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The Chrysanthemums

Essay by   •  February 23, 2012  •  Essay  •  818 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,905 Views

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For my thesis I chose to explain why I think that Elisa's situation is not over and that a

"storm" could be brewing later. I believe because it is explained throughout the story in various

ways. The first hint you get of her strength and probable frustration with her life is when she is

cutting the chrysanthemum stalks. The story states that "her work with the scissors was over-

eager, over-powerful. The chrysanthemum seemed to small and easy for her energy." (John

Steinbeck, The Chrysanthemums, p.193)

In this simple statement you can see that she has too much energy for what she is doing.

She is too strong for simply cutting and planting flowers although she loves it. When she is

waiting to get ready for dinner she says "I'll have plenty of time to transplant some of these sets,

I guess." ( John Steinbeck, The Chrysanthemums, p.194) In this statement you can also sense

some disdain for what she is doing.

When Elisa is having a conversation with the man from the wagon she states "It must be

very nice. I wish a woman could do such things." (John Steinbeck, The Chrysanthemums,

p.197) Later she says "You might be surprised to have a rival some time. I can sharpen

scissors, too. And I can beat the dents out of little pots. I could show you what a woman might

do." (John Steinbeck, The Chrysanthemums, p.197) In these two comments she makes you can

tell she is unhappy with her life and that she feels she is capable of doing anything a man can do

and perhaps even better.

Later in the story when she gets out of the tub and is standing in front of the mirror "she

tightened her stomach and threw out her chest." (John Steinbeck, The Chrysanthemums, p.197)

By her doing this you get a sense that she is trying make herself feel better like most of us do.

She is trying to make herself seem stronger and reassure herself. It's like as if she is telling

herself that it is ok, that she is ok although we know this is just a ritual to mask the pain she is

feeling inside.

When Elisa and hennery are riding in the car he makes a statement about how strong and

happy she looks. She seems to get really

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