Chrysanthemums Essay

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Chrysanthemums A good writer has many tools at hand that help them develop good story lines. There are literary techniques such as voice, point of view, character, theme, and symbolism. One very interesting technique is that of symbolism. With symbolism the author is able to write a story in which many of the actions around the main character seem to enhance the way the character develops. The use of symbolism to develop the characters is easy to see in the short story "the chrysanthemums" by John Steinback. In this story Steinback writes of a woman who lives on a farm; but the woman feels trapped, and wishes that she could free herself. The author uses both the time of year and the location to develop a setting that compliments …show more content…
The air was cold and tender. 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 do not go together."(Steinback 267) From this line much may be derived about Elisa Smith's character. The quiet waiting symbolizes how Elisa is silently waiting for something to happen. Elisa can not say much about her current situation, she has to calmly weight for something to happen. This can be seen when her husband jokes about her going to the fights with her. At the time she says nothing, because it would be absurd for her to go with him. However, after she grows up at the end of the story she expresses her interest to go with him. The symbol of the possibly of rain shows how Elisa anticipates that something interesting in her life may happen, but deep down she knows that there is a very low probability that anything would actually happen. Elisa's bath is another good symbol that Steinback uses to develop Elisa's character. When she, "scrubbed herself with a little block of pumice. . . until her skin was scratched and red."(Steinback 273) she was scrubbing away the skin that bound her into her conventional role. After this bath she had the courage to ask henry if they could have wine at the dinner tonight, and that they may possibly go to the fights together. After her bath she realized how strong she