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Pure in Need: John Steinbeck's short story "Chrysanthemums"
Every element of the story highlights this deeper meaning, only ending as Elisa is “crying weakly – like an old woman.” Filled with pure intentions but a need to play a part in life, Elisa’s actions as she tends her chrysanthemums, talks with the tinker and in her relationship with Henry all emphasize her overpowering sense of isolation and desperate need for a larger world. In every way, Elisa is enclosed throughout the story. This is seen physically as she works in her garden space which is symbolically place away from everyone else around. Although dedicated to her garden, Elisa constantly wonders what the men with her husband are talking about not far away. The affection she gives to her flowers demonstrates how much she has to give to others while the tension in her hands as she snaps off flower heads shows her frustration at being excluded and set apart. Steinbeck says, “The chrysanthemum stems seemed too small and easy for her energy,” but her flowers are the nicest flowers around. Even the weather confines her: “The high grey-flannel fog of winter closed off the [valley] from the sky and all the rest of the world. On every side it sat like a lid on the mountains and made of the great valley a closed pot.” Like other women of her time, women were expected to make themselves happy only within the home space, but Elisa continues to show that the home is not enough.
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“Pure in Need: John Steinbeck'S Short Story Chrysanthemums Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/literature/1423206-pure-in-need-john-steinbecks-short-story-chrysanthemums.
John Steinbeck’s critically acclaimed short story, “The Chrysanthemums”, reports an incident in the life of a farmer’s wife, Elisa Allen. But in doing so, this short story makes a subtle commentary on gender roles and repressed sexuality through the brief but intricate network of symbols and themes it builds up.
At first glance we can think that Elisa is satisfied with the life she is leading. However, deep down in her soul Elisa is restless, because she feels unloved and unappreciated. She longs for attention as a sexual being and not as a working object, the way her husband perceives her.
Elisa is the robust wife of a rancher who has to remain subservient to her husband and men in general because she is a woman. As a woman, Elisa is not allowed to have strong sexual feelings despite her husband treating her more like a friend or a sibling.
A writer and a naturalist, influenced and influential, Steinbeck wrote of lands he loved, most of all the intricate and subjective puzzle of his Salinas Valley home. What this paper aims to uncover-or, as Steinbeck would have likely preferred, discover- is how Steinbeck's treatment of the natural environment evolved throughout his life by examining "Fingers of Cloud," the first story Steinbeck ever published.
According to the research findings the symbol of chrysanthemums in Steinbeck’s story is rich in associations and significations. Firstly, they denote the geographic setting of Salinas by contributing to a sunny and yellowy imagery. Nevertheless, this imagery lacks warmth. Secondly, the chrysanthemums signify the time frame of the story and the time frame of the female protagonist.
4). At the same time, Elisa has to live inside the fence as the society assigns the role of a wife and a mother to her. She has to make the house perfect for her husband. She only leaves her garden when she
The author utilizes figurative language for instance “… black earth shining like metal…” (239).The author utilizes this to describe a given occurrence. The author breaks the monotony of narration with dialogue. His style