This is the first 1,000 characters of 823 words (3.29 pages) in the essay titled Chrysanthemums
Symbolism in the Chrysanthemums
At first glance John Steinbeck’s "The Chrysanthemums" seems to be a story about a woman whose niche is in the garden. Upon deeper inspection the story has strong notes of feminism in the central character Elisa Allen. Elisa’s actions and feelings reflect her struggle as a woman trying and failing to emasculate herself in a male dominated society. Elisa is at her strongest and most proud in the garden and becomes weak when placed in feminine positions such as going out to dinner with her husband. Steinbeck smartly narrates this woman’s frequent shifts between femininity and masculinity over a short period of time.
In the opening of the story Elisa is emasculated by the description of her clothing. She wears "a man’s black hat pulled low down over her eyes, clodhopper shoes, a figured print dress almost completely covered by a big corduroy apron…" (paragraph 5). When Eli...
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