John Steinbeck The Chrysanthemums

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The Chrysanthemums is a short story by John Steinbeck. It tells a story of a strong women named Elisa Allen and her husband Henry who live on a ranch across the Salinas River where winter has come, where the sun is blocked by a “grey-flannel fog.” At the beginning, Henry begins to negotiate a sale of thirty head of cattle, while Elisa Allen, his wife, and the main focus of the story, attends to her chrysanthemums in her garden. While handling the flowers, her husband comes back with great news: he has sold all the cattle. To celebrate, he wants to take Elisa into town for a movie and dinner. While Henry is off gathering the cattle, Elisa is working in the garden and is interrupted by a tinker, who advertises his repair services for pots, scissors, …show more content…
However, their conversation quickly turns to Elisa and her garden when he mentions how amazing her flowers look, only for Elisa to cave in on his mind games. His interest in her flowers and the way he makes Elisa feel, she almost reaches out to touch his legs as she is preparing a pot of chrysanthemum flowers for his customer. She is then ashamed by not giving him any work and brings him two pans to fix. After he leaves, Elisa then bathes and dresses for her date night in the town with Henry, only to realize that the tinker has discarded her chrysanthemums in the middle of the road but has kept the pot. John Steinbeck brings symbolism into the short story to represent Elisa’s hidden emotions and passions. Chrysanthemums represent Elisa’s inner-self and her role as a woman. He brings in flower pots that suggest that Elisa is trapped, and her clothing to represent her …show more content…
This short story contains strong and powerful context symbols, which also reflect off the title. The most important symbols of the story are the chrysanthemums, which represent Elisa’s true self and who she is as a person. All of the insight of the real meaning behind Elisa’s chrysanthemums is what opens up the closed doors of the story. If the story wasn’t looked into further, it wouldn’t mean anything to the readers, it’d be as if the author was rambling and throwing in a sentences of unnecessary facts about the life of Elisa. The chrysanthemums, which are the key to the story, gives more depth and understanding about Elisa’s life and her struggles that wouldn’t be acknowledged any other

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