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What is revealed in most of the religious texts, and what is practiced by the society are mostly contradictory. A female child suffers victimization at every stage of life. When she grows, marries, begets children, her responsibilities multiply. Her private ambitions stand curtailed. Circumstances compel her to suppress her many fond feelings for the growth of her innate desires and latent personality. How can a woman be the legal and spiritual equal of man in the true sense?
John Steinbeck in his story The Chrysanthemum highlights the limitations under which a married woman lives. He writes not to sympathize with women, not condemn the society—he just mentions the facts, for which there are no tangible solutions. Her plight is a sort of inevitable confinement. Elisa is one such woman. She is as if imprisoned in a fort, being attacked by the enemy from outside. The nature seems to move in tandem with her moods. The story opens: "The high gray-flannel fog of winter closed off the Salinas Valley from the sky and from 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." Every description by the author related to the life of Elisa is chiseled within the details of confinement. Her garden of flowers is surrounded by a wire fence. Flower and wire fence, create a picture, how her tender emotions are imprisoned. Through such enclosures, she watches the activities that are taking place in the society. She has no conflict with her husband, everything apparently seems to go on well. Her dissatisfaction with her life has nothing to do with the attitudes of her husband and his disposition towards her. The story critically examines her psychology. The images of seasons, weather, plants and a animals—all work as natures agents to provided support to the happiness of her life. When a bright and energetic woman has to fall in
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She is isolated from the world, she feels frustrated with her marriage and she wants nothing more than a sense of connection to the world outside her garden gate, illustrating the general sentiment of women everywhere who were frustrated in their attempts to connect with the greater world.
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.
The paper will equally analyze the obstacles that stand in the way of the characters and justify why the characters find themselves in vulnerable and dramatic moments. Both authors have used fiction in form of images to derive deeper meaning in their stories.
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.”
There also grew up at this time two seemingly harmless cults that paraded under the names of The Cult of Domesticity and The Cult of Purity. These forced women to keep fidelity in marriage and maintain modesty. “Freed from the enslavement of the ideology associated with
that she has a visitor in the form of a tinker who expresses interest in her flowers and her husband decides to take her out for the evening in a rare display of affection and good will but the story ends before she gets very far from her garden as she discovers her flowers