such as how an environment can affect the character. As we look at “The Chrysanthemums” and “The Yellow Wallpaper”, we are going to see how the setting can cause a character to have emotional turmoil and how their gender roles effected them.
In John Steinbeck’s, “The Chrysanthemums”, we find a woman that isn’t the typical woman of her time period. She takes pride in her garden and is usually not dressed to impress. Steinbeck wanted to show her as not being the traditional woman of her time, but rather a woman that mostly wore her “gardening costume” and took care of the thing that matter the most to her, such as a mother would. During her time she would have been considered independent when it comes to hard work or “men’s work”. Steinbeck describes the Salinas Valley as being grey and somber along with being closed off from the outside world. “The high grey flannel fog of winter closed off the Salinas Valley from the sky and from all of the rest of the world. On every side it sat like a lid on the mountains and made of the great valley a closed pot.” (Steinbeck) This gives us insight into how Elisa’s living her life with her husband and how she is stuck with a limited job. She is also closed off from the world and ...


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...the way they acted. The only time that both characters were able to find solace was when they are in a garden. Both Steinbeck and Gilman gave a certain setting to their stories that give a strong reaction to who these characters are. Their descriptions conveyed what their characters outcomes would be and in those stories there is no happy ending.
By reading these stories we are given a view of how the author wants to see the characters without have to go into deep detail. Everything that we read has foreshadowing within it and if we look closely, it would tell the secrets within the story. The setting reveals many things and we tend to look over it when we are reading a simple text. If we take the time to closely look into the story we can not only reveal the characters true intentions but we would get a sense of why they are receiving that outcome of the story.

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