In the short story “The Chrysanthemums” John Steinbeck uses symbolism to reflect the characteristics of his main character Elisa Allen. Elisa, a married woman uncovers her deeply smothered femininity in an inconspicuous sense. Her life in the valley had become limited to housewife duties and the only sustenance that seemed to exist could merely be found in her chrysanthemum garden. Not until she becomes encountered with a remote tinker-man out and about seeking for work, does she begin to reach many of the internal emotions that had long inhibited her femininity. The tinker subtlety engages an interest in Elisa’s chrysanthemum garden that encourages Elisa to react radically. When Elisa realizes that there are other ways to live she attempts to lift the lid off of the Salinas Valley, but unfortunately the tinker’s insincere actions resort Elisa back to her old self and leaves Elisa without any optimism for her hollow breakthrough. Steinbeck’s somber details of the setting, strong description of the chrysanthemums and meaningful illustration of the red flower-pot reveal the distant, natural, ambitions Elisa Allen desired to attain.
John Steinbeck, in “The Chrysanthemums” expresses the theme through the use of symbols. The events in “The Chrysanthemums” take place in the Salinas Valley and focuses on Elisa Allen, her loneliness, and her attempt to communicate with others. In this story, Steinbeck uses various symbols to express the theme, which states that true communication must flow in both directions. The most important symbol in the story, the chrysanthemum, strongly expresses the theme as it represents the story as a whole. Additionally, the specific characteristics of the flower themselves symbolize different events in the story.
The story immediately highlights discrimination between the two genders by stating, “Elisa Allen, working in her flower garden, looked down across the yard and saw Henry, her husband, talking to two men is business suits…They smoked cigarettes and studied the [tractor] as they talked” (Steinbeck 1). Because Elisa is a woman and Henry is a man, Henry is entrusted to work the business, or intellectual, operations of the farm while Elisa is forced to do menial jobs such as working in her flower garden. Despite her circumstances, Elisa manages to fight sexist tendencies of society in her own ways. The story describes Elisa’s appearance by
Within Steinbeck's story, "Chrysanthemums," the main character, Elisa Allen, is confronted with many instances of conflict. Steinbeck uses chrysanthemums to symbolize this conflict and Elisa's self-worth. By examining these points of conflict and the symbolism presented by the chrysanthemums, the meaning of the story can be better determined.
Steinbeck’s “The Chrysanthemums” uses the tension between a wandering homeless man and Elisa Allen to suggest that although many women are dissatisfied with their roles in the household, the deepness at which gender roles are ingrained in society prevents them from assuming the positions that they want. Elisa flirts with the homeless man, but is reminded by him that her place as a woman is in the household; although she feels dismay at the thought, she does not challenge it due to the apparent inevitability of her situation. After passing him on the road later she is reminded of the fact that she will never be free to live life like the man, causing her to cry and feel “like an old woman:” (Steinbeck, 268) helpless when it comes to controlling
While Boyle describes Mrs. Ames as elegant, gentle, and quiet, Steinbeck gives to Elisa more strength. Her face was “lean and strong”, and her figure looked “blocked and heavy in her gardening costume”. Both women find their own ways to cover lack of happiness in their everyday lives. The astronomer’s wife is managing the house finding the silliest things to keep her busy: “…from the removal of the spot left there from dinner on the astronomer’s vest to the severe trashing of the mayonnaise for lunch”. Elisa spends her days in garden raising chrysanthemums “bigger than anybody around here.” The fact that these two women did not have any children can mislead us to the conclusion that they were both trying to satisfy the instincts they were probably having at the age of thirty-five. While this is the case with Elisa, the astronomer’s wife had different problem: the lack of communication with her husband and incapability to understand the world he was in.
Steinbeck portrays that women wear treated incomparable and this reason why Curley’s wife is unfairly characterised they were only saints and sinners. Steinbeck illustrations that women were discriminated because he spectacles her as a man’s property. As women were inadequate and not needed men would take advantage of them.
“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.
In the poem, “Gender Inequality” Daniichan uses imagery and metaphors to shed light upon unfair gender stereotypes, which relates to John Steinbeck’s challenging tone towards gender roles and stereotyping in The Grapes of Wrath, thus conveying that despite how far society seems to have come when it comes to gender equality, people still endure discrimination and stereotypical pressures today because of the sex they were born into. In the poem the poet explains how people are “born into roles.” If they’re male, society expects them to be strong and “manly.” They can’t show, or even have any feelings. They must be tough and authoritative, while the females are to be seen as weak. They expect females not to have much ambition and are just supposed
Elisa's unhappiness in her role as the wife of a cattle farmer is clear in her gardening. Through the authors detailed diction it is clear that gardening is her way of freeing herself from her suffocating environment. “The chrysanthemum stems seemed too small and easy for her energy” which is “over-eager” and “over-powerful” (Steinbeck 460). The intensity with which she gardens, “terrier fingers destroy[ing] such pests before they could get started” suggests more than simply a deep interest, but a form of escape completely submerging her self into the task (Steinbeck 460). It is possible that some...