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Essay On The Chrysanthemums By John Steinbeck's

811 words - 3 pages

If we look back to the beginning of the century, it is clear that marriages were often arranged or it was the man who chose his bride. As a result, men did not feel genuine love towards their wives and asked them to take care of the cooking and look after the children if they had any. John Steinbeck's short story "The Chrysanthemums" illustrates this through his character, Elisa Allen, a proud, strong woman who feels frustrated with her present life. Her frustration stems from not having a child and from her husband's failure to admire her romantically as a woman. The only outlet for her frustration is her flower garden where she cultivates beautiful chrysanthemums. Another thing that helps her for a moment is the Tinker, a man who comes and value her feminine appearance by her beautiful flowers and he also tray her at the end. Steinbeck purposeSteinbeck's uses the flower to symbolize his main character's thoughts and ideas in his novel. In a romantic or sexual context, a woman is often said to be as beautiful as a flower; in John Steinbeck's short story "The Chrysanthemums", Elisa Allen never receives this recognition. Elisa Allen is a lonely woman who enjoys growing and nourishing her chrysanthemums. Since her husband is always working in their farm, she never has enough attention or any kind of affection. Although, she discovers an outlet for her frustration in a flower garden where she cultivates beautiful chrysanthemums; she refugies herself in her chrysanthemum, which symbolize her spirit, in other word, herself. Steinbeck uses these elegant flowers as a symbol to represent the tender, inner-self of all women, including Elisa. Because Elisa does not feel appreciated by her husband, she takes care of her chrysanthemums, symbols of how beautiful she really is and how she wants to be seen. Steinbeck uses little symbolic phrases in his story to let the reader know that the chrysanthemums are an extension of Elisa, with a lot of links. Therefore, she doesn't want her husband come into her garden "He had come near quietly, and he leaned over the wire fence that protected her flower garden from cattle and dogs and chickens." (Steinbeck p.176) Because she considers her husband Henry like a predator, so she protects her garden/her inner-self from him; she is isolating herself because she...

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