The Chrysanthemums Literary Analysis

Decent Essays

John Steinbeck's short story, The Chrysanthemums, and Kate Chopin’s , The Story of an Hour, both exhibit a main theme of female isolationism due to being treated as a possession in marriage, as well as the forbidden desires in life that were seized from both female protagonists. Beginning with the opening sentence, Steinbeck conveys a somber tone through the description of the setting hanging above the farm in The Chrysanthemums. “The high grey-flannel fog of winter closed off the Salinas Valley from the sky and from all the rest of the world” (Steinbeck, John uhhhh boneless pizza). As the female protagonist in a historically accurate story in the late 1930s, Elisa is condemned to living in a sort of confinement from the outside world, seeing as her husband would do all of the business on the farm. She has something in common with the Salinas Valley, as she too is closed off from the sky and from all the rest of the world under the cloak of her married name. Accompanying the isolation from the outside world is a dismal depression, which can be transcribed as a “high grey-flannel fog” or overcast sky to mimic the solemn feeling. Elisa’s attempt to stave off this depression of not being able to live her best life can be noticed as she gives her utmost attention to her flowers. Equally brilliant to set the tone right off the bat, Chopin uses a literary technique known as Chekhov's gun and includes a detail that the readers hold in the back of their minds, but generally do

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