Trapped in Her Garden

  • Length: 426 words (1.2 double-spaced pages)
  • Rating: Excellent
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

Throughout history, women have often been portrayed as inferior to men or considered the "weaker sex." As a result of these social assumptions, women have been fighting to dissociate themselves from this stereotype and gain their independence. John Steinbeck's "The Chrysanthemums" is a classic illustration of the frustration felt by a woman before she was observed as being more than just her sex.

Elisa Allen, the main character, lives on a ranch in the Salinas Valley in California with her husband, Henry. Elisa's main focus is on her garden, especially on her beloved chrysanthemums. She tends to her chrysanthemums with great care, protecting them from bugs and disease and making sure they are started just right. They are her pride and joy, a symbol of her hard work and dedication.

Elisa's garden and chrysanthemums hold a lot more symbolism then just the time and effort she puts into them. The garden is representative of the boundaries she lives within, her isolation from the outside world, and her ability to express herself freely. The chrysanthemums represent her inner strength, the one way she can express herself in the world she lives in.

The relationship that Elisa has with her husband is described through dialog. He teases her about taking her to a fight, an event that is supposed to only appeal to men. He comments on her looks and she questions his meaning, instantly he is back peddling to try to avoid an emotional breakdown. The reader recognizes Elisa's need to be viewed as an equal by her husband, instead of him sheltering her like a stereotypical "emotional" woman.

The reader is presented with Elisa's other frustrations when she interacts with a traveling salesman. From the start Elisa acts very hard towards the man, through her facial expressions, actions, and dialog. Over and over again the man tries to persuade Elisa to give him some work, she only accepts his gesture after he shows interest in her chrysanthemums. The man cons her into paying him to do repairs she is capable of doing herself by telling her a story of another woman who would be overjoyed to have chrysanthemums of her own. Elisa picks a bunch of her flower starts and plants them in a brand new pot for the traveling repairman to give to his other client. After the man leaves, Elisa seems to be satisfied with her treatment of him.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Trapped in Her Garden." 21 Jun 2018
Title Length Color Rating  
Magical Realism in The Garden of Forking Paths Essay - Magical Realism in The Garden of Forking Paths While there may be some debate as to whether the Argentinian Jorge Luis Borges was technically a Magical Realist, some may feel that his works definitely do have some of the characteristics of what is considered Magical Realistic literature. Among his various types of works are poetry, essays, fantasies, and short fictions. Often referred to in essays that discuss the history and theory of Magical Realism, "The Garden of Forking Paths" is probably Borges' most popular short story....   [tags: Garden of Forking Paths Essays]
:: 6 Works Cited
1320 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Trapped in Geometry: Life of Pi - Life is a repeating cycle of endless trials and unexpected changes. Whether the changes were the test in faith, belief or courage, the trials never end. This is very similar to the endless series of numbers that make up Pi. Faith, on the other hand, is the circumference which guided Pi along the circle of trials. The story Life of Pi, written by Yann Martel, is a story about how the influence of geometry had helped a boy hold his faith in God and survive the incredible shipwreck that shaped his life forever....   [tags: Yann Martel novel, story and character analysis]
:: 1 Works Cited
800 words
(2.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Garden Of Love Essays - Julia McDonald ENGL 102H/Ellzey Poetry Interpretation “The Garden of Love” “The Garden of Love” is, quite obviously, a poem about life and the pursuit of happiness. It is also about the effects that negativity can have on love. Blake uses religion to convey the idea that negativity “…pervades and corrupts all life”(51 n.9), further supporting it with his use of rhyme scheme and imagery....   [tags: essays research papers] 1323 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Labyrinths in Garden of Forking Paths Essay - In Jorge Luis Borges' "Garden of Forking Paths", we find the protagonist as a Chinese English professor Yu Tsun who is a spy for the German army, obviously chased by his enemy, Richard Madden who is an Irishman at the service of the English army. At first glance, Yu Tsun may seem to be a "loyal" member of the German army but he manifests a characteristic throughout the story as being the oppressed member of the army. It seems that Yu Tsun shows a "desperate desire of the oppressed to be accepted by its oppressors." Yu Tsun doesn't care about Germany which imposed upon him the objection of being a spy....   [tags: World Literature Jorge Luis Borges] 1772 words
(5.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Trapped in the Body of Society - Born in the beautiful, wet and green country of England in 1818, Emily Jane Brontë would grow up and write one of the literary world’s most acclaimed work of literature. Before she wrote Wuthering Heights in 1847, Emily Brontë came from a very creative household as both of her sisters, Charlotte and Anne Brontë, were also writers with whom Emily would enjoy spending time with writing prose and poetry. Because the Brontë sisters lived a strongly patriarchal society where the ideal Victorian woman only dealt with domestic matters and left everything else to men, they wrote their novels and poems under the male pseudonyms of Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell....   [tags: Emily Jane Bronte, Author, Biography]
:: 5 Works Cited
1471 words
(4.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
In the Garden of the North American Martyrs by Tobias Wolf Essay example - Tobias Wolff’s short story, “In the Garden of the North American Martyrs,” is a naturalistic drama because the protagonist, Mary, has made herself as agreeable as possible and rarely expresses her own opinions, following an orthodox way of life. Mary then improvises an intense lecture and chooses to take her own path in her own teachings, when realizing she is brought in for a sham job interview. Mary is then rewarded by finding her own voice and self-beliefs when choosing to rebuke the cold harshness Louise and the entire hiring committee had provoked on her....   [tags: martyrs, torture, naturalistic drama] 515 words
(1.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Katherine Mansfield's Garden Party Essay - Set in colonial New Zealand, "The Garden Party" falls into two clearly different parts. A lot of the story is about the preparations and the consequences of the garden party, it was organized by the daughters of the privileged Sheridan family. As dawn breaks, Laura goes into the Sheridan's exquisite garden to inspect the proposed site for the marquee. Her encounter with three workers hired to raise the tent is awkward and confused, as she finds herself torn between being a snob and her developing sense of morality....   [tags: Garden Party Essays]
:: 7 Works Cited
831 words
(2.4 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
An Explication of The Garden of Love Essay - An Explication of The Garden of Love       My original interpretation of "The Garden of Love" encompassed the speaker as a person who was scared to move on in their life and in love. I thought (he) was afraid of failure, afraid of losing childhood innocence in the wake of adulthood decisions and expectations. I funneled my theory into a neat little package that contained the Chapel as a symbol for marriage (or adult themes), and the Garden to stand for his life, or thoughts. I further belabored my opinion and interpretation....   [tags: Garden of Love Essays]
:: 8 Works Cited
738 words
(2.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
William Blake and The Garden of Love Essay - William Blake and The Garden of Love   At first glance, the poetry of William Blake may appear simplistic; he writes most often in regular metrical rhythm, apparently sticking to the rules, blunt observations on such mundane subjects as tigers, lambs and roses.  But if one were to finish with Blake and move on, left with only these initial impressions, it would be a great pity; true enjoyment of this poet can only come about through some understanding of his life, background, and skill in the manipulation of the tool of simple lyrical poetry, to convey deeper meaning....   [tags: Garden of Love Essays] 1516 words
(4.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay about The Theme of Death in The Garden Party - The Theme of Death in The Garden Party Katherine Mansfield explores profoundly the world of death and its impact on a person in her short story, "The Garden Party." Enter the Sheridans, a wealthy, high-class family who live in England. They are your everyday rich snobs who think themselves better than the common person. There is, however, one person who is quite unlike her family, and that is Laura Sheridan. Laura started off in a bubble, and has lived in it all her life. She has been protected from the real world, so she has never experienced the effects of betrayal, poverty, or labor, let alone death, which she does get to experience, by the end of the story....   [tags: Garden Party Essays] 885 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]

It is not until she sees her flowers thrown on the side of the road that disappointment and anger come over her. Disappointment in her self for giving in to a man just because of his acknowledgment of her flowers; anger because of the way she was taken advantage of. She feels that if she was seen as an equal to men and not seen as being just a weak woman, this would have never happened. The traveling salesman would have taken her first no as her final answer and he would not have conned her out of a brand new pot and a bunch of her flowers.

The reader sees Elisa as a woman battling against a stereotype placed on her generations before she was ever conceived. We recognize her frustration with her marriage, her sense of isolation from the outside world, and her desire to express herself as a strong, proud woman. Elisa lives in a society thirty years behind the beginning of feminism. If only she was able to escape the boundaries of her garden, the freedom she could have known.

Return to