The Chrysanthemums By John Steinbeck Essay

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The story “The Chrysanthemums” by John Steinbeck, like many stories by this author, is loaded with symbolism and concepts about human nature. Each description of characters, places, and physical aspects is written in a way that is simple to understand, but one should not be tricked by his ordinary words since there is always a greater meaning behind them. In this particular story, if one considers the period of time when the story was written, which was the nineteen thirties, is perceived how Steinbeck presents the readers with an uncommon matter that not many writers wrote about. That matter, being, the topic of women and their sexuality, which is the main focus of the story, in a time when a woman 's life is dominated by men and as a consequence, many women are deprived of their personal, social and sexual fulfillment. These deprivations in a woman’s life are illustrated within the descriptions and events that occur around the primary symbol in this story, the flower chrysanthemum, which as the story advances, reveals itself to symbolize Elisa’s femininity, her fulfillment as a woman and even her.
Elisa’s masculine descriptions such as her face being “lean and strong,” her body being “blocked and heavy,” and the “man 's black hat” that she is wearing, which in a way, they hide the feminine side of her, but in another way they also emphasize how she could be doing a different, or more challenging, job in her life than just cultivating flowers. In the story, she is more
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