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John Steinbeck's The Chrysanthemums

analytical Essay
614 words
614 words
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“The Chrysanthemums'; and Its Symbolism John Steinbeck uses symbolism to give alternate meanings to his short story “Chrysanthemums.'; A symbol is a device used to suggest more than its literary meaning. He uses these symbols to look further into the characters and their situations. The character Elisa has a garden, which is more than just a garden, and the chrysanthemums that she tends are more than just flowers. There are actions that she performs in the story, which also have other meanings. Elisa is a country housewife. She is semi-distant from her husband and greatly distant from the world around her. She is a homebody, meaning that she rarely leaves the boundaries of her home and she has a lot of time and energy being built up. She uses some of this energy to clean up her house, but most of it is spent on her flower garden. Her garden is a place of solitude. It’s her own little world where she can let herself go and be the person that she wants to be. Her feminine side is brought out in her garden, the nurturer for the chrysanthemums, a mother almost to them. When the tinkerer comes to her home and into her garden he shows interest in her chrysanthemums. She takes this also as an interest in her as well. The garden in other words is a symbol for her femininity and womanhood. The chrysanthemums are also seen as a symbol for her heart. Her existence s...

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how john steinbeck uses symbolism to give alternate meanings to his short story 'the chrysanthemums'.
  • Explains that elisa is a country housewife, semi-distant from her husband, and distant from the world around her. she uses some of her energy to clean up her house, but most of it is spent on her flower garden.
  • Analyzes how the chrysanthemums are seen as a symbol for her heart. she wanted to travel the world but she knew that she should not leave her husband.
  • Analyzes how the tinkerer gave her a piece of herself to take with him to escape her captivity of the ranch.
  • Analyzes how elisa sees her seedlings that she had given the tinkerer lying on the roadside. this tells of the man wanting nothing but money, and it also foretells she is to forever live in a passionate marriage
  • Opines that symbolism in a short story adds intrigue and excitement to 's writing.
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