The chrysanthemums literary analysis. Analysis: The Chrysanthemums by John Steinbeck Essay Example 2022-10-08
The chrysanthemums literary analysis
"The Chrysanthemums," written by John Steinbeck, is a short story that explores the life of a woman named Elisa Allen, who is living in a patriarchal society that limits her opportunities and confines her to traditional gender roles.
At the beginning of the story, Elisa is described as a strong and capable woman who takes great pride in her chrysanthemums, which she raises in her garden. Despite her talents and interests, however, Elisa feels unfulfilled and trapped in her mundane, domestic life. This is evident when she eagerly engages in conversation with a stranger, a tinker, who comes to her farm to sell his wares.
Throughout the story, Elisa's interactions with the tinker serve as a foil for her own feelings of frustration and isolation. The tinker, who is described as being rough and masculine, represents the outside world that Elisa longs to be a part of. Elisa is attracted to the tinker's independence and freedom, and she even feels a sense of envy towards him.
This envy is further highlighted when the tinker compliments Elisa on her chrysanthemums, saying that they are the best he has ever seen. This small gesture of appreciation and recognition is something that Elisa lacks in her own life, and it fills her with a sense of pride and validation.
However, this moment of happiness is short-lived, as Elisa's husband, Henry, soon arrives and interrupts their conversation. Henry is the embodiment of the patriarchal society that Elisa lives in, and his presence serves to reinforce the gender roles and expectations that Elisa is expected to fulfill.
When Henry asks Elisa what she has been doing, she is unable to express her excitement about the tinker's visit and her chrysanthemums, and instead responds with a mundane, "Oh, just the same old things." This response serves as a reminder of the limitations that have been placed on Elisa's life, and the ways in which she has been conditioned to accept them.
As the story progresses, Elisa's frustration with her situation continues to grow, and she becomes more and more isolated from the outside world. This is exemplified when she cuts off the stems of her chrysanthemums and wraps them up in a newspaper, symbolizing her own sense of confinement and the ways in which her talents and interests have been suppressed.
In the end, Elisa's encounter with the tinker serves as a wake-up call, reminding her of the possibilities that exist outside of her domestic life and the limitations that have been placed on her by society. While she may never fully escape these limitations, the experience serves as a reminder of the strength and determination that she possesses, and the potential for change that exists within her.
Overall, "The Chrysanthemums" is a powerful portrayal of the struggles that women face in a patriarchal society, and the ways in which these struggles can impact their sense of self and their relationships with others. It serves as a reminder of the need for gender equality and the importance of recognizing and valuing the talents and abilities of all individuals, regardless of their gender.
Literary Analysis on Chrysanthemums
After all, Elisa has only just realized herself. Elisa was like many other women from this time, where she devoted all of her energy to her daily routines, which consisted of taking care of the house, her husband, cooking, and cleaning. Growing slightly irritated, Elisa continues to reassure the man that she had no work for him. Just like her, the flowers are seen as unimportant; both just meant to decorate the world with beauty. Elisa wishes she could go out and be like the tinker, sleeping under the stars and adventuring every day of her life. Steinbeck again offered his services to the CIA in 1952 during the Cold War while he was planning a tour of Europe. By allowing readers to see the allegorical meaning to this essay will hopefully open the eyes of people who view women unequally.
Literary Analysis the Chrysanthemums
Although, since the tinker had left Elisa felt that she does have the features of an attractive woman as she hopes her husband will like and accept the way she is dressed. He offers to sharpen tools or mend old pots and pans for her. At fist, she is repulsive to the tinker and shows little concern for him and keeps some distance from him. Elisa is smart and ambitious, but because of her gender these characteristics practically went use less. Steinbeck makes us see the connection between Elisa and the flowers when the man from the wagon complemented her flowers, she felt he was complementing her.
A Summary and Analysis of John Steinbeck’s ‘The Chrysanthemums’
She did not have any kids or animals to take care of. Nevertheless Erik moved the plot forward while making Paul grow as a person. Both of them were capable of much more, but because of their gender they had no choice but to keep their unique trades dormant. This insinuates that overall Elisa is lonely and finds solace in her flowers and we see her vulnerability early in the story. One last meaning to the flower that came up to my mind when I read the story was that the flowers represented Elisa's children.
The Chrysanthemums: Themes, Symbolism & Analysis
In addition, she opens one of the men clothes that she is wearing and makes her heart open to reality. Also, since the tinker claims to have been making the trip down the coast for several years in a row, it seems unlikely that he would be off of his general route and lost. He even suggests that they attend the fights afterward. The Chrysanthemums had an allegorical meaning that pointed out that a society has no place for intelligent women. While Elisa appears to be an expert at getting things to grow regardless of the season, she's experiencing her own dry spell. This causes conflict with the three ladies that have helped taken care of her since her mother died, because they too have made a decision for Lily without her knowledge. Elisa was subject to gender inequalities of her time.
The Chrysanthemums Summary & Analysis
Therefore, they do not have much interaction with the public. Gender played a major factor in determining who receives an education. She is a beautiful, smart, and strong woman who is unsatisfied with her present circumstances despite living a married life. Men make up mysteries when they can not understand women and may feel threatened. Oppression In Herland 936 Words 4 Pages Women have always been depicted to be dependent of men; however this stamen is defied in the novel, Herland.
The Chrysanthemum Literary Analysis
The man quickly repairs the pans and is paid and back on the road. From their physical appearances to their overall meaning to the world, both the flowers and Elise lack any sort of significance. There were still barriers and obstacles that women had to overcome, however more options were slowly beginning to come their way. Social Stereotypes In The Film, October Sky 1152 Words 5 Pages As far as gender specific roles being displayed in children, boys are by far the best example. When the tinker visits the farm she converses with him about how she could do his job of fixing things just as well as he could. As the story progresses, Elisa has trouble extending this power outside of the fence that surrounds her garden.
The Chrysanthemums Literary Analysis Essay
It is obvious that Elisa spends most of her time alone, and even a passing stranger is a welcomed sight. Through the exploration and illustration of women's emotions, Steinbeck gives us a view into the struggle of women in the early 20th century to find a place for themselves in society as well as establishing their own sexuality Charters, 502. It would be good for both of us. In this story, the two-fold issues of femininity and symbolism play a critical part in explaining this helplessness. After graduating high school in 1919, Steinbeck studied English Literature at Stanford University. Else like Elisa both feel that work and getting out of the house are things that both genders should partake in, however both of them are weighed down by the tyranny of man and forced to live an mundane and simplistic life. While spending time traveling and writing, Steinbeck met his first wife, Carol Henning, and the couple returned to California following the publication of his first novel, Cup of Gold, in 1929.
The Chrysanthemums Study Guide
For example, the outfit she wears to garden is bulky and unrevealing and includes 'a man's black hat. When Louise learns about the death of her husband, her reaction and the reaction of her sister and the doctor tell us a great deal about gender stereotyping during this time. Instead, the flowers were wholly discarded, just like Elisa's femininity. Elisa hides her face from Henry, suggesting shame, and cries like a weak, old woman. The initial interaction she has with her husband is typical of the era in which the story takes place.