The first paragraph in The Scarlet Ibis begins with rich floral imagery: “The flower garden was strained with rotting brown magnolia petals and ironweeds grew rank amid the purple phlox...The last graveyard flowers were blooming, and their smell drifted and their smell drifted… through every room of our house, speaking softly the names of our dead” (p. 1). In Victorian times, flowers often were associated with secret meaning, to give a message to the receiver. For instance, magnolias symbolize longevity because of their place in ancient times. The magnolias in the narrator’s garden are described as rotten and disintegrating. This is connected to Doodle, his brother, because he died at a young age. Phlox represents innocence, something Doodle was full of, and the graveyard flowers’ lingering scent serve as an illustration for Doodle’s lasting spirit. Flowers in general also are utilized, such as when the narrator recounts Doodle and his endeavours in the early days of their occupation in Old Woman Swamp: “I would gather wildflowers, wild violets, honeysuckle, yellow jasmine, snakeflowers, and waterlilies, and with wire grass we’d weave them into necklaces and crowns… Then, when the slanted rays of the sun burned orange in the tops of the pines, we’d drop our jewels into the stream and watch them float away towards the sea” (p. 2). Flowers primarily exemplify childhood and purity, but can also connotate a continual state of
The two housewives have a passionate love for gardening and bestow their love and appreciation towards their gardens. In the twentieth century, gardening was advocated as beneficial to one’s life and family. In the New England Quarterly, the journal, “Gardening as ‘Women’s Culture’ in Mary E. Wilkins Freeman’s Short Fiction,” states,“The time women spent in
When Stephen visits Sachi’s garden for the first time, he finds that “There were no trees, flowers, or water, only a landscape made of sand, stones, rocks, and some pale green moss . . . Sachi had created mountains from arranged rocks, surrounded by gravel and elongated stones flowing down like a rocky stream leading to a lake or the sea” (40). Unlike Matsu’s very green and tree-filled garden, Sachi’s garden is very dry, and simplistic, yet has a peculiarly admirable feeling when one is able to see the subtle details. Although it is very different from a typical garden, its components harmonize to create a new and beautiful pattern. At first, Stephen is overwhelmed by the unfamiliar concept of a dry landscape, but after taking it in, he says it is beautiful. This garden is has a fresh taste to it, leaving Stephen to decide the effect it has on him, whether it be positive or negative. When creating the garden, Sachi insisted that it should not have flowers. However, eventually, “between two large rocks grew a neat cluster of blooming flowers, startlingly beautiful, a splash of blue-purple . . . thriving among the muted, gray stones.” The way that the bright colors contrast against the dull gray shows that something unfamiliar and novel can appear beautiful in its own way. Since Sachi’s garden is filled with pebbles and stones, the dainty flowers stand out comely, and to
Some things take more than just a few glances to have its substance truly disclosed. By transforming into a full-grown person, Lizabeth learns to see things not only by what is on the outside, but grasp what is inside as well. Near the beginning of the story, she recalls one of her childhood days where she and her friends once again adventure off to annoy Ms. Lottie. Once there, however, they find that, “For some reason, we children hated those marigolds. They interfered with the perfect ugliness of the place; they said too much that we could not understand; they did not make sense” (Collier 26). Lizabeth and her thrill-seeking friends are bewildered by the beauty of the marigolds amongst Ms. Lottie’s barren land, causing them to despise it. This conveys the kids as being unable to grasp the true meaning behind the planted marigolds. By using the oxymoron “perfect ugliness” to describe Ms. Lottie’s surroundings, the interference of the “too beautiful” marigolds highlights its value and its symbolism as hope. The significance of this is that by employing the children’s ignorance of the marigolds, it is able to reveal their innocence. It shows how they aren’t yet able to perceive things beyond their surface, to be able to understand things beyond their literal definition like the marigolds. However, this is able to set up the transformation that occurs for Lizabeth to be able to lose her innocence and unveil the author’s argument. At the end of the story, she unleashes her pent-up feelings of the marigolds by destroying it, causing her childhood to vanish and adulthood to begin. As time passes by
Miss Lottie, who the children in the neighborhood consider an old witch, is a neighbor of Lizabeth’s and lives in, “ the most ramshackle of all [the] ramshackle homes.” Miss Lottie’s house is dilapidated and not well cared for, except the fact that she has, “a brilliant splash of sunny yellow against the dust—[her] marigolds.” The golden flowers do not fit in the dull picture and it is for this reason that the kids
“There were orchards, heavy leafed in their prime, and vineyards with the long green crawlers carpeting the ground between the rows. There were melon patches and grain fields. White houses stood in the greenery, roses growing over them. And the sun was gold and warm.
In the yard, which was kept scrupulously neat, were flowers and plants of every description which flourishes in South Louisiana.” (Chopin,
Elisa Allen is a ardent woman who lives an unsatisfying, under stimulated life. She is ignored at every turn, having a professional career is not an option for her, she has no children, her interest in the business side of the ranch goes unnoticed, her offers to help her husband with the ranch are treated with condescension, and her wish to see the world is shrugged off as an unlikely desire for a woman to have. As a result, Elisa devotes all of her energy to maintaining her house and garden. Although she rightly brags about her green thumb, Elisa’s interaction with nature seems forced and not something that comes as naturally as she claims. She knows a great deal about plants, most likely because as a woman, gardening is the only thing she has to think about. Elisa is dissatisfied with her marriage. She is so desperate to get away from the trap of being a woman so she seeks any way to escape, trying to banter with her husband, asking for wine with her dinner, and even expressing interest in the bloody fights that only men usually attend. None of these will truly satisfy Elisa yet she try to talk about it as a way connect with her husband. Elisa is so frustrated with life that she eagerly looks to the tinker for stimulating conversation and even sex, two elements that seem to be lacking in her life. although she did not have any form of intercourse, Her physical attraction to the tinker and her
"The Chrysanthemums" introduces us to Elisa Allen, a woman who knows she has a gift for growing things, but it seems to be limited to her garden. Diligently working in her garden, Elisa watches as men come and go, living their lives unconfined, wondering what it must feel like to have that freedom. That emotion is revealed as Elisa gases at her husband and acquaintances talking, "she looked down toward the men by the tractor shed now and then." As she tills the soil for her chrysanthemums Elisa tills the thoughts in her head. The garden she so desperately maintained represents her world. A world that will only flourish if nourished. Emotional nourishment and stimulation is what Elisa lacked and longed for. The garden is limited in space to grow and so is her marriage. The garden is safe, non-threatening and so is her world. The garden contains many different elements that make it what it is, although unseen, and if the proper nourishment is not given it will die, as with Elisa.
The main character is Elisa Allen, whose boredom and frustration are reflected in the beauty of her beloved garden. She cares for her chrysanthemums as a mother cares for her children. She places “the wire fence that protected her flower garden from cattle
In the story “The Chrysanthemums” the women Elisa Allen had this deep passion for the flowers call chrysanthemums. That even her husband Henry gave her much space when she was dealing with the chrysanthemums. The story opens when Elisa hears a “squeak of wheels and a plod of hoofs”, and a man drives up in and old spring wagon and does not have a name but simply called the man. Earning a meager living, he fixes pots and sharpens scissors and knives. He travels from San Diego to Seattle and back every year. The man chats and jokes with Elisa, but she admits that she that she has no work for him to do. When he presses for a small job and she becomes annoyed and tries to send him away. Suddenly, the man’s attention turns to the flowers and gives a brief description of the chrysanthemums while Elisa is attending the flowers. The man says kind of long stemmed flower, looks like a quick puff of smoke, and Elisa becomes delighted of the description.
“I’ll see you then. Pine Tree.” he purred as he walked off and out of the store. Dipper had been awestruck and amazed at the kindness of the man. For the rest of the day, he couldn’t stop fiddling with the flower tucked oh so gently behind his ear, and every time someone mentioned it being cute or nice, he couldn’t help but
Her body shape is as being a large, solid, heavy piece dressed in work clothes, wearing her husband’s hat “pulled low down over her eyes” walking in “clodhopper shoes” (Steinbeck 1), and leather gloves to cover her hands. She is strong and powerful, a master in using the scissors in her garden, a woman whose energy is incomparable to any other ordinary housewives. Her energy radiates through her gardening when she plants geraniums “as high as the windows” (Steinbeck 1) year after year. She cuts away the old flower stems with a “short and powerful scissors” (Steinbeck 1) and plants new flowers. Elisa is productive in her garden and she wishes she could use her energy for something more than just planting
John Steinbeck’s short story “The Chrysanthemums,” is about a woman by the name Elisa Allen, who’s unhappy with her life. Her irritation comes from not being able to bear a child of her own, but also her husband never acknowledging her as a woman. In Elisa’s past time, she loves planting and, caring for beautiful chrysanthemums in her garden. Steinbeck symbolizes the chrysanthemums as Elisa’s inner peace, as like anyone else.