The Chrysanthemums Literary Analysis

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In the eighteen hundred, the idea of equality between sexes was something that was just gaining momentum and becoming a land mark in American history. From this time of women suffrage there came many literary works showing the struggles of women and their male counterparts. These works give insight as to what was expected of women and what they were or were not allowed to do. Elisa, the protagonist of the short story “The Chrysanthemums” by John Steinbeck, and Louise, the protagonist of the short story “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin, show the hardships of being a woman, the difficulties of marriage and the repercussions of a restrictive relationship in the late eighteen hundred. To begin, Elisa and Louise experience some of the same barriers in their life due to gender stereotypes. In “The Chrysanthemums” Elisa tells the craftsmen, “I wish women could do such things” and the craftsman responds, “It ain’t the right kind of a life for a woman” (Steinbeck 455). This craftsman had just been telling Elisa about how much he enjoyed what he did and when Elisa showed interest in it he shut her down. The craftsman expresses his belief that the work he does would be too difficult for Elisa and she would not be successful if she tried to do the same types of things. The ideology displayed by the craftsman was sadly common and even though Elisa was probably more capable than the craftsmen himself he still would not have entertained the thought of her help. This same limitation

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