Discussing the Chrysanthemums Essay

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Discussing the Chrysanthemums

In studying the various schools of criticism and using them to decipher the inner workings of novels, short stories, and poems, it becomes apparent that they all share a common factor: a theme. The theme of a story is the general idea or insight, which is revealed by the entire story (Kennedy, 195). Although there are many themes that seem to be similar, it is difficult, perhaps impossible, to find to stories with identical themes. Two stories with similar themes, however, are "The Chrysanthemums," by John Steinbeck, and "The Yellow
Wallpaper," by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. These two stories show the damage caused by male domination in the past.

The short story "The Chrysanthemums" gives insight …show more content…

Husband to Elisa, Henry is easily described as a well-intentioned and decent man. However, he fails to see that in providing everything for his wife, and by being the decision maker in the relationship, he has not made her content.
It is apparent in this piece that Elisa needs more than a neat house and an excellent garden.

The tinker who comes to the house offers Elisa a new and interesting experience. At first she is reluctant to even speak to the tinker for very long, but we quickly see the man use crafty tricks to ease her mood. The tinker's tactics can be seen in the line, "That's a bad dog in a fight when he gets started." This seemingly innocent rhetoric allows for the tinker to develop a friendly conversation; he is able to start a personal joke between Elisa and himself, in turn easing her mood. Described as a large, bearded, and graying man who has been around, and has experienced many people, the tinker intrigues Elisa.
He is a spontaneous man who seeks adventure, lacking restrictions of time and a home. In comparing the two men in this story it is simple to see that the tinker is much more romantic and exciting than Henry.

In the conversation with the tinker, Elisa reveals something, which he uses to take advantage of her. As they begin to discuss Elisa's chrysanthemums, the tinker deliberately mentions how beautiful they are to make her feel appreciated.

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