Initially insecure from teasing in his youth, Steinbeck's delayed sexual progression produced a need for female validation; a theme which presented itself as the characterization of women as sexual objects, particularly prostitutes, in his narratives. Jay Parini, author of "John Steinbeck: A Biography", points out that Steinbeck endured nicknames such as little squirrel, muskrat and mouse from his own family relating to his physical features, which created in him a great propensity for shyness. Physical maturity that lagged behind his schoolmates added to his isolation from his peers, especially women (Parini 17). His friend George Mors disclosed that Steinbeck "spent much of his time with a stack of pulp novels and girlie magazines" demonstrating his desire for sexual stimulation yet insufficient resolve to seek it out (Parini 26). Steinbeck overcame his apprehension after happ...
... middle of paper ...
...ings of the people he met along his way. While some of his works have been praised for their greatness and other discarded as junk, Steinbeck satisfied his need to write and in doing so shared some fantastic stories with the world.
Parini, Jay. John Steinbeck. New York: Henry Holt and
Company, Inc., 1995. 9,12,13,17,25,26,38. Print.
Beyond Boundries. Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama
Press, 2002. 15,57,74. Print.
John Steinbeck . Chelsea House Publishers, a division of Main
Line Book Co., 1987. 92. Print.
Readings on John Steinbeck. San Diego: Greenhaven Press,
Inc., 1996. 15. Print.
Moss, Joyce, and George Wilson. Overview: The Red Pony
(1997): n.pag. Library Resource. Web. 9 May 2012.
Shillinglaw, Susan. "The Martha Heasley Cox Center for
Steinbeck Studies." John Steinbeck, American
Writer n.pag. Web. 9 May 2012.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- 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.... [tags: The Chrysanthemums]
961 words (2.7 pages)
- 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]
706 words (2 pages)
- 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]
1189 words (3.4 pages)
- John Steinbeck's “The Chrysanthemums” John Steinbeck's "The Chrysanthemums" shows the true feelings of the main character, Elisa Allen, through the use of setting and her interactions with other characters in the story. By way of vivid descriptions, Elisa's feelings of dissatisfaction over the lack of excitement in her life are portrayed. Her role as a mere housewife and then the subsequent change to feelings of a self-assured woman are clearly seen. These inner feelings are most apparent with the portrayal of Elisa working in the garden with the chrysanthemums, the conversation she has with the man passing through, and finally, when she and her husband are going out to dinner.... [tags: Steinbeck Chrysanthemums Essays]
1277 words (3.6 pages)
- A Woman Bound by Society in John Steinbeck's "The Chrysanthemums" When John Steinbeck's short story "The Chrysanthemums" first appeared in the October 1937 edition of Harper's Magazine (Osborne 479), Franklin D. Roosevelt had just been reelected president. The country was recovering from the Great Depression, unions were developing, and child labor in manufacturing was terminated (Jones 805-6). The first female cabinet member in American history, Frances Perkins, was appointed the Secretary of Labor (Jones 802).... [tags: Chrysanthemums Essays Steinbeck]
1018 words (2.9 pages)
- Chrysanthemums She was wearing “a man’s black hat…clod-hopper shoes, heavy leather gloves” and “a big corduroy apron” doing her best to cover up her femininity. In John Steinbeck’s short story, “The Chrysanthemums”, we are introduced to Elisa Allen. Elisa is living during a period after the Great Depression when women’s rights issues were becoming a topic of public concern. Steinbeck uses the character Elisa Allen to portray the women’s struggle for equality. She is a woman deprived of social, personal and sexual fulfillment in a male-dominated world.... [tags: Chrysanthemums John Steinbeck]
1133 words (3.2 pages)
- John Steinbeck's The Chrysanthemums The Chrysanthemums is a story that takes place in the Salinas Valley of California. The story's main character is Elisa Allen. Elisa is thirty-five years old. She is a character that goes through development and many changes in the story. Throughout the story Elisa Allen goes through both physical and mental changes." In the beginning of the story Elisa is strong and eager"). She is working in her garden. Her husband Henry comes over to see her and asks her if she would like to go to town for dinner and a movie.... [tags: John Steinbeck The Chrysanthemums]
1083 words (3.1 pages)
- John Steinbeck's The Chrysanthemums The short story “The Chrysanthemums,” by John Steinbeck, is a multi-layered work that contains various symbolic meanings, it is said to be “…one of the best things he ever did” (Parini 146). It has been hailed as a great short story not for the depiction of a cattleman and his wife, but for it’s symbolic meanings. Steinbeck was known for writing about his “…strong rebellion against any repressive power in civilization’s power bloc and his strong sensitivity toward any repressed individual” (Timmerman 177).... [tags: John Steinbeck Chrysanthemums Papers]
1919 words (5.5 pages)
- In John Steinbeck’s The Chrysanthemums, the reader is introduced to the seemingly timid and shy Elisa Allen. Elisa is routinely planting her yearly sets of Chrysanthemums, which appear to be the sole receptor of her caring and gentle touch, but all the while it is evident that “the chrysanthemum stems seemed too small and easy for her energy.” Her hidden eagerness seems not only out of place, but out of touch with her dry and wilted surroundings, of which her husband, Henry, abruptly interrupts her steady pace.... [tags: John Steinbeck The Chrysanthemums]
576 words (1.6 pages)
- Epiphany of Elisa in John Steinbeck's The Chrysanthemums John Steinbeck described Elisa Allen in "The Chrysanthemums" only with her language and actions. From these, the reader gathers that Elisa is strong, lean, and eager; the way she talks confidently about her chrysanthemums not only shows her confidence, but her way of filling the void of intimacy in her marriage. However, by the end of the story, the reader finds Elisa completely different, signifying the toll her epiphany has had on her.... [tags: Literature Steinbeck Chrysanthemums Essays]
378 words (1.1 pages)