The only place that she feels she has power is outside in her flower garden.
The Chrysanthemums "The Chrysanthemums" John Steinbeck, in his short story "The Chrysanthemums" depicts the trials of a woman attempting to gain power in a man's world.
Elisa Allen tries to define the boundaries of her role as a woman in such a closed society. While her environment is portrayed as a tool for social repression, it is through nature in her garden where Elisa gains and shows off her power.
As the story progresses, Elisa has trouble extending this power outside of the fence that surrounds her garden. Elisa learns but does not readily accept, that she possesses a feminine power weak for the time, not the masculine one she had tried so hard to achieve through its imitation.
The action of the story opens with Elisa Allen working in her garden. She is surrounded by a wire fence, which physically is there to protect her flowers from the farm animals.
This barrier symbolizes her life. She is fenced in from the real world, from a man's world.
It is a smaller, on-earth version of the environment in which they live. As Elisa works on her garden, she looks through the fence out to where her husband, Henry, is talking with two men in business suits.
They look at a tractor and smoke, manly things, as they conclude their man's work. As she looks out to these men, we look at Elisa. Although she is doing the "feminine" work of gardening, she is dressed like a man.
She wore a black hat low on her forehead to cover her hair, thick leather gloves covered her hands, and clodhopper shoes covering her small woman's feet. A "big corduroy apron" covered the dress making "her figure look blocked and heavy".
Unconsciously, as she looks through her fence at the men talking business, she is trying to cover up her feminine qualities. She longs to be in their position and possess their characteristics. As she does her gardening, something she enjoys and excels in, "Her face was lean and strong Her use of the scissors is described as "over-eager" and "over-powerful".
All of these characteristics are usually masculine adjectives. But in this case they describe a woman attempting or at least imagining living as a part of such a man's world.
Yet Elisa's power is not used for "masculine" activities; in fact, her power is derived from a feminineThe chrysanthemums are a clear representation of Elisa's life. They are her hopes, dreams, children, and her lovers.
When the handyman stops by and talks to her about fixing her pots and sharpening her scissors, she just gets irritated.
"The Chrysanthemums" is one of 12 short stories by John Steinbeck published in in "Harper's Magazine" and in in his collection "The Long Valley." Themes center on year-old Elisa's quest for identity and intimacy. Jul 12, · An Analysis of Elisa's character in "The Crysanthemums" by John Steinbeck.
Quite often, the limits that bound a char adult female to her conventional standards are the mystify of . Character Analysis Of Elisa Allen In The Chrysanthemums By Steinbeck words - 6 pages Many readers who analyze Steinbeck's short story, "The Chrysanthemums", feel Elisa's flowers represent her repressed sexuality, and her anger and resentment towards men.
Feminism in John Steinbeck's "The Chrysanthemums." At first glance John Steinbeck's "The Chrysanthemums" seems to be a story about a woman whose niche is in the garden. Upon deeper inspection the story has strong notes of feminism in the central character Elisa Allen.
The character of Elisa is shown to be boyish as the author writes that Elisa wears a “a man’s black hat pulled low down over her eyes, clodhopper shoes, a figured print dress almost completely covered by a big corduroy apron ” (‘The Chrysanthemums’, Steinbeck).