Chrysanthemums Essays - StudentShare
The next situation involves the tinker. According to Sweet, he is to Elisa what the meat buyers were to Henry (211). Mordecai Marcus says that Elisa's first response to the tinker is that of a man, for she resists giving him work (56). But as the tinker talks, Sweet points out, Elisa's calculated and conscious masculine efforts become more and more feminine (212). The tinker then hits her in her vulnerable spot--her chrysanthemums. He pretends to be interested in her love for her flowers. He compares her flowers to a "quick puff of colored smoke" (Steinbeck 333). Elisa's feminine side begins to emerge as she takes off her masculine gloves and hat. She is attracted to the tinker because, as Stanley Renner points out, he represents a world of adventure and freedom that only men enjoy (306). She allows her emotions to control her and lets go of her masculine side, freeing her central feminine sexuality, according to Sweet (212). By the time she realizes her feminine emotions, it is too late: "Elisa's desires for equality are now bathed in failure" (Sweet 212). She has allowed herself to become emotional, "the trait women possess," whereas men conduct business unemotionally (Sweet 213). Elisa realizes her hopes for equality are nothing but a dream because she has been betrayed by her basic nature and by men. She gives the tinker the seedling and retreats indoors to find him some pots to mend.
The Chrysanthemums Essay | A Woman’s Job | GradeSaver
Elisa intially reacts to each situation as a man would, but is forever reminded that she is a woman. When her husband, Henry, comments about her "strong" chrysanthemum crop, Elisa is pleased by the manliness the word implies, but her husband reminds her of her femininity by offering her an evening on the town. After this conversation with her husband, she goes back to her masculine role of transplanting the flowers.
Elisa Allen in John Steinbeck’s “The Chrysanthemums” seems to be dissatisfied with her life and marriage. She is isolated from the whole world in her house, where she lives with her husband Henry and dogs, and isolated from her true feelings. There is an impression that she understands that something is wrong with her life, but she is simply unable to identify the source of her dissatisfaction. She is very energetic, and is ready for more that remote life and working in the garden. She is not satisfied and wants more; she doesn’t ask herself whether she is happy, and if not, she is not thinking about changing something.