Steinbeck first enriches the feeling of despondency with the clever use of symbolism. The story opens with a detailed description of the Salinas Valley. Here, Steinbeck relates the valley to a “closed pot,” which suggests Elisa’s inability to escape. Furthermore, Steinbeck describes that even though there is sunlight nearby, the Salinas Valley sees none. As sunlight is often associated with happiness, the implication here is that while others are happy, Elisa is not. To further the use of symbolic reference, Steinbeck relates Elisa to the hopeful farmers in the area. Farmers believe that rain is imminent due to the southwest wind that sweeps through the valley. Unfortunately, the encumbering fog repudiates any chance of this happening. Like the false hope that torments the farmers, Elisa is burdened by an illusion that happiness still might come for her. Also, Elisa’s garden is surrounded by a wire fence for pr...
... middle of paper ...
...ed to demonstrate how contentment and confinement do not coincide with one another.
French, Warren. John Steinbeck's Fiction Revisited. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1994. Print.
Beach, Joseph Warren. American fiction, 1920-1940. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1941. Print
"John Steinbeck (1902-1968)." Short Story Criticism. Ed. Joseph Palmisano. Vol. 77. Detroit:
Thomson Gale, 2005. 228-297. Literature Criticism Online. Gale. Glendale Community College.
15 April 2012
"The Chrysanthemums by John Steinbeck." Short Story Criticism. Ed. Anja Barnard and Anna Sheets-Nesbitt. Vol. 37. Detroit: Gale Group, 2000. 320-363. Literature Criticism Online. Gale. Glendale Community College. 16 April 2012
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