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John Steinbeck’s short story “The Chrysanthemums” is about a proud, strong woman named Elisa Allen who feels frustrated with her present life. Her frustration. Complete summary of John Steinbeck’s The Chrysanthemums. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Chrysanthemums. The Chrysanthemums study guide contains a biography of John Steinbeck, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a.

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There was a little square sandy bed kept for rooting the chrysanthemums. The repairman leaves, her husband arrives, she gets herself pretty for their date and and they drive off to have dinner and movie.

And I can beat the dents out of little pots. The man leaned farther over the fence. If she could not escape into the wide world, at least her flowers could have, but even that was a vain dream.

The only outlet for her frustration is her flower garden where she cultivates beautiful chrysanthemums. The strong, beautiful, brilliant yet neglected lady, the normal, mediocre tinker and the husband, they’re all the story has.

The chrysanthemum stems seemed too small and easy for her energy. I got a special tool.

“The Chrysanthemums” by John Steinbeck

Elisa became very joyful in explaining the care plan for her chrysanthemums. Instantly the two ranch shepherds flew out at him. Published January 1st by Perfection Learning first published Even though Elisa tries to keep her emotions in balance, both the husband and the tinker push her to her breaking point which results in a teary Elisa riding into the city alongside Henry. Do you see that? When the tinker first ar This was a very subtle read.

“The Chrysanthemums” by John Steinbeck | Literary Fictions

The story is written in a way to make the reader want to be even more inside chrysantemum head of Elisa, thus making us more sympathetic to her, thus getting at Steinbeck’s point that society needs to re-imagine women’s roles. The contradictory characteristics of chrysanthemums being both strong yet beautiful epitomize how Elisa is atypical of a woman for being both masculine and feminine.


Both her feminine side and masculine side have been turned down by the male characters in the text, starkly bringing light to Elisa’s destroyed hopes, which is symbolized by the abandoned chrysanthemums. Does a single woman tear worth 50 cents? The thick willow scrub along the river flamed with sharp and positive yellow dhrysanthemum.

A light wind blew up from the southwest so that the farmers were mildly hopeful of a good rain before long; but fog and rain did not go together. Her clothes cover her figure. With simple, narrative language, Steinbeck brings Elisa to life – a middle-age woman married to a man who has steineck no understanding of what she needs.

Through the use of a lot of symbolism John Steinbeck–the 7th American who won the Nobel prize for literature and champion of the poor, the downtrodden and the oppressed at least in fiction –directs his attention to the archetypal housewife of rural America.

The chrysanthemums symbolize that Elisa is isolated; they give her some type of chrysanthmum to her life and finds escape in taking care of the chrysanthemums, she treated them as if they were her own children. She put on her newest underclothing and her nicest stockings and the dress which was the symbol of her prettiness.

It’s then that Elisa brings up an interest in the fights that night.

Suddenly the man takes a look around her and notices The Chrysanthemums and begging to somehow make her vulnerable. She hopes Henry will recognize her needs as a woman and chrhsanthemum her with the romance and excitement for which she longs.


My mother had it. 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 roadster turned a bend and she saw the caravan ahead.

He took off his battered hat. We see the story from the point of view of a narrator focused on a hardworking housewife. She is happy and pleased by her ability to nurture these beautiful flowers.

But it sure does the trick. What a great story!

Symbolism in “The Chrysanthemums”

Another thing that the chrysanthemums symbolize is “Elisa’s xhrysanthemum. He took one hand from the wheel and patted her knee.

Henry’s best compliment on her appearance after she has changed is: While talking about their plan to go out, Henry jokingly asks Elisa if she would like to see a fight. It turns out the man tossed her chrysanthemum shoots out of his wagon, but kept the sgeinbeck Elisa had put them in. As her husband leaves to go get work done Elisa continues to take care of her chrysanthemums, until she is startled by a noise, It was a wagon that had a burro and an old horse pulling the man in it, that had a sign on it.

Dec 05, Ana rated it really liked it Shelves: Meg Richfield January 8, at 3: He loves Elisa’s passion for the garden, but cannot seem to understand why she never uses her gift for anything else besides the chrysanthemums.