Railsback, Brian E., and Michael J. Meyer.A John Steinbeck encyclopedia. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2006. Print.
The author offers an explication of “The Chrysanthemum” by John Steinbeck from a reader’s perspective. To this end, the author begins by describing the setting of the narrative which happens at Salinas, California. Moreover, the author gives an insightful analysis of the main characters in the narrative. For example, he described Elis Allen as a hardworking and quiet woman based on the first impression of her tending a flower garden. In addition, he equally describes Elisa as a curious woman that is always seeking to know what other people are talking about. Other virtues bestowed upon Elisa Allen because of her character include energetic and strong. Evidently, the main idea being projected by the author pertains to the overriding theme or moral of “The Chrysanthemum.” To this end, the author explains that the overarching theme of the story is to depict the strength of a woman in society. This strength is symbolically represented by Elisa Allen. However, the author believes that the strength of a woman in society is normally underestimated by males in the society. To this end, the author also believes that title “The Chrysanthemums” was an allusion to a symbolic representation of women to flowers and more so a ‘weak flower.’ Incidentally, the feeling of weakness against society by Elisa is symbolic of the weakness depicted in chrysanthemums flowers. To this point, the
intended audience by the author are general readers seeking to understand the moral of the story as well as the attributes of the main character. The views expressed by the author within the source to not depict any form of bias since he provides the perspective of an ordinary reader without any hidden agenda. Furthermore, he provides insightful examples from “The Chrysanthemums” to support his theory on the storylines theme. Kordich, Catherine J., and Harold Bloom.Bloom's how to write about John Steinbeck. New York: Bloom's Literary Criticism, 2008. Print. The author delves into the application of symbolism and epiphany within John Steinbeck’s story “The Chrysanthemums.” According to the author this stylist device has been utilised in order to enhance the delivery of the narration to the readers. Furthermore, the author delves into the use of conflict within the narrative. Evidently, this makes the narrative appealing to the readers. To this end, the conflict in “The Chrysanthemums” was between the fix it man and Elisa. The views expressed by the author offer an insightful look into the application of symbolism and conflict. In general, the author offers an elaborate means of writing a book about Steinbeck. Kirszner, Laurie G., and Stephen R. Mandell. Fiction--reading, reacting, writing. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1994. Print. The author asserts that the “The Chrysanthemums” delves into the life of the author, John Steinbeck. To this end, the author describes the locale of the narration as a key resemblance to the town in which Steinbeck was born, that is the Salinas. Furthermore, the author attempts to depict the similarities evident in the narration to the marriages of the 1900’s. The authors consequently offer the example of the husband as the major breadwinner in most marriage while the wife was consigned to the role of a housewife. In addition, the authors explore the application of imagery and irony within the short story. This is evident from the example of the sterile marriage and rich land that depicts a contrast between the two. Evidently, the authors have attempted to show the relationship between the events and character in the narrative to real life. To this end, the credibility of the source is evident from the evidence presented to support the authors’ ideas. Swisher, Clarice. Readings on John Steinbeck. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 1996. Print. The