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The Chrysanthemums By John Steinbeck

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Steinbeck had strong supports for many themes in his short story, “The Chrysanthemums”. One theme that started the poem and ended the poem was the theme of isolation. It was clear that Elisa felt alone through her entire life, even when she was with her husband. She did not feel a connection with him, but she did feel a connection with her chrysanthemums. Elisa was so isolated from everything around her that she found a true earthly connection with flowers. She was excited whenever she could talk about them or they were brought up. No matter what situation it was she wanted to talk about her flowers. This theme of isolation was repeated when she stopped talking to the stranger about her chrysanthemums and again at the end of the story.…show more content…
Now that the lonely setting his set, Steinbeck brings characters to the reader to show their loneliness: “Elisa Allen, working in her flower garden, looked down across the yard and saw Henry, her husband, talking to two men in business suits,”. Elisa is the main character of this short story, and where the center of loneliness will swirl around. Although Steinbeck does not blantely state that Elisa feels lonely, but it is highly considerable that she is quite lonely while she looks down at her husband. Steinbeck then adds repetition within his story, “Elisa watched them for a moment and then went back to her work,”, “She looked down toward the men by the tractor shed now and then,”, “Elisa cast another glance toward the tractor shed,”. Elisa wants her husband to be near her and want to be with her. She knows that she will not get this because of how distant they are from each other. This distance from the first they are introduced, foreshadows what type of relationship these two have. Their marriage is cold, dark, and distance; all tones Steinbeck has used in this short beginning of the story. Obviously, since Elisa has this type of relationship, she feels lonely, and this where the theme all begins. Her only type of connection with the outer world is through her chrysanthemums: “Her face was eager and mature and handsome; even her work with scissors was over-eager, over-powerful,”. She was excited about tending to her flowers every year. While some
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