THE CHRYSANTHEMUMS 6
The is a story about Elisa Ellen and her husband, Henry.The two are married and seem to be doing well by the standards oftheir society. They are hardworking people who have everything acouple needs to be comfortable. Their ranch is successful. WhileHenry manages it to ensure they have everything they require, Elisaspends her time nurturing her chrysanthemums.
WhatKind of Person is She? Describe Elisa as a Character
Elisais in her mid-thirties. She is intelligent, attractive andpassionate. When the Tinker talks to her, she explains how to growchrysanthemums. She does it in a way that not only proves herexcitement about the flowers, but also her knowledge andunderstanding about them. In addition, she is industrious as shespends her time cleaning the house and maintaining the garden. Theneat, hard swept house and the clean mud mat are part of her work. She is proud of the garden and claims that she raises the biggestchrysanthemums in her area.
Nonetheless,Elisa is frustrated, so she is happy to have a real conversation withthe tinker. She talks and flirts with him because she does not getthat from her husband. She seems to say too much that she soundspoetic while enjoying the presence of the tinker. The flirting showshow much her marriage is frustrating to her. For a moment, she feelshappy, and her husband notices it, as they get ready for the dinner.However, the fulfillment only lasts for a short time. This isevident as she asks for the wine that helps her to overcome herdissatisfaction. She wants to do things accomplished by men. Thebloody fights and joke about sharpening scissors reveal how much sheis secretly seeking for equality between men and women.
WhatKind Of Relationship Does Elisa Have With Henry? What Is His View OfHer? Why Is He So Confused When She Protests At Being Called"Strong"?
Henryand Elisa have a stable relationship. They are hard working and seemto be living satisfactorily. Nevertheless, their relationship isstiff. Their conversation does not flow naturally. They do not appearto be free with each other. For example, when Henry tells Elisa shelooks nice, she does not respond kindly. She becomes defensive. Henryknows Elisa is waiting for something nonetheless, he remains silentand does not know what to tell her. Their relationship is notromantic though they love each other in their own way. Thecommunication between them is too little. Moreover, the couple doesnot understand each other. Henry loves Elisa and respects her as awoman. Even so, he seems comfortable with her remaining just a womanwho plays her role as expected. He jokes with her like a little kidand is not ready to share anything serious. For example, he lightlytells her that she could grow apples, but dismisses the point evenbefore she can absorb it.
WhyDoes Steinbeck Spend So Much Time Describing Elisa`s Clothes? HowDoes Her Clothing Change As The Story Progresses?
Atthe opening of the narrative, Elisa is wearing heavy clothing. Shehas nothing feminine and her body is described as “blocked andheavy.” The masculinity look shows her asexual life. Thingschange after she speaks to the tinker. She becomes physicallystimulated, and the woman in her is awoken. Her preparation fordinner is like a ritualistic transformation. She takes off theclothes, bathes thoroughly, admires herself in the mirror and dressesin a fancy undergarment. She completes the look with a beautifuldress and makeup. Bottom line, she becomes sexualized, but at theend, she is taken back in tears to her repressed state after sherealizes that the tinker disposed of her flowers.
InWhat Ways Is The Tinker A Contrast To Elisa? What Might He RepresentFor Her? Is He Sincere, Or Is He Just A Con Man? Are There Any WaysIn Which They Are Alike? (Note: Study Their Conversation CarefullyFor Clues.)
TheTinker is impoverished, uneducated, disheveled and weary. He ishomeless and always on the move. On the other hand, Elisa has abeautiful warm home. She is well off, according to her society, andthe two are just a world apart. However, to Elisa, the tinkerrepresents the freedom she needs. He is free and adventurous. Hislooks are unimpressive, but he knows how to manipulate. He is cannyand deliberately says things to make Elisa give him some work. Hisinterest in chrysanthemums is not genuine. The only thing they sharedis that each one of them needs something from the other. The Tinkerwants to make some money from Elisa, and she is eager to have someonewhom she can talk to freely. The flowers are a universal symbolshowing how people seek comfort to fit in their world because theylack what they desire. Elisa is a woman without freedom to expressherself, not even sexually. However, she is free to handle and treatthe chrysanthemums as she likes.
WhatIs The Purpose Of Including The Dogs In The Story?
Theinteraction of the tinker’s dog and Elisa’s two dogs is a symbolof the two individuals’ interaction. Her dogs are far muchstronger than Tinker’s is. The animals are a metaphor indicatingthat Elisa is stronger and smarter than he is. In their conversation,she is super wit and at the end, she reveals her capability tocomplete the repair as well as he does. Nevertheless, the Tinkermanages to persuade her into giving him the job and the paymentdespite being able to do it herself. He then leaves intact and withthe money in his pocket just as his dog leaves unharmed.
Whatdo the chrysanthemums symbolize in this story? Would you say thatthey are a universal symbol or a contextual symbol? What do they meanto Elisa? Are there other symbolic elements?
Thechrysanthemums are a symbol of a woman’s role. They signify thechildren she does not have. The way she talks about them, they areclose to her, and she knows them just as a woman understands herchildren. The flowers also represent her sexuality and femininity.She handles the chrysanthemums with energy and prowess. They revealher inner source of strength. She has nothing else to do apart fromtaking care of the flowers, which are her source of comfort.Moreover, when Elisa gives the tinker chrysanthemums, she is happyand feels like part of her has escaped. Nonetheless, when the tinkerdiscards them, she feels cheated and goes back to her cocoon ofloneliness because she felt that he had cast her aside just as thesociety does to women in her rural area. Other symbolic elementsinclude the Salina Valley. It is compared to pot. Besides, it is arural setting where men and women play their roles quietly. Elisa hasnothing much to do apart from her garden and the house. The smallworld is closed up, and it is just like a pot.