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In The Chrysanthemums, John Steinbeck intends to suggest that all women are not equal to men in society. Elisa understands this when she is not able to take part in the same male oriented activities that her husband takes part in. Elisa is seen as a lesser of a person just because of her gender. That demoralism of women leads me to believe that Steinbeck thought all women were insignificant.
John Steinbeck’s development of Elisa in the story is easy to understand. In the beginning Elisa is viewed as a hard working housewife, and nothing more than that. When she meets the peddler she was overcome with confidence, and she seemed to have more control over her world. Only when she sees that her chrysanthemums have been discarded, she is reduced down to nothing but a sobbing and helpless woman.
Anyone who is oppressed over a long period of time will have a tendency to rebel and fight for some kind of right. John Steinbeck chose to make the main character Elisa a women for a reason. Steinbeck ridicules all women through the eyes of Elisa. Women were seen as lifeless and are willing to accept their life as it is given to them. She seems to be unwilling and makes no real attempt to overcome the tedious duties of being a housewife.
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