A struggle for sexual identity in the chrysanthemums by john steinbeck

Elisa Allen is a woman capable of doing many things but has no outlet to showcase her skills due to the social implications imposed on her by the males of society.

Many believe that Elisa had been living a monotonous life at the farm, and the tinker aroused her feminine side, reminding her that she was after all a woman, and not necessarily as strong as she thought. Another way of analyzing her aggravation is to picture her through the eyes of other characters in the story.

All Elisa can do is watch him from afar as he performs his job.

‘The Chrysanthemums’ by John Steinbeck Essay Sample

The chrysanthemums are mentioned throughout the story and can be seen a symbol of Elisa. It turns out the man tossed her chrysanthemum shoots out of his wagon, but kept the pot Elisa had put them in.

By this action, Elisa is unconsciously withdrawing back to her feminine side and cleansing herself "of the masculine situation by turning to the feminine world in which she best functions" Sweet The Importance of Sexual Fulfillment Steinbeck argues that the need for sexual fulfillment is incredibly powerful and that the pursuit of it can cause people to act in irrational ways.

On the way to Salinas for dinner and a movie, Elisa makes the unfortunate discovery of her most prized possession cast away on the side of the road. Elisa is smart, energetic, attractive, and ambitious, but all these attributes go to waste.

Others believe that a woman as strong and confident as her did not have to be as confined. Elisa works in her garden, cutting down old chrysanthemum stalks, while her husband Henry discusses business with two men across the yard. Steinbeck uses many different literary devices to drive his plot, and to keep the reader captivated.

They seem to be a well-matched couple, though their way of talking together is formal and serious. America and Its People: He uses every tool available to portray her frustration and silent anger.

This again may be symbolism devised by Steinbeck. Elisa is thirty-five, lean and strong, and she approaches her gardening with great energy.

After the tinker leaves, Elisa goes indoors to bathe. When her husband, Henry, comments about her "strong" chrysanthemum crop, Elisa is pleased by the manliness the word implies, but her husband reminds her of her femininity by offering her an evening on the town.

By the time she realizes her feminine emotions, it is too late: The contradictory characteristics of chrysanthemums being both strong yet beautiful epitomize how Elisa is atypical of a woman for being both masculine and feminine.

Her only true passion is for growing chrysanthemums, and broadly speaking, farming. They agree on dinner and a movie instead.

She then finds two saucepans for the tinker to repair before he leaves. As the couple leaves for dinner in their roadster, Elisa notices the chrysanthemum sprouts she had given the tinker lying in the road and asks her husband if they could have wine with dinner.

Throughout the story, Elisa suffers a regression from the masculine role she sees as equality to the feminine role she sees as submissive.

The Man - A travelling mender who arrives on the road in a wagon that has a canvas painted with the words "Pots, pans, knives, sisors, lawn mores, Fixed. The story opens by describing the setting of the fog over the Salinas Valley "like a lid on the mountains and [make] of the valley a closed pot.

She allows her emotions to control her and lets go of her masculine side, freeing her central feminine sexuality, according to Sweet Having proven she is able to raise potentially award-winning chrysanthemum patches, she demonstrates her competence in creation and nurturing—two skills she can only apply to her flower patch because Henry, for whatever reasons, will not allow the introduction of children to the family.

Elisa intially reacts to each situation as a man would, but is forever reminded that she is a woman. After Elisa agrees, Henry teasingly proposes that they go to the fights that night as well. Then he offers to take Elisa to town so they can celebrate the sale.

In the meantime, Elisa has no choice but to deal with her lack of children and apply her motherly parenting skills to her flower bed. According to Elisa, he may not even match her skill as a tinker. It is also believed that the marriage was loveless, and one of the two was infertile.

The man tells her about one of his regular customers who also gardens. Besides, Elisa lives in a valley shaped like a closed pot; who better to turn to for hope of escape than a mender of pots? Whatever information she gets about the management of the ranch comes indirectly from Henry, who speaks only in vague, condescending terms instead of treating his wife as an equal partner.“The Chrysanthemums” by John Steinbeck illustrates through subtle symbolism a woman’s struggle for sexual identity.

Elisa Allen, the protagonist of the story, cultivates a likeness of herself through her chrysanthemum garden, but fragments of her are also depicted by key objects encountered during the story.

John Steinbeck’s short story ‘The Chrysanthemums’ is one of the most critically acclaimed short stories ever. Elisa Allen is a middle-aged, strong but. John Steinbeck illustrates through subtle symbolism a woman's struggle for sexual identity.

Elisa Allen, the protagonist of the story, cultivates a likeness of herself through her chrysanthemum garden, but fragments of her are also depicted by key objects encountered during the story/5(12).

"The Chrysanthemums" is a short story by American writer John Steinbeck. It was first published in before being included as part of. John Steinbeck’s short story, “The Chrysanthemums,” portrays a woman’s struggle with accepting her life and role as a female ().

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Through the protagonist-female character, Elisa Allen, and the symbolism of chrysanthemums, Steinbeck displays the gender roles that define past generations of women’s lives in the United States.

The Chrysanthemums by John Steinbeck The high grey-flannel fog of winter closed off the Salinas Valley from the sky and from all the rest of the world.

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A struggle for sexual identity in the chrysanthemums by john steinbeck
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