The Oval Portrait By Edgar Allen Poe Essay

883 Words May 12th, 2016 4 Pages
Despite being a global superpower, the United States lacks gender equality expected in such an advanced nation. Furthermore, not only do statistics show this inequality, but literature explores this phenomenon. From the era of dark romanticism in the early nineteenth century to the era of modernism in the early twentieth century, writers analyze the effects of this inequality. “The Oval Portrait” by Edgar Allen Poe is a dark romantic short story. In contrast, John Steinbeck’s “The Chrysanthemums” is a modern era prose. Both authors live hard lives, evident in the mood of their works. Regardless of the distinct time periods, both writers share a common theme. In both stories, the husband and the peddler take away the happiness of the female protagonist, the beloved wife and Elisa Allen, respectively. The female leads play significant roles in both the plot and the theme. In “The Oval Portrait” the fair wife is the subject of the portrait in question. To the painter, his wife holds the “rarest beauty, and not more lovely than full of glee; all light and smile” (Poe). While the wife plays a rather passive role, shown by her unmentioned name, her beauty is the focus of the story. Similarly, in “The Chrysanthemums”, Elisa Allen, the wife, and the chrysanthemums she gardens are key to the story’s theme. Elisa constantly is “back at the chrysanthemum bed,” grooming her flowers with extensive care (Steinbeck). Both the fair wife and Elisa gain something from their abilities. The…

Related Documents