The Role Of Men And Women In The Chrysanthemums

Decent Essays

When individuals think of feminism today, the first thing that comes to mind is men and women having equal rights and opportunities, however this concept was looked down upon at a time. In fact, according to, women were granted the right to vote in the 1920’s, but men and women were far from equal and the idea of gender equality did not take full effect until the 1960’s. In the anti-feministic story “The Chrysanthemums” written by John Steinbeck, which was published in 1937, demonstrates a time where women were living in a culture dominated by men through the eyes of protagonist Elisa Allen. The story portrays the restrictions Elisa must face in this society as well as the intellectual and emotional drawbacks of the men and their lack of understanding and acknowledgement. During this time, women had the job to stay home and take care of the children while men worked outside the home, but since Elisa Allen had none of her own, she gardened. Elisa is unhappy and feels trapped in her life because of the traditional female role she is supposed to be portraying. Women in that time wanted to extend their abilities into masculine areas, but were unable to due to social norms and because of this circumstance, it affected how Elisa viewed herself physically as well as her life. This raises the question; how does society’s perspective of women’s roles affect women’s views of themselves?
The story begins in The Salinas Valley during winter where Elisa is gardening and her

Get Access