Analysis Of John Steinbeck 's ' The Chrysanthemums '

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John Steinbeck’s short story “The Chrysanthemums” shows a time when women are controlled and restrained to a traditional lifestyle. It portrays a struggle for equality that is played out through the eyes of the third person narrator. In telling the story, the narrator depicts the story through speech, actions and appearances of the main character, Elisa. Her place in the story is that in a world of masculinity during the times of the Great Depression and a fight to keep a bit of her happiness and self-confidence as a women intact. As the story first starts out, we learn of the weather prior to knowing any of the characters. This sets a tone of dark times in the story. A foreshadowing of what the relationship is and each have with each other. It is gloomy weather; fog and rain. Also, stated is “fog and rain did not go together.” (Steinbeck 448). It appears that these two weather features are mentioned but stick out to allude that each of the main characters are fog and rain. Rain signifies purification, fertility and spiritual revelation, which would be Elisa Allen. Fog as described in the story is masculine “Grey-flannel fog of winter”, which would elude to Henry Allen. When we first learn of Elisa, she is introduced as being “blocked and heavy”. She wears heavy gloves and shoes and a “man’s black hat” and a big corduroy apron with big pockets. Her home was even described as “Hard-swept look” and “hard-polished” showing that she did clean the home and took

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